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Muller launch legal case in High Court against Council over Sandbach land

Crewe based property company Muller has lodged a judicial review against Cheshire East Council over a dispute for access to a development site in Sandbach.
 
The legal case revolves around a small parcel of land that is intended to improve the A534/A533 roundabout and forms the access to a residential site on land to the south of Old Mill Road in Sandbach. The development represents significant investment into the area and will deliver much needed new housing for the area.
 
Last year, the Council initially refused an application for 200 houses on land to the South of Old Mill Road in Sandbach.  However, this decision was overturned in December 2014 by a Planning Inspector who overturned the decision and challenged the Council’s claims and declared it to be sustainable development and granted approval. 
 
Muller will spend £1.6 million on upgrading the roundabout and improvements to Old Mill Road.  The Inspector stated that these improvements to the roundabout would be a benefit to all road users.
 
In subsequent months Cheshire East Council has refused to enter into a S278 agreement to formalise these plans and ensure the access to the site and improvements can be made.
 
Cheshire East Council says that it is unable to enter into a S278 agreement as some of the land needed to implement the highways scheme is “Council land” and not “Highways land”. However this small piece of land has been earmarked for highways purposes since 1987 when it was compulsory acquired by Cheshire County Council for construction of the Inner Relief Road.
 
Colin Muller of Muller Property Group commented: “We have reluctantly launched the judicial review as we felt the Council were being unreasonable and not acting in the public interest.  The site has been granted planning permission and I feel the Council is now doing everything they can to stop it from being delivered.
 
“As the Planning Inspector confirmed, our proposals for the roundabout will not only provide access to the new homes but make traffic flow better, which will benefit everyone.  I cannot understand why the Council is wasting more taxpayer’s money trying to hold up this process.  I can only conclude that it is a petty attempt to try and stop this development from happening, which is not in the Council’s remit.
 
“Over recent years the attitude and behavior of Cheshire East Council has been worrying.  This has come through with the Local Plan process and the amount of futile appeals that the Council has been fighting, with limited chances of success.  I estimate the Council has spent upwards of £2m on fighting appeals. This represents a massive waste of taxpayer’s money and is not in the interest of residents across the borough as a whole.  I would urge the Council to start to work with developers rather than adopt an antagonistic approach that results in a ‘planning by appeal’ situation rather than recognizing new development brings investment, funds local infrastructure and boosts the economy, creating new jobs.”
 
As well as improving the A534/A533 roundabout, Muller will also make significant financial contributions to both primary and secondary schools in the area through it’s Section 106 Agreement with the Council. This will mean a combined investment by Muller of £820,000 for primary and secondary education in the local area. 
The proposals include 60 affordable homes for local families that are offered at a substantial discount to the market value, managed through a Registered Social Landlord.
 
In the last 18 months Cheshire East Council has lost two appeals to Muller Property Group and at least another 30 to other housebuilders and developers, and the number is still rising

Muller secures planning permission for new homes in Flintshire

Following a prolonged planning process, which has gone on for almost 5 years, Crewe based developer Muller Property Group has secured planning permission for a sustainable development of 58 new homes on land to the rear of 66A Mold Road, Mynydd Isa.
Muller originally submitted their planning application to Flintshire County Council in October 2010 for 60 new homes along with significant highways improvements and landscaping. Despite being recommended for approval by Planning Officers, the Council’s Planning Committee refused the application in September 2013. 
Following the refusal Muller took the decision to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate as they felt the Council had no grounds for its refusal since the site was earmarked for housing in the Local Plan. Muller also took the opportunity to slightly amend the scheme and reduce the number of houses by two.
The Council gave a number of reasons for refusal, including the fact that the original masterplan did not include 30% affordable housing - contrary to the advice of Council Officers that Muller had shown a commuted sum payment of £56,170 for affordable housing was sufficient. The Inspector ruled that Muller’s contribution to affordable housing would make adequate provision. 

The Planning Inspector agreed with Muller’s case that the highways improvements would mitigate any impact the new homes would have and declared it to be sustainable development, due to its proximity to a range of local services and facilities.  

Commenting Colin Muller of Muller Property Group said: “We are obviously glad that the Inspector has seen the merits of our application and approved our proposal. The right decision was eventually made in the end.

“The Council made a number of claims about our application in order to justify their refusal, and at the time we knew they were wrong and now the Inspector has confirmed that every element of our proposal conforms with planning policy, both locally and nationally, and that the Council had no grounds to refuse our original application.

“Flintshire is suffering from a chronic shortage of housing and our development will help to alleviate this pressure.  This housing shortage is evidenced with a lack of five year housing land supply for the area.” 

Muller secures new homes planning permission in Newcastle-under-Lyme

Muller has secured planning permission for 78 new homes on a site of 6.5 acres between Mucklestone Road and Market Drayton Road, Loggerheads, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
 
 
The masterplan includes family homes and public open space, including a children’s play area and new tree planting.  
 
 
Houses on the site are expected to range from two to five bedrooms and will include around 28 affordable and shared ownership homes.
 
 
There will be contributions totaling over £270,000 towards improvements at St. Mary’s CE Primary School, Mucklestone and Madeley High School.
 
 
Colin Muller, of Muller Property Group, commented: “It’s good news to be granted permission for what is a highly sustainable development, the first in Loggerheads for some years.  It will help to ease the housing shortage in the area and provide a variety of new homes for local people, and those in housing need.  We are delighted that Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has recognised the merits of the scheme and the benefits that it will bring.
 
 
“It is refreshing to see a Council take a realistic approach to its housing need and its position in terms of its Local Plan and its five year housing land supply policy.  This is not always the case with other Local Authorities, especially in our experience of dealing with Cheshire East Council on other housing sites.  I believe that in Cheshire East this has led to the wastage of significant sums of public money on futile planning appeals.” 

CHURCH MINSHULL: Land opposite Weaver View, Church Minshull, Cheshire

Pre-Application
This land opportunity has recently been introduced to the company. Muller Property Group are currently instructing consultants to carry out surveys and to produce their reports to accompany an outline planning application for residential development.

GOBOWEN: St Martins Road, Gobowen, Shropshire

Pre-Application
Muller Property Group are currently in discussion with Shropshire Council as part of the pre-application process and are collating reports to accompany the forthcoming outline planning application for circa 80 dwellings.

ANSLEY: Tunnel Road, Ansley, North Warwickshire

Planning Decision Pending
An outline application was submitted to North Warwickshire Borough Council in June 2015 for a proposed residential development for up to 79 dwellings, including affordable housing. These family homes will range from 2 to 4 bedrooms with a mix of mews, semi-detached and detached properties. A planning decision is expected by North Warwickshire Borough Council in September 2015.

LOGGERHEADS: Mucklestone Road, Loggerheads, Staffordshire

Planning Decision Pending
An outline application was submitted to Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council in March 2015 for a proposed residential development for up to 78 dwellings, including affordable housing. A planning decision is expected by Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council in July 2015.

WHITCHURCH: Tarporley Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire

Planning Decision Pending
An outline application was submitted to Shropshire Council in March 2015 for a proposed residential development for up to 39 semi-detached and detached dwellings, including affordable housing. A planning decision is awaited from Shropshire Council.

WHITCHURCH: Adjacent Bollandsfield, Tarporley Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire

Planning Decision Pending
An outline application was submitted to Shropshire Council in January 2015 for a proposed residential development for 6 luxury detached dwellings within the garden area of the existing property. A planning decision is awaited from Shropshire Council.

CREWE GREEN: Sydney Road Phase II, Crewe Green, Cheshire

Planning Decision Pending
An outline application was submitted to Cheshire East Council in January 2015 for a proposed residential development for up to 275 dwellings, including affordable housing. As part of the scheme a new access will be created off Maw Green Road. A planning decision is awaited from Cheshire East Council.

CREWE GREEN: Sydney Road Phase I, Crewe Green, Cheshire

13/2055N Planning approved
An outline planning permission was submitted to Cheshire East Council for up to 240 dwellings, including open space provision and a new site access off Sydney Road in May 2013. Planning permission was granted in December 2013 subject to the finalisation of the S106 Agreement.

SANDBACH : Old Mill Road, Sandbach, Cheshire

13/2389C Planning Approved
The proposed development is for up to 200 family homes from 2 to 4 bedrooms over a mixture of mews, semi-detached and detached dwellings. A full provision of 60 affordable housing will also be provided along with substantial areas of public open space. The development site will be accessed off Old Mill Roundabout and is within 350 meters of Sandbach town centre.

An outline planning application was submitted to Cheshire East Council in June 2013 for a residential development for up to 250 dwellings, including affordable housing. The application was not determined by Cheshire East Council within the relevant timescales resulting in Muller Property Group lodging an appeal for non-determination in January 2014. During the processing of the application, the proposal was amended to a residential development for up to 200 dwellings, including affordable housing.

The appeal was allowed and outline planning permission was granted in December 2014.

ALSAGER: Land off Close Lane, Alsager, Cheshire

13/1350N Planning Approved
The proposed development will include semi-detached and detached family houses, affordable housing and retirement housing for over 55’s, all complemented by extensive areas of green open space, safe public places for play and for use by the community. The development will comprise of two storey accommodation, with housing set in a courtyard in the form of estate cottages, retirement housing in a ‘farmstead’ form and with the nursing home in a barn style courtyard.

An outline planning application was submitted to Cheshire East Council in March 2013 for a mixed residential scheme consisting of 132 dwellings. Cheshire East Council refused the application in June 2013. Muller Property Group subsequently lodged an appeal in August 2013 and outline planning permission was granted by the Inspector in July 2014.

TARPORLEY : Birch Heath Road, Tarporley, Cheshire

14/00770/FUL Planning approved
A detailed planning application was submitted to Cheshire West and Chester in February 2014 for 18 dwellings. The application was refused in June 2014 stating that the development would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

An appeal was lodged by Muller Property Group in August 2014 which was upheld by the Inspector and permission granted in February 2015.

NANTWICH : Nantwich South, Land off Broad Lane & Audlem Road, Stapeley, Nantwich, Cheshire

12/3747N Planning Appeal Pending
Residential development up to a maximum of 189 dwellings, Local centre (Class A1 to A5 inclusive and D1) with maximum floor area of 1800sqm Gross Internal Area (GIA), Employment development (B1b, B1c, B2 and B8) with a maximum floor area of 3,700sqm GIA, Primary School, Public Open Space including new village green, children's play area and allotments, Green infrastructure including ecological area, New vehicle and pedestrian site access points, Associated works.

An outline planning application for up to 189 dwellings, primary school, employment area, local centre, POS and allotment area was submitted to Cheshire East Council in September 2012, together with a separate application for a new access off Peter Destapleigh Way.

Cheshire East refused the applications in April 2013 and appeals were immediately raised, which were called in by the Secretary of State. Despite the Inspector’s recommendation for approval, the Secretary of State dismissed both appeals in March 2015 due to the adverse impacts of adopting a piecemeal approach.
A High Court Challenge has been submitted on the grounds that the Secretary of State’s decision is unlawful. The Defendant (Secretary of State) has conceded the Claim and the terms of the consent order are currently being finalised.

NANTWICH : Nantwich South, Land off Broad Lane & Audlem Road, Stapeley, Nantwich, Cheshire

13/4390N Planning Decision Pending
Residential development up to a maximum of 189 dwellings, Local centre (Class A1 to A5 inclusive and D1) with maximum floor area of 1800sqm Gross Internal Area (GIA), Employment development (B1b, B1c, B2 and B8) with a maximum floor area of 3,700sqm GIA, Primary School, Public Open Space including new village green, children's play area and allotments, Green infrastructure including ecological area, New vehicle and pedestrian site access points, Associated works.

NANTWICH : Nantwich South, Land off Peter Destapleigh Way, Stapeley, Nantwich, Cheshire

12/3746N Planning Appeal 18 February 2014
New highway access road, including footways and cycleway and associated works.

An outline planning application for up to 189 dwellings, primary school, employment area, local centre, POS and allotment area was submitted to Cheshire East Council in September 2012, together with a separate application for a new access off Peter Destapleigh Way.

Cheshire East refused the applications in April 2013 and appeals were immediately raised, which were called in by the Secretary of State. Despite the Inspector’s recommendation for approval, the Secretary of State dismissed both appeals in March 2015 due to the adverse impacts of adopting a piecemeal approach.
A High Court Challenge has been submitted on the grounds that the Secretary of State’s decision is unlawful. The Defendant (Secretary of State) has conceded the Claim and the terms of the consent order are currently being finalised.

NANTWICH : Nantwich South, Land off Peter Destapleigh Way, Stapeley, Nantwich, Cheshire

13/4384N Planning Decision pending
New highway access road, including footways and cycleway and associated works

HASLINGTON : Vicarage Road, Haslington, Crewe, Cheshire

12/3564N Planning Approved
An outline planning application for up to 44 residential dwellings, open space and access was submitted to Cheshire East Council in September 2012. Planning permission was granted in June 2013.


SANDBACH : Hassall Road, Sandbach, Cheshire

11/3414C Planning Approved
An outline planning application for up to 39 dwellings was submitted to Cheshire East Council in September 2011. Planning permission was granted in August 2012.

MIDDLEWICH : The Green, Middlewich, Cheshire

11/2833C Planning Approved
New highway access road, including footways and cycleway and associated works.

An outline planning application for up to 64 dwellings was submitted to Cheshire East Council in August 2011. Planning permission was granted in January 2012.

BARLESTONE : Barton Road, Barlestone, Leicestershire

0 Planning Approved
A full planning application was submitted to Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council in June 2014 for the demolition of the existing building and construction of 8 dwellings. Planning permission was granted in October 2014.

TUNSTALL : High Street, Sandyford, Tunstall

SOT/48328 Planning Approved
Re-alignment of access road from High Street to five trade counter units (approved under planning application SOT/46011)

Two separate planning applications were submitted to City of Stoke-on-Trent Council for a showroom and five industrial units with trade counters. Both applications were approved (October 2006 and February 2013).

TODMORDEN : Hope Mill, Alma Road, Walsden, Todmorden

09/00836/OUT Planning Approved
Construction of 17 residential houses to amend approved application 05/01473/OU

TODMORDEN : Alma Mill, Alma Road, Walsden, Todmorden

09/00837/OUT Planning Approved
Construction of 20 residential dwellings (outline)

CHESTER : Burgess Employment Park, Sealand Road, Chester

044745 Planning Approved
Construction of a new vehicular access, modification of existing access and erection of garage buildings and driveways

CHESTER : Burgess Employment Park, Sealand Road, Chester

045336 Planning Approved
Refurbishment of existing commercial units, new roof and wall

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

12/0192N Planning Approved
Extension to Time Limit of Planning Permission P08/1360 for Change of use of Ground Floor from A1 to Residential and Single Storey and Two Storey Rear Extension to Form 4 No. Residential Properties with Bin and Cycle Storage.

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P08/1360 Planning Approved
Change of use of ground floor from A1 to residential and single and two storey rear extension to form 4 no. residential properties with bin and cycle storage

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P08/1090 Planning Approved
Change of use of ground floor from A1 to residential, single and two storey extension to rear with internal remodelling to form 4 no. residential properties together with bin and cycle storage

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P08/0701 Planning Approved
Variation of condition 6 and 7 on Permission P08/0094 relating to ancillary mounted equipment and extraction equipment

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P08/0094 Planning Approved
Amendment to approval P06/1195 consisting of minor changes to external appearance (window sizes, rear door and chimney position) and uses to either 1 no. A1, A2, A3 and B1 unit, or A1, A2, A3 and B1 unit at ground floor and 1 no. A2 and B1 unit at first floor

NANTWICH : 91/93 Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P06/1195 Planning Approved
Change of use from A1 (shops) to A1 (shops) A2 (financial and professional services) and A3 (restaurants and cafes) at ground floor level change of use from residential to B1 (business) at first floor level together with new shop frontage internal alterations and two storey and single storey rear extension and new bin and cycle store area

NANTWICH : Chapel Court, Pall Mall, Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P07/1609 Planning Approved
Construction of three and a half storey B1/D1(a) office/studios building with ground floor car parking and the variation of condition no. 14 of P03/0278 (provision of 10 off-site parking spaces to be provided for at: Land to rear of 91-93 Hospital Street, Nantwich)

NANTWICH : Chapel Court, Pall Mall, Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P07/0714 Planning Approved
Construction of a four storey apartment building with 10 flats and the variation of condition 14 on P03/0278 (provision of 10 off-site parking spaces, land to the rear of 91-93 Hospital Street, Nantwich)

NANTWICH : Chapel Court, Pall Mall, Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire

P06/1399 Planning Approved
Re-siting of 2.5 storey offices/studios (B1/D1) building approved under P05/0031

MYNYDD ISA : Mold Road, Mynydd Isa, Flintshire

048042 Planning Appeal September 2015
An outline planning application for the demolition of “Sunnyhill” and 66A Mold Road and erection of 60 houses (reduced to 58 houses), including details of access, appearance, layout and scale was submitted to Flintshire County Council in October 2010. The application was refused in September 2013, despite being recommended for approval.

An appeal was lodged in October 2013. In December 2014 the appeal format was altered to a hearing, which is due to take place in September 2015.

MOSTYN : Ffordd Pennant, Mostyn, Flintshire

047951 Planning Approved
An outline planning application for 73 houses (later reduced to 71 houses) was submitted to Flintshire County Council in September 2010, which was refused in February 2013. An appeal against the decision was submitted in August 2013 and The Planning Inspectorate allowed the appeal and granted planning permission in January 2014.