Policy PG 5: Strategic Green Gaps

  1. Areas between the following settlements are defined as Strategic Green Gaps:
    1. Willaston / Wistaston / Nantwich / Crewe;
    2. Willaston / Rope / Shavington / Crewe;
    3. Crewe / Shavington / Basford / Weston; and
    4. Crewe / Haslington.
  2. These areas are shown on Figure 8.3. The detailed boundaries of the Strategic Green Gaps will be defined through the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document and shown on the Adopted Policies Map.
  3. The purposes of Strategic Green Gaps are to:
    1. Provide long-term protection against coalescence;
    2. Protect the setting and separate identity of settlements; and
    3. Retain the existing settlement pattern by maintaining the openness of land.
  4. Within Strategic Green Gaps, Policy PG 6 'Open Countryside' will apply. In addition, planning permission will not be granted for the construction of new buildings or the change of use of existing buildings of land which would:
    1. Result in erosion of a physical gap between any of the settlements named in this policy; or
    2. Adversely affect the visual character of the landscape; or
    3. Significantly affect the undeveloped character of the Green Gap, or lead to the coalescence between existing settlements.
  5. Exceptions to this policy will only be considered where it can be demonstrated that no suitable alternative location is available.

Provision of sufficient areas of open space to the south and east of Hollyhedge Farmhouse to maintain its open rural setting;Provision of a substantial landscaped edge to the south/south east of the development parcel immediately to the south of the railway line (on the opposite side of Main Road to Hollyhedge Farm).  This should combine a mix of copse and individual tree planting contained by a new native hedgerow.  At the point nearest Hollyhedge Farm in the south eastern corner, a copse should be created.  It should include woodland planting on the western edge of the parcel, tying in with the woodland buffer of the Basford East site; Provision of open space and appropriate parkland landscaping alongside the access/drive and to the south of Crewe Hall Farmhouse and associated barnProvision of an area of greenspace to the east of Stowford hamlet, retaining the existing pond, trees and other positive planting as a key space within the development; 


8.60 Within the areas to the south, east and west of Crewe, there are a number of neighbouring towns and villages in close proximity to each other. As Crewe has grown throughout the 20th Century, erosion of the gaps between Crewe, Nantwich and a number of smaller settlements has caused settlements to merge into the urban area in some cases, and very narrow gaps to remain in other cases.

8.61 The identification of Crewe as a spatial priority for growth brings significant opportunities for this area, but also some challenges. As Crewe grows to fulfil its potential it will become increasingly important to maintain the distinctive identity of Nantwich and other nearby settlements and to prevent them from merging into a Greater Crewe urban area. Accordingly it is not just the narrowest of gaps that are important – to maintain the sense of separation a broader area of open land is necessary – including that adjoining smaller settlements.

8.62 As set out in the ‘New Green Belt and Strategic Open Gaps’ study, strong and strategic long-term policy protection is required to maintain the existing gaps between Crewe and Nantwich, and between Crewe and other settlements that are at risk of coalescence resulting from the future growth of Crewe.

8.63 The detailed boundaries of the Strategic Green Gaps will be defined through the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document and shown on the Adopted Policies Map. This will allow for the full spatial definition of the policy and its delineation to an Ordnance Survey base. Until that time, the Green Gap boundaries, as defined in the saved Policy NE.4 of the Borough of Crewe and Nantwich Replacement Local Plan will remain in force, apart from where specific changes are proposed in this document through the allocation of Local Plan Strategy sites, or where significant development proposals (10 or more residential units / 1,000 + sq.m. floorspace) adjacent to the urban area have an uncontested planning permission (or have been completed). The land to north of Moorfields, Willaston currently has planning permission for residential development (13/3688N) but remains in the Green Gap pending the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment. The judgment of the Supreme Court will subsequently be reflected in the detailed boundary of the Strategic Green Gap defined through the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document and shown on the Adopted Policies Map.

Key Evidence

  1. National Planning Policy Framework
  2. Cheshire East Green Belt Assessment Update
  3. Safeguarded Land Advice Note

Policy information


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