Muller appeal council decision to refuse planning permission in Sandbach

This site, located near to the town centre and adjacent to the town’s popular Waitrose store, will comprise retail units to the ground floor with apartments above.

The Application Site forms part of a wider site which is allocated in the Congleton Borough Local Plan First Review (January 2005) under Policy DP4(S1) for ‘General Retail’. The allocation considers that the Site is suitable for the development of retail floorspace with appropriate residential development on the upper levels.

Muller submitted a planning application in November 2019 after commissioning national agency, Savills to conduct a ‘town centre survey’ of Sandbach. This in-depth report shows that the town centre vitality and viability is healthy, a key indicator being that the vacancy rate remains well below the UK average figure. These new retail units will be open plan and offer the type of modern retail space that retailers, and their customers, are looking for.

The application was refused at Committee in February 2020. The reasons for refusal were reviewed and Muller liaised with Cheshire East’s Urban Design department to review the scheme, resulting in a change to the scale and mass of the proposed building together with elevational changes. These alterations were approved by the Urban Design Officer and the resubmission application was submitted in October 2020.

Despite Muller’s best effort’s in resolving the Council’s previous reason for refusal on the original planning application, and producing a suitable scheme for the resubmission which was fully supported and applauded by the Urban Design department, the application was refused at Committee in May 2021.

We obtained an independent Heritage Impact Assessment and submitted an appeal which is heard by the Planning Inspectorate through the Written Representation. We are waiting for a timetable from the Planning Inspector.