EXTRAORDINARY plans to transform a former airfield site into a luxury family home with an underground car gallery for 50 vehicles have been approved.

Duncan Cameron’s planning application proposing the construction of a property with the private car storage facility was passed by the development management committee on Wednesday.

The site is located on green belt land within the old Stretton Airfield, which straddles the local authority boundary between Warrington and Cheshire East, with the main element of the scheme falling within Warrington.

But Antrobus Parish Council, Stretton Parish Council and Appleton Parish Council had objected, along with five residents – although High Legh Parish Council said it would be the ‘best use’ of the land.

Appleton Parish Council believed there were no exceptional circumstances to build in the green belt.

Annabel Partridge, from NJL Consulting, who was acting on behalf of Mr Cameron, told the committee the scheme is a ‘rare opportunity’.

“It is a truly unique development that could be recognised at a national scale due to its architectural quality and creativity,” she said.

“It is a scheme the borough can genuinely be proud of.”

However, concerns were raised by Cllr Judith Wheeler (LD – Appleton).

“This is not an attractive site, it is a very flat airfield,” she said.

Warrington Guardian:

The former airfield site

“The security around it is very intense and quite frightening.

“It is actually very unpleasant to go up there.

“If you want to build in Appleton, I can think of far more attractive places to build.”

Shortly after, Cllr Bob Barr (LD – Lymm North and Thelwall) hailed the applicant’s use of a design panel before bringing the scheme to the Town Hall.

He called on members to take the comments from the panel at ‘face value’.

“The building is not necessarily to my liking but I would bow to the expertise of the design panel in that it is an exceptional building,” added Cllr Barr.

The application comprised the circular car storage facility and the property, which will provide accommodation over three floors with an external rooftop viewing deck.

The gallery is a double-height space and, therefore, sits partially beneath and partially above the ground.

The basement will feature a pool, gym and jacuzzi, along with a ‘sunken lounge’, storage and plant spaces – with these spaces planned to directly adjoin the car storage area and offer views to the gallery.

Vehicular access to the house will be taken from Crowley Lane, via an existing airfield taxiway to the east of the site

The application was approved, subject to conditions.

But, as it involves the provision of floor space of more than 1000m² in the green belt, it will now be referred to the secretary of state.