THE Government will decide whether hundreds of houses can be built on green fields south of Crewe after the matter was taken out of Cheshire East hands.

Developers of the proposed Gresty Oaks ‘garden suburb’ to create 880 homes, a retirement village, 420-place primary school and food store was due to be determined in October.

When a decision was not made, Himor Group successfully appealed to the planning inspectorate on the grounds of non determination.

The application appears on a CEC Strategic Planning Board Meeting for March 5, with documents indicating the application would have been refused.

But now the decision will be made by Whitehall, with regard to the councillors’ reasons for recommending refusal.

Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester welcomed the recommendation.

“This is an application for a very large number of houses indeed. If it was passed it would go some way towards doubling the population of the Rope Parish which is simply unacceptable.

“It would virtually destroy the Green Gap and the beautiful open countryside between Rope and Shavington and would be the latest step towards joining Crewe up with its surrounding villages.

“Most people are aware of the ugly urban sprawl in places like Stoke on Trent and we do not want that on our doorstep.”

“There are good planning reasons to refuse this appeal. I strongly feel that applications like this should be refused. It is huge in size, it would overpower the existing village, it is detrimental to the open countryside, it impinges massively on the green gap between our towns and is unsustainable.”

Himor maintain that the proposal would ‘be an attractive development that sits comfortably within the landscape’.