Plans for Bluebell Village development in Knutsford
Following Cheshire East Council allocating land for approximately 1,000 new homes and jobs in and around Knutsford, plans for a true ‘village community’ off Manchester Road have been submitted.
Inspired by traditional villages and towns, as well as exemplar new town schemes delivered by the Prince of Wales at Poundbury and Nansledan, the new neighbourhood – known as Bluebell Village after the original farmstead – is set to deliver up to 300 new homes, a village centre with local shops and facilities including much needed space for GPs and dentists. Funding for enhancing sporting and leisure facilities to cater for Knutsford’s growing population will also be provided from the development.
The plans are being promoted by Cheshire-based Tatton Estate and represent the only submitted application to feature a mix of uses designed from the outset to be sustainable and minimise the need to travel.
The development would complement the ongoing investment to facilitate growth in Cheshire, already one of the UK’s most vibrant economies, including over £440m which is going into upgrading the M6, A556 and M6 to deliver much needed road capacity. In addition, Knutsford itself will see 5 major road improvements worth over £2.7m – funded by Local Plan development sites and including junction improvements around Adams Hill, Canute Place, Mobberley Road/Parkgate Lane and Brook Street/Hollow Lane.
Bluebell Village is already a sustainable location, being within walking distance of extensive existing facilities, whilst having direct access to the A50, A556 and M6 on routes which avoid the need to drive through the thriving town centre. The inclusion of local facilities on site will further help reduce the need to travel, not just for new residents but also for future workers on The Crown Estate’s allocated A50 office park and existing neighbours.
The Tatton Estate invests significantly in Knutsford and surrounding communities, including by providing space for community facilities for Knutsford Football Club, Knutsford Sports Club, Knutsford and Canute bowling clubs, Mereheath Lane Allotments, the Knutsford Heaths, The Moor Pool and Rostherne and Ashley cricket clubs, plus the very popular and active Knutsford Heritage Centre.
The application boundary intentionally includes all the Estate’s nearby ownership including Knutsford Football and Sports Clubs in order to protect and enhance them. Importantly the application contains no proposals for their redevelopment. They are retained as Protected Open Space but will benefit from the opportunities and investment that Bluebell Village will bring. This will include for example several hundred thousand pounds of Section 106 improvements for Public Open Space.
Alongside the new homes, services and business space, improved pedestrian and cycle routes will link the area better to central Knutsford facilities, including the local rail station and bus services, whilst new facilities such as a medical centre can also be delivered on site, minimising the need for car travel and delivering real community benefits. In addition, it is anticipated that the development will fund new school places and other section 106 contributions.
The submission of the application follows a public consultation where over 40 people indicated an interest in living at the site. Additionally, over 100 people have already viewed the plans on the dedicated consultation page on Tatton Group’s website.
As a long term stakeholder and custodian, the Tatton Estate are keen to hear your views and any suggestions on how the proposals can be improved right up to the application’s determination, expected to be in October – and beyond.
A Tatton Estate spokesman said:
“We are very proud to be submitting this pioneering application for a high quality mixed-use development in this location. Three years ago, we commissioned the John Simpson lecture in what was then the derelict Town Hall that we have now restored. The principles he set out about quality of place and sustainable development (http://tattonestate.com/videos/john-simpson-video-part-1/) we believe are embodied in this liveable, genuine neighbourhood which will meet the needs of future generations in a way that is truly ‘Knutsford’.
“The proposed development will generate significant benefits for the local economy, including the potential to generate up to £2m New Homes Bonus revenue for Cheshire East Council, 421 jobs are expected during the construction phase and a further 200 created by the new village centre.”
To learn more about Bluebell Village and express an interest in buying or renting a home or commercial space, please visit the dedicated Facebook page available at https://www.facebook.com/Bluebell-Village-Knutsford.