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Town Strategy Knutsford


									  Foreword                                                                       2
1 Introduction                                                                   3
        Introduction                                                             3
        What is the Local Development Framework?                                 3
        How is the Local Development Framework being prepared?                   3
        What are the timescales for preparing the Local Development Framework?   4
        What is the Place Shaping Consultation?                                  5
        How do we assess the suitability of proposals?                           6
        How does this relate to Community-Led Planning?                          7
        How does this relate to Neighbourhood Planning?                          7
2 A Snapshot of the Town                                                         8
        An Introduction to the Town                                              8
        Housing                                                                  9
        Economy                                                                  9
        Town Centre                                                              10
        Transport                                                                12
        Open Space & Countryside                                                 12
        The Built Environment                                                    14
        Community Infrastructure                                                 15
3 To Sum Up...                                                                   18
        To Sum Up...                                                             18
  Appendices                                                                     20
        Appendix A: Glossary of Terms                                            20
        Appendix B: References                                                   23    Contents

                 CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report     1
           Cheshire East Local Development Framework

           Place Shaping Consultation – Snapshot Reports

           Cheshire East is facing many challenges over the next twenty years or so. These include climate
           change, moving to a low carbon and globalised economy and increased housing need. These
           challenges will need to be faced in a period of a slow growing national economy and much reduced
           levels of infrastructure investment by the Government.

           It will therefore be important to have a clear strategy to tackle these issues and to indicate how we
           want our towns and villages to change and grow.

           Your Place

           Your Future

           Your Say

           In autumn 2010, we consulted on options for the overall strategy for Cheshire East. We are following
           this up with the Place Shaping Consultation to look at the challenges facing our towns and villages
           and how these can be addressed in the new development plan for Cheshire East.

           The Place Shaping Consultation asks some fundamental questions:

                What do you want your town or village to be like in 2030?
                What are the challenges facing the town or village?
                What are the constraints and opportunities for development?
                How can development help to deliver improved local infrastructure?

           This Snapshot Report sets out an overview of your town with a wealth of interesting facts to help you
           think about planning its future.

           Through this consultation we are embracing the spirit of localism and neighbourhood planning.

           I want to encourage everyone to help us prepare the new plan so that we can make sure that Cheshire
           East continues to be a great place for our children, grandchildren and us to enjoy.

           Cllr David Brown

1.1 Cheshire East Council is working together with town and parish councils, local area partnerships,
businesses, community groups and local people of all ages to prepare the new development plan for
Cheshire East – called the Local Development Framework. This will guide the future planning and
development of our towns, villages and countryside up to 2030. It will cover all of Cheshire East
except the area that lies within the Peak District National Park. The Local Development Framework
will aim to ensure that Cheshire East continues to have:

      a thriving economy
      an attractive environment
      a wide choice of housing
      vibrant town centres with good quality shops and leisure facilities,
      schools, health and community facilities,
      a choice of transport

What is the Local Development Framework?
1.2    The Local Development Framework will consist of three main reports:

1.3 Core Strategy – this will set out the vision, objectives and strategy for the future development
of the Borough. It may include strategic development sites.

1.4 Site Allocations Plan – this will include detailed policies to be used in considering planning
applications as well as site allocations and policies.

1.5 Infrastructure Plan - this will set out the improvements required to transport, social and
community infrastructure, such as schools and health services, that will be required to serve new
development. It will set out a programme for their development and any financial contributions that
new developments will be required to make.

1.6 The Local Development Framework will be a single plan for Cheshire East and will replace the
Regional Spatial Strategy, the Cheshire Structure Plan, Cheshire Waste and Minerals Plans and the
Local Plans for Congleton, Macclesfield and Crewe and Nantwich.

How is the Local Development Framework being prepared?
Background Evidence

1.7 We started preparing the Local Development Framework in 2009, by producing background
evidence to help us understand the challenges facing the Borough. This looked at housing, economic
development, retailing, open space, environment, transport, minerals and waste. All reports can be
viewed on the Council’s website at: and at the Council offices at
Westfields, Sandbach.

Strategic Issues and Options Consultation

1.8 We carried out a Borough wide consultation from November to December 2010 to begin the
discussions about how future housing and economic growth in the Borough should be planned for.

Options for the level of growth and three development strategies were considered. This consultation
provided valuable feedback which is summarised in the Report of Consultation available on the
Cheshire East website and at the Council offices at Westfields, Sandbach.

                  CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                      3
               The Place Shaping Consultation

               1.9 One of the key messages from this consultation was that further work was needed to understand
               the challenges facing each town and village and the opportunities and constraints to addressing them.
               The Council is keen to embrace the new spirit of localism and to ensure that local communities have
               the opportunity to be involved in shaping the plan for their community. We want to be sure that all
               sections of the community have the chance to be involved and that the plan takes account of the
               needs of everyone, in particular the needs of the next generation.

               1.10 Through the Place Shaping Consultation Cheshire East Council will be working closely with
               town and parish councils, local area partnerships, town partnerships, local businesses, community
               groups, young people and individuals to develop a plan for each town and larger village that will be
               taken forward into the Local Development Framework. Smaller villages will be asked to consider
               whether they have any development requirements and proposals to be included in the plan.

               What are the timescales for preparing the Local Development Framework?
               1.11 The timescales for the preparation of the Local Development Framework are shown in the
               Figure below:

     4         CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
What is the Place Shaping Consultation?
1.12   There are three stages to the consultation and a number of events are planned. These stages


                CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                     5
               1.13     Firstly, we want to understand the issues and challenges facing the community.

               1.14 This Snapshot Report sets out information about the development of the town: about the
               housing, economy, town centre, transport, built and natural environment and community infrastructure.
               It identifies some key challenges that we need to take into account as we plan the future of the town.

               1.15 We would like to hear what you like about the town, the changes needed and your priorities.
               You can contribute through any of these events:

                      Local Area Partnership events – workshops for parish councils, community groups and
                      Community Exhibition with questionnaire
                      On line and postal consultation with questionnaire
                      Play Your Place with your group

               1.16 Your Place - This activity has been developed for groups to think about the needs of different
               people in their community and what type of place they may want to live in. Contact the Spatial Planning
               Team to obtain an activity pack.

               1.17 Secondly, we will then look at the constraints to development, the areas that need to be
               safeguarded and then consider and assess options for various types of development. This will help
               us to work together to develop the plan for the town. You can contribute through any of these events:

                      Stakeholder workshops
                      Exhibitions - community consultation
                      On line and postal consultation

               1.18 Thirdly, we have to bring the plans for each town and village together and assess whether
               they will deliver the overall needs of the Borough as a whole. This will be through:

                      Local Area Partnership Assemblies will consider the plans
                      Cheshire East Council will consider the plans and undertake assessments to ensure that they
                      comply with and deliver European and national legislation and planning policy. The Council will
                      have to ensure that there is a consistency of approach and that the plans in combination will
                      deliver the growth aspirations for the Borough as a whole.
                      Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet will consider the plans and assessments and agree the policies
                      and proposals to be included in the Preferred Options draft of the Local Development Framework.

               How do we assess the suitability of proposals?
               1.19   The options will be subject to a Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating a Strategic
               Environmental Appraisal) that will test the proposals against a number of social, economic and
               environmental indicators. Amongst other things, it will assess how the plan affects all sections of the
               community, whether it promotes health and how it affects rural areas.

               1.20 A Habitats Regulation Assessment will be carried out to appraise the impact of proposals
               on any sites and habitats designated as being of European importance for nature conservation.

               1.21    The Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment will be published for
               consultation alongside the Local Development Framework.

     6         CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
How does this relate to Community-Led Planning?
1.22 Many communities in Cheshire East have completed Parish Plans. These have provided an
understanding of the challenges facing the community and an action plan for a wide range of initiatives.
Parish Plans cannot allocate land for development or include policies to control the planning or use
of land - that is the role of the Local Development Framework.

1.23 Parish Plans provide a useful starting point for the community to prepare its proposals for the
future planning of its village. Many communities have identified the need to provide more affordable
housing and / or starter homes in the village. Providing that a site can been agreed with the support
of the community, this can be taken forward as a proposed allocation into the Local Development
Framework. Other proposals such as new open space or community facilities may also be proposed
for allocation and included in the Infrastructure Plan.

1.24 The Local Development Framework will include policies to safeguard important open areas
such as parks and play areas as well as designated nature conservation sites and heritage assets.
Communities may wish to review the boundaries shown in the Local Plan and highlight any changes
they consider appropriate to reflect changed circumstances.

How does this relate to Neighbourhood Planning?
1.25 The Localism Bill is introducing the concept of Neighbourhood Planning. The intention behind
this is for Parish Councils or neighbourhood forums to work with the Borough Council to prepare their
own development plan that will deliver the detailed planning policies and site allocations for their area
in accordance with the Local Development Framework Core Strategy. Each Neighbourhood Plan
would be required to demonstrate that it accords with European and national legislation and planning
policy. It will be subject to a public examination and a referendum.

1.26 Cheshire East Council wants to embrace the spirit of localism by working closely with
communities through the Place Shaping Consultation to ensure that all communities have the same
opportunity to help shape the preparation of the plan for their town or village to be included in the
Local Development Framework. By working together in this way it is envisaged that the resources
and costs of plan preparation, assessment and examination will be managed more effectively.


                  CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                          7
                         An Introduction to the Town
                         2.1 Knutsford is a small market town, and has a population of approximately 12,570. It is located
                         in the north-western part of the borough, in close proximity to Altrincham, Wilmslow and Northwich;
                         Macclesfield and Manchester are also less than 19 kilometres away. The town is bounded by Birkin
                         Brook to the east and the extensive historic Tatton Park to the north. The A5033, A50 and A537 pass
                         through the town, which also lies within 5 kilometers of junction 19 of the M6.

                                                             Figure 2.1 Location of Knutsford

                         2.2 Modern-day Knutsford covers three medieval settlements: Nether Knutsford, Cross Town and
                         Over Knutsford. Nether Knutsford (where the present day town centre stands) was recorded in the
                         Domesday Book (1086), however, it is believed that the Cross Town area (east of the town centre)
                         was the location of the original settlement. The town received its first market charter in 1292.

                         2.3 Knutsford grew in size and influence throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and was one of
A Snapshot of the Town

                         only two towns in Cheshire to hold judicial sessions; the town is still home to a Crown Court (in the
                         Sessions House building dating from 1818). The town retains much of its historic architecture, notably
                         from the Georgian era. Following the second world war, overspill estates were created to accommodate
                         families from Manchester.

          8              CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
2.4    There are almost 6,000 dwellings in
Knutsford, around 38% of which are detached
properties. The figure opposite illustrates the
mix of housing types within the town, which
also includes a high number of semi-detached
and terraced properties, as well as flats. Over
40% of all properties in the town have 4 or
more bedrooms, suggesting that the town has
a higher proportion of larger properties than
most Cheshire East settlements.

2.5 Average house prices in Knutsford are
amongst the highest in the North West, and a
                                                                    Figure 2.2 House Types in Knutsford
significant proportion of residents cannot afford
to purchase property within the town. The Cheshire East Strategic Housing Market Assessment
(2010) identifies a need for 64 affordable homes to be provided in Knutsford each year.

                                                   2.6 The level of residential development completed
                                                   within Knutsford has been relatively low in recent
                                                   years. Between April 2010 and March 2011 there
                                                   were 9 dwellings developed within the town, and 4
                                                   units were lost (either through demolition or
                                                   conversion); no affordable homes were built during
                                                   this period.

                                                   2.7    Knutsford's population structure generally
                                                   follows the average for Cheshire East, although the
                                                   town does possess a slightly higher proportion of
                                                   people aged 65 and over.

                                                     2.8     There is a need to ensure that there is
Figure 2.3 Terraced Housing in Knutsford             sufficient housing to meet the needs of the town's
                                                     existing and future residents over the next twenty
years or so. It is also important to ensure that sufficient affordable housing is provided for people who
cannot afford to purchase market housing. Accordingly, it may be necessary to allocate land for
residential development.

2.9 Knutsford has a comparatively strong economy, and a generally affluent and well-educated
                                                                                                            A Snapshot of the Town

workforce. There are 6900 jobs in the town, equating to 4.2% of the Borough's total (the population
of Knutsford is 3.5% of the Borough total). The key employment sectors are:

     Banking, finance and insurance, including sites within and outside the town centre;

     Retail, hotels and restaurants within the town centre;

     Distribution centres in the surrounding area; and

     Public administration, education and health.

                  CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                              9
                         2.10 There is a relatively even split between residents who work within the town and those who
                         commute to work elsewhere: the most common destinations for out-commuters are the Manchester,
                         Trafford and West Cheshire areas. The town's job market is relatively self-contained compared with
                         other settlements in Cheshire East. There is however a very high level of in-commuting into Knutsford,
                         particularly from the West Cheshire, Trafford and Warrington areas.

                         2.11     There are a number of employment sites located in and around Knutsford, including:

                                Parkgate Industrial Estate: located north of the B5085 Mobberley Road, to the east of Knutsford
                                town centre, it comprises a mixture of industrial / warehouse units and high quality office space;

                                Booths Hall: located just south east of the town, the site provides cutting edge offices, meeting
                                and conference facilities, in a mix of 18th century and contemporary buildings, set within a large
                                and attractive estate. AMEC is a key employer at this site;

                                Radbroke Hall: located to the south of Knutsford along the A50, the site is home to Barclays
                                Bank, and employs several thousand IT and support staff;

                                Stanley Road Industrial Estate: located near to the town centre, the site contains a terrace of
                                12 light industrial / storage units; and

                                Longridge Trading Estate: the estate is located on Mobberley Road opposite the office units and
                                car showroom off the Parkgate Industrial Estate. The site comprises a number of general industrial

                         2.12 In terms of potential future development there is an allocation for a further 9ha of industrial
                         development on land north of the Parkgate Industrial Estate. A planning application has been submitted
                         and recommended for approval which seeks to develop this allocation, however, a legal agreement
                         has yet to be finalised. There is also an extant planning permission for further development on land
                         to the eastern side of the industrial estate. The development of these sites is constrained at present
                         by the railway line, which may necessitate a tunnel being provided in order to access these areas.

                         2.13 Knutsford's working age population, at approximately 57.5%, is slightly below the average for
                         Cheshire East (60.1%); the discrepancy is accounted for by the proportion of residents aged 65 and
                         over compared with Cheshire East as a whole. The town also has a marginally lower economic activity
                         rate than average for Cheshire East; the town has a relatively high proportion of retired individuals,
                         and a relatively low proportion of students.

                         Town Centre
                         2.14 The heart of the centre is concentrated along King Street, Minshull Street and Princess Street.
                         Knutsford's town centre retains much of its traditional Georgian and Victorian architecture, along with
A Snapshot of the Town

                         more idiosyncratic structures such as the Gaskell Memorial Tower on King Street; the quality of its
                         architecture, along with its small independent boutiques, bars and restaurants, is an important attraction
                         of the town. Knutsford has one main convenience retailer, Booths supermarket, along with smaller
                         Co-op and Sainsbury's stores, and a recently opened Waitrose store on Princess Street. The town
                         is also home to a number of national multiple retailers including Boots and Waterstones.

                         2.15 While the original markets in Knutsford can be traced back to a Charter issued from King
                         Edward 1 in 1292, the current general retail market in Silk Mill Street was opened in 1950. The Market
                         Hall is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, on the 1st Saturday of each month the
                         town holds a farmers' market.

          10             CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
2.16   The 2010 Town Centre Survey carried out by
Cheshire East Council provides the following information:

     There are 286 units in the town centre;

     Only 6% (17 units) are vacant, which compares
     favourably with the average for Cheshire East (12%)
     and England (13.9%);

     137 units were in A1 use (shops);

     24 units were in A2 use (financial and professional

     34 were in A3/A4/A5 uses (restaurants, cafés,
     drinking establishments, and hot-food takeways).

     61 units were in residential use, with the remaining
     units in a number of different uses.

2.17 The Cheshire Retail Study Update 2011 provides
the following additional information:                                    Figure 2.4 Knutsford Town Centre

     There is 28,650 sqm of retail floorspace in the town;

     6.6% of the floorspace is for convenience (food) retailing;

     36.1% of the floorspace is for comparison (clothes, electrical, furniture etc) retailing.

2.18 In terms of potential development, there is an extant planning permission for an ALDI store
at the bottom of King Street, adjacent to the old library. Policies in the existing Macclesfield Local
Plan propose redevelopment and environmental improvements at key locations within the town centre,
including the areas around Red Cow Yard and Silk Mill Street. A previous allocation centred on the
Royal George Hotel has since been completed (the area known as Regent Street).

                                                          2.19     The Macclesfield Local Plan also
                                                          contained a policy to pedestrianise part of the
                                                          town centre, in particular much of King Street.
                                                          The Knutsford Town Plan (as prepared by the
                                                          Town Council in March 2010) suggested that
                                                          there was much support for pedestrianisation
                                                          of part of King Street. 73% of respondents to
                                                                                                            A Snapshot of the Town

                                                          the town plan survey considered the scheme
                                                          would improve the character of the town
                                                          centre, although 33% of respondents were
                                                          concerned about potential adverse affects on
                                                          trade resulting from the proposal. 74% of
                                                          respondents backed pedestrianisation of the
                                                          section of King Street between Church Hill /
                                                          Moorside Car Park and Minshull Street / Old
Figure 2.5 Regent Street Redevelopment                    Market Place.

                  CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                       11
                         2.20 The town is relatively well located in relation to strategic transport networks. The main roads
                         through the town include the A50 (which runs north-south) and the A537 (which runs eastward towards
                         Macclesfield); at peak times these roads become congested. The town is in close proximity to J19
                         of the M6, and the M56 is easily accessible from the A556. Manchester Airport is located less than
                         10 miles from Knutsford.

                         2.21 There are six public car parks with a combined capacity of 635 spaces, these are: King Street
                         (131 spaces), Silk Mill Street (30 spaces), Old Market Place (12 spaces), Princess Street (54 spaces),
                         Tatton Street (144 spaces) and Booths (264 spaces). Parking capacity has been noted as a problem
                         in the Macclesfield Local Plan, which allocated sites for new / additional parking at Church Walk and
                         by the train station. In the Knutsford Town Plan survey, undertaken by the Town Council, 72% of
                         respondents felt there was not enough parking within the town, though views on a multi-storey car
                         park were mixed.

                         2.22 The town is served by a centrally located railway station on the mid-Cheshire line, and has
                         one train per hour to Chester, Manchester, Altrincham, Northwich and Stockport. The service is run
                         by Northern Rail.

                         2.23 Knutsford benefits from 57 bus journeys arriving or departing from the town each day. The
                         main bus stops are at Knutsford bus station and near Knutsford railway station. Destinations served
                         include Macclesfield, Chelford, Warrington, Wilmslow, Altrincham and Northwich. There is also a
                         circular service within the town itself.

                         Open Space & Countryside
                         2.24 The land around Knutsford is dominated by large historic houses and their accompanying
                         estate farms, woodlands and lodges. The transition between town and country around Knutsford is
                         softened by patches of densely wooded areas. The countryside which surrounds the town is entirely
                         designated as Green Belt land.

                         2.25 In general terms the countryside is an area of
                         medium scale, slightly undulating landscape. In the
                         north the dominant estate is Tatton Park. Within the
                         park a number of large scale elements are particularly
                         impressive: the length of Tatton Mere as it extends
                         into the distance, the extent of several of the grazing
                         fields, and the length and sweep of the two principal

                         2.26 South of the town there are even more historic
                         houses and estates including Booths Hall, Toft Hall;
A Snapshot of the Town

                         Tabley House can also be found to the west of
                         Knutsford. The land here is generally slightly                        Figure 2.6 Tatton Mere in the snow
                         undulating but there are several flatter areas. The area
                         is mainly pastoral farmland where the hedgerow system is relatively intact; these screen and filter
                         many views across the landscape. However, there are a number of locations where agriculture
                         appears much more intensive. Here larger and flatter arable fields and low trimmed hedges combine
                         to create larger scale landscapes with panoramic views.

                         2.27 The Pennine Hills also feature prominently, filling the eastern skyline in the distance, with the
                         extensive buildings of Manchester Airport occupying the middle ground. This close proximity ensures
                         that moving aircraft, either descending or ascending, are a constant factor in any elevated view.

          12             CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
2.28 There is a small area of flood risk on the eastern periphery of the town, where the Birkin Brook

2.29     Within and around the town there are a number of greenspaces including:

       The Heath: originally home to a racecourse, this is now an area of lowland heathland close to
       the town centre, consisting of a mosaic of oak woodland, clumps of birch, heather, gorse, tall
       herb and grassland. A fair is held on The Heath each year to mark the Knutsford Royal May Day

       The Moor: this Green Flag award-winning park provides a green and pleasant break from the
       tightly enclosed streets of the historic town centre adjacent to it. It is one of the largest areas of
       fen and reed in Cheshire, consisting of open water, reedswamp, tall fen and willow carr. Plant
       species of interest include marsh fern, cowbane, cyperus sedge and wood horsetail.

       Sanctuary Moor: this is a large wooded area of wetland that runs along the back of the properties
       facing Legh Road and Toft Road. It is a designated area of nature conservation importance. A
       local residents group has been established which seeks to ascertain the cause of high water
       levels and poor drainage associated with the area.

       St John's Wood: this is also designated as an area of nature conservation importance; it is
       located in the eastern part of the town behind the Longridge housing estate.

       Tatton Park: owned by the National Trust and managed by Cheshire East Council, the historic
       parkland stretches over 400 ha, and includes a 90 ha area (incorporating Tatton Mere) that is
       designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The site is also a Ramsar site. Tatton is a
       grade II* Registered Park, and the park's designers are amongst some of the finest in the history
       of English parks and gardens – Humphrey Repton, John Webb, Lewis Wyatt and Joseph Paxton.
       In addition to the decorative and formal Italian and Japanese gardens, there are many clumps
       of trees and coverts as well as solitary trees that are part of the designed parkland. Dog Wood
       and Tatton Mere Covert are both ancient broadleaved woodlands with a rich and varied ground
       flora. Shawheath Plantation is a mature plantation woodland with a number of introduced species.

                                                                                                                A Snapshot of the Town

                                             Figure 2.7 The Moor

2.30     Other notable areas of greenspace and nature conservation value near Knutsford include:

       Birkin, Marthall and Pedley Brooks
       Booths Mere
       Windmill and Oak Woods
       Allotments at Warren Avenue, Mereheath Lane and Sparrow Lane.

                    CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                         13
                         The Built Environment
                         2.31 Knutsford is blessed with a rich and historic architectural heritage. The town has two large
                         designated conservation areas and two smaller ones.

                                                           Figure 2.8 Heritage Assets in Knutsford

                         2.32 A large conservation area covers the town centre, which
                         is notable for its Georgian and Victorian buildings that line the
                         two principal shopping streets, King Street and Princess Street,
                         and for the two large open spaces which bound the town centre,
                         each with its own character. These spaces, The Moor to the east,
                         and The Heath to the west, contrast with each other – the former
                         being wild, watery, and overlain with reed beds, the latter being
                         partly wooded, undulating, and with a large, open common.

                         2.33 The difference in height between King Street and Princess
                         Street allows attractive views across the town, punctuated by
                         the prestigious 19th century buildings in Toft Road, and by
A Snapshot of the Town

                         Richard Harding Watt’s towers in King Street and Drury Lane
                         (especially the iconic Gaskell Memorial Tower).

                         2.34 A second large conservation area is focused around Legh
                         Road. The area is characterised by its prestigious, usually
                         detached villas, mostly dating between 1870 and 1914. These
                         sit in generous plots with mature tree planting, which in places         Figure 2.9 Gaskell Memorial Tower
                         hides them from public view. Legh Road itself forms the 'spine'
                         of the conservation area, and winds gently through the leafy surroundings. Chelford Road and Toft
                         Road mark the eastern and western boundaries. Of note are the varied designs and materials of the
                         Victorian and Edwardian villas, the grassy verges, and the wide, tree-lined roads. Increasingly, modern
                         replacement dwellings are influencing the character of this area.

          14             CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
2.35 The third conservation area is Heathfield Square. It is laid out following the principles of the
‘Garden City’ movement, as exemplified by development at Letchworth and Hampstead Garden
Suburb at the turn of the Twentieth Century. It is also notable for its historical value as part of the
‘homes for heroes’ building programme that took place after World War I. The buildings are well
detailed in brick with banded string courses, dentil decoration and articulated quoins, although many
houses have now lost their original fenestration.

2.36 The Crosstown conservation area is historically significant as it is possibly the oldest settlement
within the wider town of Knutsford. A number of the cottages on the east side of Mobberley Road
incorporate internal timber framing and the raised pavement, two metres high at its tallest point along
part of the row, is a distinctive and attractive feature. The building group as a whole is picturesque
and has historic merit though some houses have now lost their original fenestration. To the west of
Mobberley Road, the Church of St Cross is an imposing building of 1880-81 by Paley and Austin.
Constructed in brick and terracotta, with a massive crossing tower, it assumes a commanding role
in the immediate townscape.

                                                  2.37 The quality of the town's overall architectural
                                                  heritage is also reflected by the number of Listed
                                                  Buildings it possesses, including one Grade I building
                                                  (Unitarian Chapel), 7 Grade II* buildings (Sessions
                                                  House, St John’s Church, St Cross’s Church, Bexton
                                                  Croft House, 98 and 125 King Street, Former King’s
                                                  Coffee House and the Gaskell Memorial Tower), and
                                                  68 Grade II buildings. A further 16 buildings in
                                                  Knutsford are included on the Council's Local List of
                                                  Historic Buildings. There are more Listed Buildings
                                                  close to the town including the mansion at Tatton
                                                  Park (Grade I).

                                                 2.38     In terms of archaeology, there are two
Figure 2.10 Unitarian Chapel
                                                 Scheduled Monuments in the town, the former church
of St John (or St Helena’s Chapel) and burial ground (SM 25728) and the moat manor house at
Norbury Booths Hall (SM 13449). The Macclesfield Local Plan identified 3 Areas of Archaeological
Potential with Knutsford. The first is in the Crosstown part of Knutsford, which is thought to be a
possible site of medieval settlement; the discovery of a cross base in the area suggests that it could
have been the site of a medieval market.

2.39 The second area is the Nether Knutsford Historic Core, which covers much of the current
town centre, and is the location for which a Market Charter was granted in 1292; it is noted that,
particularly on King Street, many medieval burgage plots still survive. The third area is Over Knutsford,
situated in the southern part of the town, which follows the line of Chelford Road. This zone possibly
contained a medieval settlement and market place. A Borough Charter was awarded to Over Knutsford
                                                                                                            A Snapshot of the Town

in 1292, and a Market Charter was granted in 1335.

Community Infrastructure
2.40 The term 'community infrastructure' covers a wide number of facilities and services including
education, learning and childcare; health care and social care services; leisure facilities; community
safety and policing; and public meeting places.

2.41 There is a strong feeling of community spirit within Knutsford, with a number of community
events held throughout the year and a significant number of active community members.

                   CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                      15
                         2.42     The town has the following outdoor sports facilities actively used at present:

                                4 bowling greens (all private)

                                2 cricket pitches (both private)

                                6 adult / senior football pitches (four at Egerton Youth Club, and one at Knutsford Football
                                Ground, and one at the high school) and 7 junior / 7-a-side pitches (including one at the high
                                school, three at Bexton Primary School and the remainder at Egerton Youth Club)

                                1 general sports field for informal games at Manor Park Primary School

                                2 netball / basketball courts (both at Knutsford High School)

                                2 rubgy pitches (one at Egerton Youth Club and one at the high school)

                                14 tennis courts (7 at the high school / leisure centre and 7 at Knutsford Sports Club)

                         2.43 In addition to the above, the Knutsford Golf Club is located just outside the town on the edge
                         of Tatton Park.

                         2.44     Facilities for Children and Teenagers include the following:

                                3 municipal kickabout areas

                                3 municipal playgrounds

                                1 multi-use games area (MUGA)

                                1 non-specific recreational areas

                         2.45 The emerging open space study for Cheshire East has identified a shortfall in the amount of
                         children's play space and a shortage of municipal outdoor sports provision in the town.

                         2.46 Indoor sports facilities are mainly located at the Knutsford Leisure Centre, which offers a 25m
                         swimming pool, a sports hall and squash court, an 'Everybody Fitness Suite', a health suite, a floodlit
                         outdoor synthetic sports area, 4 outdoor tennis courts, and drama and dance studios. The Egerton
                         Youth Club also provides a sports hall.

                         2.47 All schools in Cheshire East are clustered into voluntary partnerships known as Education
                         Improvement Partnerships (EIP). Each EIP covers a discrete area, and seeks to develop an integrated
                         approach to delivering children’s services and ultimately to achieving better outcomes for young
A Snapshot of the Town

                         people. Knutsford is situated within the Knutsford EIP area. Within the area there are 7 primary schools
                         (providing 1446 spaces) and 1 secondary school (providing 1606 spaces). Based on current projections
                         there are sufficient primary and secondary school places in the area to meet demand over the next
                         5 years although the anticipated surplus for primary places is low.

                         2.48 There are 3 doctors' surgeries within the town, along with a community hospital. The hospital
                         is managed by the East Cheshire NHS Trust and has one 18-bed ward on the site for patients needing
                         rehabilitation or sub-acute care. The hospital does not have an A&E department. Other health related
                         facilities in Knutsford include 4 dental practices, 4 pharmacies, and 3 opticians. There had been plans
                         to rationalise primary care provision within the town, however, due to insufficient funding and uncertainty

          16             CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
regarding the future of the PCT, the proposed new health centre is not going to be progressed at the
present time. In the Town Council consultation on the Knutsford Town Plan opinion on the health
centre was mixed, with 44% of respondents supporting a new centre, and 46% against a new facility.

2.49 There is a police station situated next to Toft Road, a fire station located near the Parkgate
Industrial Estate, and an ambulance station located off Northwich Road. Sessions House, which was
built in 1818, currently houses a Crown Court which deals with criminal cases.

2.50 In terms of leisure and cultural assets, perhaps the greatest asset for the town is Tatton Park.
It contains the mansion, Tatton Old Hall, Italian and Japanese gardens, a farm, and a deer park over
a 1,000 acres in size. The Tatton Park Biennial celebrates contemporary art with installations found
across the historic parkland, and an RHS Flower Show is held there in the summer of each year.
Other cultural assets include the Knutsford Heritage Centre, Penny Farthing Museum, the Little
Theatre, and the council-owned single-screen Studio Cinema. A small number of arts & crafts galleries
can also be found within the centre.

2.51 Knutsford library is located on Toft Road, and is open six days a week. The library provides
many services and facilities including a Customer Service Point, computers with internet access and
printers / scanners, local studies and the Whitfield and Mrs Gaskell collections.

2.52 A recent study commissioned by the council, which investigates the potential for renewable
energy schemes across Cheshire East, noted that there was an opportunity for a district heating
scheme in Knutsford, due to the number of anchor loads within areas of suitable heat density and
proposed new development.

2.53   The location of community infrastructure throughout the town is shown in the Figure below:

                                                                                                        A Snapshot of the Town

                             Figure 2.11 Infrastructure Assets in Knutsford

                 CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                    17
               To Sum Up...
               3.1    Some of the challenges for Knutsford are as follows. What else should be added to this list?


                     There is a requirement to ensure sufficient housing is provided to meet the needs of the town's
                     present and future residents. This will have to be balanced with the availability of land and may
                     require the planned release of sites from the Green Belt

                     There are severe problems with residents’ ability to access housing on the open market, especially
                     for first-time buyers. There is an estimated need of 64 affordable dwellings to be provided each
                     year in the town


                     The working age population is slightly lower than the average for Cheshire East

               Town Centre

                     Possible pedestrianisation of King Street (74% of respondents to the Knutsford Town Council
                     town plan survey supported the scheme)

                     Potential redevelopment of the immediate area Silk Mill Street around


                     Local parking capacity is considered to be insufficient to meet current demand

               Open Space & Countryside

                     There appear to be shortages of outdoor sports space and facilities for teenagers and children

                     Sanctuary Moor appears to have some localised flooding problems

               Built Environment

                     The town has a rich architectural heritage which needs to be conserved and enhanced

               Community Infrastructure

                     Previous proposals to rationalise the town's GP surgeries into 1 health centre had been halted
                     due to lack of funding and uncertainty over the primary care trust's future.
To Sum Up...

     18        CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report


             Appendix A: Glossary of Terms

             Affordable Housing         Affordable housing covers a range of housing types and tenures. It
                                        includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing,
                                        provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.
                                        Affordable housing should meet the needs of eligible households including
                                        availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard
                                        to local incomes and local house prices. It should include provision for
                                        the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households
                                        or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for
                                        alternative affordable housing provision.
             Allocated / Allocation     An allocated site is one that has been identified for development through
                                        the planning process. Existing allocated sites in Cheshire East are those
                                        identified within the three former authority Local Plans. Future site
                                        allocations will be made within the Core Strategy and Site Allocations
                                        Development Plan Documents.
             Annual Monitoring Report The Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) forms part of the Local Development
                                      Framework. The purpose of the report is to:

                                             Provide a profile of the Borough of information and key trends;
                                             Identify the effects of planning policies on social, environmental and
                                             economic outputs;
                                             Help determine the extent to which objectives, targets and
                                             programmes are being met;
                                             Inform and guide future plans and policies; and
                                             Monitor the extent to which the timetable set out in the Local
                                             Development Scheme is being met.

             Combined Heat and          CHP is the use of a power generator to simultaneously generate electricity
             Power (CHP)                and useful heat, to provide hot water for example in a district heating
             Community Infrastructure Community infrastructure is the basic facilities, services, and installations
                                      needed for the functioning of a community or society.
                                      Community infrastructure includes community buildings and halls, leisure
                                      facilities, education services, healthcare facilities and renewable energy
             Comparison Retail          Non-food retailing, e.g. clothes, electrical goods, furniture etc.
             Conservation Area          An area considered worthy of preservation or enhancement because of
                                        its special architectural or historic interest.
             Convenience Retail         Food retailing.
             Core Strategy              The Core Strategy will set the strategic spatial planning framework for
                                        how Cheshire East will develop in the future. Its vision, objectives and
                                        strategic policies are overarching and form the basis for the whole LDF.

             District Heating           A system for distributing heat generated in a central location for example
                                        in a combined heat and power plant.
             Green Infrastructure       The network of natural environmental components and green and blue
                                        spaces that lies within and between cities, towns and villages which

    20       CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
                           provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. Green
                           Infrastructure is the region's life support system.
Habitats Regulations       The Habitats Regulations Assessment process is intended to describe
Assessment                 and evaluate the likely significant effects of implementing a policy
                           document on Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation
                           and Ramsar sites, taking into account the document‟s objectives and
                           geographical scope. It is required to ensure that the document will not
                           individually or cumulatively impact on the Natura 2000 network.
Index of Multiple          The IMD measures the level of deprivation of an area down to the Lower
Deprivation (IMD)          Super Output Area level.
Jobs Density               The number of jobs per working age person in a given area.
Listed Building            A building or structure that has been placed on English Heritage's
                           Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
                           Listed Buildings may not be demolished or altered without permission
                           from the local planning authority. There are three grades of listing: Grade
                           I (buildings of exceptional interest); Grade II* (particularly important
                           buildings of more than special interest); and Grade II (nationally important
                           buildings of special interest).
Local Development          A folder of documents that will outline the development plan for Cheshire
Framework (LDF)            East. This sets out the planning policies used when determining planning
Locally Listed Building    Locally listed buildings are listed by the Council in addition to English
                           Heritage's Statutory List for buildings that are of local importance. There
                           is no statutory protection for buildings on the local list.
Lower Super Output Area A set of geographical areas developed by the Office for National Statistics
(LSOA)                  to enable data to be analysed at a very local level. They typically have
                        a population of around 1,500 people.
Ramsar Site                Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance, designated under
                           the Ramsar Convention.

Scheduled Ancient          A SAM is a nationally scheduled (protected) structure of special historic
Monument (SAM)             interest or significance, ranging from a earthworks to ruins to buried
Section 106 Agreement      A legal agreement relating to monies paid by developers to the Council
(s106)                     in order to offset the costs of the external effects of development, for
                           example to fund new school places, provide new green spaces or improve
                           a road layout.
Site Allocations           The Site Allocations document is part of the LDF and will contain land
Document                   allocations and detailed policies and proposals to deliver and guide the
                           future use of this land.
Site of Biological         A SBI is a local non-statutory designation to protect locally valued sites

Importance (SBI)           of biodiversity.
Site of Special Scientific A SSSI is an area with statutory protection of national importance for its
Interest (SSSI)            special interest, which may be due to its fauna, flora, geological or
                           geomorphological features.

                   CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                    21
             Special Area of            SACs are areas which have been given special protection under the
             Conservation (SAC)         European Union’s Habitats Directive. They provide increased protection
                                        to a variety of wild animals, plants and habitats and are a vital part of
                                        global efforts to conserve the world’s biodiversity.

             Special Protection Area    SPAs are areas which have been identified as being of international
             (SPA)                      importance for the breeding, feeding, wintering or the migration of rare
                                        and vulnerable species of birds found within European Union countries.
                                        They are European designated sites, classified under the ‘Birds Directive
                                        1979’ which provides enhanced protection given by the Site of Special
                                        Scientific Interest (SSSI) status all SPAs also hold.

             Strategic Environmental    SEA is a method of ensuring that policies, plans and programmes
             Assessment (SEA)           incorporate environmental considerations and is required under an EU
                                        Directive. This will be incorporated into the Sustainability Appraisal.
             Strategic Housing Land     The SHLAA is is a key component of the evidence base to support the
             Availability Assessment    delivery of sufficient land for housing; to meet the community’s need for
             (SHLAA)                    more homes; and to inform housing policy within the Cheshire East Local
                                        Development Framework.
             Strategic Housing Market This is a study that assesses the local housing markets and need for
             Assessment (SHMA)        housing in the area.
             Sustainability Appraisal   Sustainability Appraisal is a process that identifies and reports on the
             (SA)                       likely effects of a plan, and the extent to which the plan's implementation
                                        will impact upon the environmental, social and economic objectives for
                                        an area.

    22       CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report
Appendix B: References
         Author                                         Document                                  Date
Cheshire East Council     Settlement Study                                                    2010
Cheshire East Council     Strategic Housing Market Assessment                                 2010
Cheshire East Council     Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment                      2010
Cheshire East Council     Housing Monitoring Survey                                           2011
Cheshire East Council - Annual Business Enquiry                                               2008
Research and Intelligence
Cheshire East Council     Annual Monitoring Report                                            2010
Town Centre
Cheshire East Council     Shopping Surveys                                                    2010
Cheshire East Council     Annual Monitoring Report                                            2010
Cheshire East Council     Cheshire Retail Study Update                                        2011
Cheshire East Council     Transport Baseline Data Report                                      2010
Cheshire East Council     Rights of Way Improvement Plan                                      2011
Cheshire East Council     Local Transport Plan                                                2011
Cheshire East Council     Car Parks Town by Town                                              2011
Cheshire East Council     Cycle Routes in Cheshire                                            2011
Sustrans                  Cheshire Cycle Routes                                               2011
The Natural Environment
Cheshire East Council     Cheshire Landscape Character Assessment                             2007
Cheshire East Council     Open Spaces Database                                                Unpublished
Cheshire East Council     Green Infrastructure Framework for North East Wales, Cheshire and   2011
Cheshire Wildlife Trust                   2011
The Built Environment
Macclesfield Borough      Knutsford Conservation Area Appraisal                               2005
Macclesfield Borough      Cross Town Conservation Area Appraisal                              2007
Macclesfield Borough      Heathfield Square Conservation Area Appraisal                       2007
Macclesfield Borough      Legh Road Conservation Area Appraisal                               2005
Community Infrastructure
Cheshire East Council     Leisure, Culture and Tourism                                        2011
Cheshire East Council     Infrastructure Study                                                Unpublished
Renewable Energy
Cheshire East Council     Climate Change and Renewables Study                                 2011
Knutsford Town Council Knutsford Town Plan                                                    2010

Sources of information for this Town Strategy

                   CHESHIRE EAST LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK Knutsford Snapshot Report                      23

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