Worries over road safety at Army camp development


Robert Platt

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build almost 300 more homes on a former Army camp have been submitted.

The scheme is part of the massive Saighton Camp development, which could eventually include up to 624 houses, as well as offices, shops, restaurants, parks and a primary school.

The go-ahead was previously given for more than 100 homes on a separate part of the camp without objection, despite fears the scheme would lead to increased traffic on the Chester to Farndon B road.

Permission had also been granted for a further 375 homes on a part of the site called ‘Area A’, but developers Commercial Estates Group (CEG) has since sold that land to Bovis Homes and Redow Homes.

Residents and community leaders have now slammed the latest application, which includes 295 homes being built on a part of the site called ‘Area B’, saying the surrounding roads would not be able to handle increased traffic.

And a petition has been launched by People Revolt Against Unsustainable Development (PROUD), calling for an independent review of the redevelopment of the Boughton Heath (Sainsbury’s) roundabout.

Those works were carried out last year as part of overall traffic improvements CEG aims to carry out as part of the development.

But Helen Carey, spokesman for PROUD, said the new so-called ‘hamburger’ roundabout system has led to numerous traffic and safety problems.

She said: “The Sainsbury’s junction financed by the developer for Phase A should be providing nil detriment. It is plainly not fit for purpose, the phase A houses have not even been built yet and there are major issues with the junction.

“Safety is a huge concern on the local roads surrounding the camp already.  To avoid the junction there are rat runs around Stocks Lane, Saighton, Christleton and Chester Road.

“These are now perilous areas and will get worse when the Phase A houses are built.”
She added the increased traffic on Caldy Valley Road was affecting the safety of children walking to school.
“The planning application for Phase B suggests their measures can markedly reduce people living in Saighton using cars,” said Ms Carey.
“The majority of residents are in employment where they need to access the A55, buses are therefore useless for the majority of families in this area.
“There appears a vested interest for the council to say ‘yes’ to this massive development so we urgently require an independent review of the junction. An independent body can evaluate the road infrastructure with the present and future of Phase A demands put upon it.”
Meanwhile, CEG said the brownfield site had been previously earmarked by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) for redevelopment and forms part of the Local Development Framework.
The Area B planning application, which concerns 15 hectares and incorporates a £5million investment into further transportation improvements, has the capacity to deliver up to 400 new homes but CEG said they reduced that number to 295.
Spokesman Charles Johnson said: “CWaC is currently conducting a review of green belt sites across the district in light of its shortfall of housing land.
“Green belt sites locally as well as in rural villages such as Tarporley, Tattenhall and Kelsall could be at risk and Saighton Camp as a brownfield site can deliver new homes and transport improvements, in a sustainable location, helping local people access the housing ladder and helping to protect green belt sites in Chester from development.”
CWaC spokesman Shirley Wingfield confirmed an application had been received.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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