The Garden Village at Handforth

  • Around 104 hectare site
  • Gained government backing for a Garden Village in January 2017
  • New homes (providing about 1,500 homes by 2030)
  • New Local Centre
  • Quality Green Infrastructure
  • An exemplar, design-led scheme



The Garden Village at Handforth is key strategic development site for Cheshire East Council and is allocated as such within the Local Plan. In January 2017, it was announced that The Garden Village at Handforth received government backing as one of their 14 new Garden Villages across the country.


The site is within the eastern edge of Handforth, east of the A34 and south of the A555. The site is under several ownerships, with Cheshire East Council owning approximately 72 hectares, of which five hectares is currently leased to Total Fitness.


Engine of the North has established a new, innovative approach to a mixed-use development on this site, creating a sustainable community in a quality environment. The ultimate design standards of any new development will be to ensure the highest possible quality development. As a first step, Engine of the North commissioned Hemingway Design, led by acclaimed designer Wayne Hemingway, to create a vision document for the new village. This vision was the subject of a number of public consultations in the spring and summer of 2016. Escape Urbanists are now producing a detailed Design Guide and Parameters Masterplan for the site. These documents and other supporting information will be consulted by the Council as a proposed draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and subject to consultation responses they will hopefully adopt the SPD in early 2018.


It is proposed that Engine of the North will remain as lead developer for the project, managing the planning process and providing primary infrastructure. EotN will also dispose of their areas of the site in phases, to ensure control is retained and the site is developed in accordance with the adopted SPD. Other third party owners of the site must also develop their land in accordance with the SPD.


What are the benefits of North Cheshire Garden Village?


  • By creating a new Garden Village, we can deliver improved facilities and community infrastructure to the area, such as education, health facilities, community buildings, recreation and open space provision.
  • Providing space for new businesses, including shops and cafes, helping to create new job opportunities locally in addition to those created during construction.
  • The Garden Village at Handforth will support all ages and backgrounds, including starter homes, family homes, self-build plots, retirement and assisted-living housing.
  • The Garden Village at Handforth will deliver a sustainable community with enhanced transport links with space for trees, planting and landscaping.
  • By building this community, we can take the pressure off other towns and villages locally and bring significant investment into local infrastructure.
  • A large portion of the site will be created and managed as public open space and protected for wildlife areas.


What’s happening now?


We are producing the Design Code for the development and Cheshire East Council will be undertaking public consultation on the Code in due course. The Code will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This ensures that an exemplar development is delivered here.


Keep an eye on the ‘Current Consultations’ pages for more details.


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