Major Crewe development approved with estimated 2,900 jobs incoming

Cheshire East has given the go-ahead for two large employment developments in Crewe which could create an estimated 2,900 jobs despite claims the ‘grey sheds’ will be a ‘blot on the landscape’.

Muse Developments was granted full planning permission for three large units for light industrial or warehousing and distribution on land at Basford East.

These have a combined gross internal floorspace of 72,803sqm.

Outline approval was also granted on another part of the site for the construction of employment units suitable for offices as well as manufacturing and warehousing and distribution uses, with a combined gross internal floorspace of up to 53,463sqm.

The site, which neighbours a 325-home development being built out by Taylor Wimpey, is allocated for employment use.

At Wednesday’s meeting of Cheshire East’s strategic planning board (SPB), public speakers called for the hybrid application to be deferred so the developer could come up with better designs for the buildings.

Haslington councillor Alison Heler (Con), speaking as a visiting member, said: “Grey sheds in a field will be a blot on the landscape and there must be better designs out there that can be looked into.”

Cllr Steve Edgar (Haslington, Con), said: “I recognise and support the need for jobs but this needs to be an exemplar build, something that Crewe can be proud of.”

Weston and Crewe Green Parish councillor John Cornell raised a number of concerns about the proposal.

These included the height of the buildings – up to 23m in some cases – and landscaping, as well as highways issues, particularly because Basford East is also due to house a school when the entire site is built out.

Cllr Cornell said: “Two toucan crossings will be totally inadequate to ensure a safe facility for pedestrians crossing David Whitby Way close to the central roundabout.”

He said a pedestrian bridge would be safer.

“This roundabout will be the only entry and exit point for approximately 800 dwellings, either side of the road, a two-way entry primary school and community facilities including shops,” he said. “All this in addition to the proposal.”

Planning officer Richard Taylor told SPB members: “This is a strategic employment site.

“It’s important in terms of delivering jobs in Crewe and we have to balance the design of these units against the requirements of operators…

“The height of the buildings are a consequence of today’s operating requirements.”

Cllr Michael Gorman (Wilmslow, Ind) asked for reassurance regarding highways safety.

“I’d like to know exactly what mitigation is being put in on the traffic numbers, really taking into account road safety, especially with children getting to and from school,” he said.

Highways officer Paul Griffiths said improvements were being made to the road network in the local area and these were tied in with other applications.

With reference to the impact of larger vehicles and school children going to school, he said there were cycling facilities and toucan crossings were being provided on David Whitby Way either side of the roundabout.

He added there would also be a review of the speed limit which could see it dropped from 50mph to 40mph.

Crewe councillor Joy Bratherton (Lab) moved the application be approved and this was seconded by Cllr Hannah Moss (Mobberley, Ind).

The application was approved with conditions, including the setting up of a liaison group.

Nine councillors voted in favour and one voted against.

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