PLANNERS will decide whether to site hundreds of new houses on fields in Shavington next week, under plans that residents argue will irreparably damage the character of a neighbouring Middle Ages village.

Cheshire East’s strategic planning committee meet on January 30 to decide on Mactaggart and Mickel property developer’s proposal to build 400 new houses on 17 hectares of farmland between the town and the village of Wybunbury.

The area, south of Newcastle Road, is commonly known as the Shavington Triangle, and lies 400m north of the protected Wybunbury Moss nature reserve - a site of Specific Scientific Interest for its rare bogland habitat.

The homes would incorporate access roads, cycleways, footpaths, a play area and a community ‘hub’ building, incorporating a 400sqm food store.

Documents supporting the plan argue that the houses ‘respond to local need’ and that an ‘extensive network of established trees and hedgerows’ could be used to create an ‘instant mature landscape setting for the benefit of new and existing communities.’

More than 100 letters of objection to the scheme have been received from members of the public so far.

Wybunbury resident, Anthony Kay, argues that brownfield sites should be developed first.

He adds that the houses would create extra cars, ‘clogging up already congested roads and making our small village a rat-run.’ Elsewhere, concerns are raised about the extra numbers of school pupils.

Wybunbury is an ancient village dating from the middle ages. Its famous Leaning Tower of St Chad’s was stabilised in 1832 using pioneering techniques later applied to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Shavington resident, Adrian Corn, argued: “This proposed development would completely change the character of the village and result in it losing its identity as it merged in to Shavington. There is certainly no demand for additional housing within the village.”

The application can be commented on at under reference 12/3114N