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 would receive 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.
Cheshire East Council 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, we 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, and following further consultation a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been prepared and adopted. The 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 landowner, the authority 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.
Cheshire East Council is taking 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?
Following adoption of the Supplementary Planning Document and public consultation in early 2019, Cheshire East Council submitted a hybrid planning application in the Summer of 2019. Details of the planning application can be found on Cheshire East Council’s website by following this link.
In early 2020, again following engagement with neighbouring residents and Handforth Parish Council, a planning application was submitted to Cheshire East Council to create a new Park & Ride facility close to Handforth railway station. The site is located next to Handforth Youth Centre and provides good pedestrian link to the railway station, the centre of Handforth and to the Garden Village.
If approved, the Park & Ride facility will provide a bus stop and 115 additional district centre car parking spaces (including 10 bays for people with disabilities), 8 motorcycle bays and secure lockers for 36 cycles to link the bus services and improve access for all to the train station and district centre.