A new housing estate has been given the go-ahead in Hyde despite having less than half the number of homes initially promised.
Tameside’s planning committee has given approval for 60 new homes to be built on the site of the former Carrfield Mills cotton Mill on Newton Street.
It had originally been proposed for up to 127 dwellings on the land, which is on one side of a valley and has three derelict mill ponds, as well as Godley Brook running through it.
But the applicant argued that because of the difficult terrain, it was not viable to build as many homes as had been expected as much of the land was not deemed ‘developable’.
They also said there was an apparent lack of demand for apartments in the Hyde area, which meant there was no business case for a five-storey flat complex.
The site is currently empty, with the last remains of the mill having been demolished in 2015.
But principal planner David Thompson told councillors that there had been no upper limit set for how many new homes must be built when the outline case was approved.
“Members will recognise that the scheme proposed is significantly less than the ceiling number of 127 units that was agreed at the outline stage,” he said.
There had been extensive negotiations between the council and the developer, he said.
“We were wanting to make sure the scheme represented the most efficient use of land and delivers as many houses on the site as possible to meet our housing needs supply,” Mr Thompson added.
“The conclusion of that exercise was that the actual developable part of the site is significantly less.
“The housing needs assessment doesn’t really back up the case that it will be viable with that number of apartments as part of the scheme.
“When all of those additional factors are taken into account it is considered that the density of the development is reasonable.”
Agent Tony McAteer, speaking on behalf of the applicant Ecclestone Homes, said that the new properties would reflect the character of the surrounding Hyde area.
“If the site is to be delivered, than the scheme has to be viable and the scheme before you will ensure 60 dwellings is delivered,” he added.
“A reduction in the number of dwellings can only be of benefit to the local highway network.”
Councillor Doreen Dickinson expressed concern that the highways team had objected at the earlier stage to the application over visibility for the new access road.
But Mr Thompson told members that since the scheme had already been approved in principle, the issue could not be revisited by the committee.
It was approved unanimously.
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