Consortium wins permission to build 1,200 homes in Cheshire after a 10-year battle

A consortium including Barratt and Taylor Woodrow has won a 10-year battle to build a £200m urban village in Cheshire.

Vale Royal council has given planning permission for 1,200 homes to be built on a 56ha derelict site on the outskirts of Northwich.

The Winnington Urban Village consortium also includes Morris Homes, a regional housebuilder, and Brunner Mond, the site owner and a maker of soda ash. Brunner Mond stopped using the site in 1984 and suggested plans for an urban village in the late 1990s.

The project received a setback three years ago when John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, refused permission. He was concerned that the development would exacerbate an oversupply of housing in the area and that the consortium’s offer to make 10% of the housing affordable was inadequate.

The consortium has now agreed to increase the number of affordable houses to 243 units, of which 165 will be offered for sale at a discount.

The council has also insisted that the development generate 10% of its energy needs from on-site renewable power sources.

In addition, the consortium will supply £5.8m for the regeneration of Northwich town centre, much of which is unstable because of salt mining.

Demolition work has started on the main plant and building work is due to start early next year.

Patrick Grincell, a director of Savills Hepher Dixon, the consortium’s planning consultant, said: “We are delighted that we have finally got a resolution to grant consent.”