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15.618 The main intention behind allocating this site is to provide employment land within the town and to create a more sustainable community by better balancing the proportion of housing and jobs in the town. This is considered necessary as Sandbach has seen a significant reduction in employment land but relatively high levels of housing development in recent years. This allocation presents the opportunity to deliver a mixed used development site with the primary use of the site being for employment purposes, whilst acknowledging that supporting residential development will be needed to help enable the access and infrastructure improvements required to deliver the whole site. It is intended that the development of the site will include the provision of supporting facilities, complimentary to the principal employment use whilst also protecting important existing environmental features.
15.619 The site is greenfield and is currently in agricultural use with a watercourse bisecting the site north to south. Surrounding uses include agricultural land, residential development and the M6 motorway.
Site LPS 53
The development of land adjacent to Junction 17 of the M6, south east of Congleton Road over the Local Plan Strategy period will be achieved through a mixed use employment led development consisting of:
15.620 The strategic site is well connected to the existing settlement of Sandbach and contained by existing residential development to the north, west and south. To the east, the site boundary is formed by the M6 motorway. Capricorn lies at the gateway to Sandbach offering an excellent opportunity to capitalise on strong links to the M6, attract investment and skills to locate in the town and deliver a high quality sustainable urban extension.
15.621 The intention of this allocation is to ensure that the primary use of the site is for employment purposes with around 20 hectares being required for this purpose. Sandbach is experiencing substantial housing growth and this employment opportunity is key to ensuring that a balance of housing and employment development can come forward over the plan period. The employment component of the allocation is therefore seen as central to the achievement of sustainable development for the town. The site is allocated for class B1 business and B2 industrial, taking account of the characteristics of the site and the need for greater employment in Sandbach. However residential development up to 450 dwellings may be required as a sub-ordinate use to cover the infrastructure costs needed to enable delivery of the whole site. This will improve accessibility and provide contributions to improvements to the surrounding highway network including future improvements to junction 17 of the M6 motorway and the junctions on the A534 Old Mill Road corridor.
15.622 A key infrastructure consideration is the provision of a new access road and bridge across the wildlife corridor. This will provide a link between the principal site access by junction 17 and the main area of employment land in the centre of the site. The employment area should be separated from adjoining areas of housing by a landscaped tree buffer. Development of areas adjoining the Wildlife corridor should be accompanied by proposals for its retention and enhancement. This includes the provision of a management plan to govern long term management arrangements. In order to ensure that the bridge across the wildlife corridor is delivered, the council will consider using its compulsory purchase powers to enable the delivery of this key element of infrastructure.
15.623 The site should be developed in accordance with the allocations set out in Figure 15.64; this provides the appropriate balance of uses to meet the housing and employment needs of the town.
15.624 The provision of new green infrastructure and the improvement of existing green infrastructure are of paramount importance. This will assist in improving the health and wellbeing of residents and those working within the town, as well as enhancing the environment of the town. Appropriate landscaping and open space will be provided and integrated with adjacent development.
15.625 Any replacement and/or new sports provision should be in accordance with an adopted up to date and robust Playing Pitch Strategy and Indoor Sports Strategy and with Policy SC 2 ‘Indoor and Outdoor Sports Facilities’.