Representation on Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy
Link to online portal for comments or download paper version.
Cheshire East is inviting representations on its Submission Version of the Local Plan Strategy – before April 25th 2014 – which will be sent with the Plan for submission to the Sec of State. You will be asked whether you consider the plan to be legally compliant, sound and compliant with the duty to co-operate. The form also includes space for you to add your reasons, as well as what modifications you wish to see to the plan and whether you wish to participate in the examination process.
Representations can be made on the online portal above or by email to:
LoveGoostrey has made the following representation by email on behalf of the residents of Goostrey who objected to Goostrey being a Local Service Centre. You may wish to submit your own comments.
We generally support this Submission version of the Local Plan and agree that the Submission version of the Local Plan is Legally Compliant, Sound, and Compliant with the duty to co-operate. In particular we support Clause 8.34 where
“… in order to reduce unsustainable sporadic development, new housing will be strictly controlled. In the case of Goostrey which adjoins Holmes Chapel, a larger Local Service Centre, it is anticipated that development needs will largely be provided for in Holmes Chapel.”
However, we are concerned with respect to Policy SE14, as it requires Jodrell Bank to demonstrate how each development proposal would reduce the efficiency of the Lovell telescope which, from recent planning applications and appeals, appears to be difficult for them to do (refer to planning application 10/2647C Twemlow Lane and 14/0081C Hermitage lane). The planning statement on Hermitage Lane confirms that although the application was recommended for Refusal, Jodrell Bank’s objection to this development couldn’t be sustained in the opinion of the planning officer as it was assessed that the effect on the telescope would be similar to the Twemlow Lane development, refer to http://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecminutes/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=4854&Ver=4 . However, Jodrell Bank are concerned about the increase in housing around the observatory and the aggregate effect of interference that this would cause. It is the precedent set by any one development that makes it increasingly difficult for them to have any objection to development around the observatory sustained and hence it is this fact that is likely to reduce the efficiency of the Lovell Telescope. We also have concerns in regard to planning officers having to arbitrate on the technical issues of such complex science.
We therefore request than an amendment should be included to Policy SE14 (which could be included within the Site Allocations document) that the Local Plan should enforce at least a 2km ‘no development permitted’ zone around the Observatory to ensure the efficiency of the Lovell Telescope is maintained.
As Professor Garrington stated recently on planning application 14/0081C:-
“Jodrell Bank Observatory is operated by the University of Manchester and through a series of continuing major investments funded by the University, funding agencies and the EC its facilities represent the state-of-the art. These facilities are in great demand from hundreds of UK and international astrophysicists for world-leading research on topics from the formation of planets and stars to the evolution of galaxies and the universe. The Lovell Telescope is the third largest radio telescope in the world and is used by astronomers in the UK and as part of international collaborations for world leading research programmes. The signals that radio telescopes aim to detect are usually extremely weak. Radio astronomy relies on the national and international protection of the radio spectrum but even in those parts of the spectrum where all transmissions are prohibited, interference arises from a wide range of devices which emit radio noise unintentionally. Such devices are increasingly used in our homes, and it is not uncommon for a typical home to contain many computing devices (PCs, laptops, tablet computers, wi-fi devices, games consoles, computer peripherals etc) which have a significantly higher threshold for unintentional emission allowed by EC directives (eg those set by CISPR) than other domestic devices. Radio frequency interference (RFI) can cause spurious artifacts in the images and spectra produced by radio telescopes, it limits the precision of key measurements such as the timing of pulsars, which is now arguably the most promising way to test theories of gravity and detect gravitational waves, it can limit the dynamic range of spectra and images (ie the ability to detect weak features in the presence of stronger ones) and it can require that significantly longer, and hence more expensive in operational terms, observations are needed to reach a given sensitivity. Within a distance of a few km individual domestic and IT devices can cause interference which may exceed the internationally agreed and widely adopted threshold for radio emission deemed detrimental for radio astronomy (ITU-R769). It is for this reason that Jodrell Bank is in general concerned about the increase in residential developments near the Observatory. This is part of the University’s efforts to safeguard the scientific future of the Observatory.
The Spatial Planning Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01270 685893.