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Stockport homes receive planning approval

A plan for nearly 1,000 new homes on the site of a former BAE Systems site in Stockport has been approved by a single-vote majority.Stockport Council planning committee chairman Lenny Grice cast the deciding vote, granting permission for developer Harrow Estates to begin work at Woodford Aerodrome. The scheme has now been referred to communities secretary Eric Pickles for approval.Developers plan to construct high-quality and affordable homes on the 500-acre site, designed to complement the area's existing housing. This could comprise a mixture of two, three, four and five-bedroom (or larger) properties.Some of the homes are planned for the social rented sector, while others will be shared ownership. The rent to buy category will cover a proportion of the properties, and specialist and supported accommodation may also be included.Harrow Estates plans to achieve 40 per cent affordable homes, with a 50/50 split between intermediate housing and social rented properties.In addition to the residential developments, retail, community and employment facilities are planned for the site, with a primary school and public house set to be constructed.As the proposed project is on greenbelt land, the plans have been formulated to ensure the development is well-integrated with the surrounding environment. Public open space for formal recreation and children's play areas will also form part of the development.The Manchester Evening News reports that planning approval was granted for demolition work, access roads and a hybrid application for full planning permission for 'phase one' of the project, while outline approval was given for the rest of the scheme.Concerns had been raised by Woodford Community Council and the Woodford Neighbourhood Forum over the size of the development, the lack of employment opportunities and community facilities, and the potential for traffic disruption.AVRO Heritage acquired the site in 2011 after BAE Systems ceased operations at Woodford. A joint venture was subsequently formed with Harrow Estates to benefit from the firm's development expertise. 

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