The Garden Village at Handforth
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The Garden Village at Handforth is a key strategic development site for Cheshire East Council and is allocated as such within the Local Plan. In January 2017, it was announced that The Garden Village at Handforth received government backing as one of their 14 new Garden Villages across the country.
The site is within the eastern edge of Handforth, east of the A34 and south of the A555. The site is under several ownerships, with Cheshire East Council owning approximately 72 hectares, of which five hectares is currently leased to Total Fitness.
Engine of the North has established a new, innovative approach to a mixed-use development on this site, creating a sustainable community in a quality environment. The ultimate design standards of any new development will be to ensure the highest possible quality development. As a first step, Engine of the North commissioned Hemingway Design, led by acclaimed designer Wayne Hemingway, to create a vision document for the new village. This vision was the subject of a number of public consultations in the spring and summer of 2016. Building upon this vision and policies set out in the Local Plan, a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been produced. The draft SPD articulates the quality and design principles that the Council wants to achieve. The SPD, compiled in consultation with council officers and stakeholders, is a planning policy document that gives greater control to Cheshire East Council to ensure the vision, to deliver a high-quality community-led Garden Village is realised. The SPD will ensure diversity and a design that is unique to The Garden Village, by enabling smaller, local housebuilders, and having custom and self-build plots.
Cheshire East Council owns 70% of the land at The Garden Village. As a majority land owner, the authority, through Engine of the North, will act as lead developer. This provides a unique ability to deliver this exemplar village to a higher quality standard than you would expect with a developer-led scheme.
Engine of the North will take the lead in obtaining planning permission for the wider site, commissioning and delivering the key infrastructure. Importantly, the key infrastructure could be delivered early with Homes England support and accelerate the onward delivery of the village.
The Garden Village creates much more green space than would typically be delivered by market or standard planning policy. Creating a network of green spaces, amenity space, landscape character and habitat protection is a priority, not an afterthought.
What are the benefits of The Garden Village?
What’s happening now?
Cheshire East Council’s public consultation on the draft SPD will run from 11 September 2018 until 22 October 2018. The SPD and accompanying technical documents is available on the Council’s consultation portal.