The Communities and Local Government Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has given the green light for 650 houses to be built in Hartford. The news comes after initial proposals had been rejected.

Harrow Estates put in its application to Cheshire West and Cheshire Council two years ago when seeking approval to develop 300 homes at Hartford’s Grange Farm. Bridgemere then submitted its own application for permission to construct 350 houses on Hollies Farm.

The appeal was heard in December last year. The council contacted the Planning Inspector two months prior to the hearing, admitting that it was not in a position to deliver a sufficient supply of sites – this was among the major issues being assessed. There were further worries regarding the possible effect of more vehicles in the area.

After reaching an agreement with the Planning Inspector, however, Eric Pickles has granted permission for both developments.

In a letter explaining the decision, he said:

“[The proposals] would provide substantial benefits both in terms of the government’s objective to secure a better balance between housing demand and supply, and the government’s objective to secure the creation of high quality, sustainable, mixed and inclusive communities.”

He went on to explain that the changes would not have a big effect on the area’s transport network.

After the turnaround, Redrow is now able to build on a part of Grange Farm, while the Hollies Farm site is still seeking a buyer.

Builders in Cheshire will no doubt welcome Eric Pickles’ decision, with opportunities for extra work sure to be on the horizon.