Local Plan latest commenting stage

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:

localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk.

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.”

Policy:

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.

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 The Spatial Planning Team can be contacted at localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk or by telephone on 01270 685893.

Local Plan

Card details stolen in Holmes Chapel

Do be careful with your bank cards and hide your PINs.  There has been a spate of ‘skimming’ at the cash point outside the Post Office in Holmes Chapel recently.  ‘Skimming’ is where card details are stolen using a tiny camera and subsequently used fraudulently.  Residents mentioned that they thought cctv had been turned off.

However Ward Councillor Les Gilbert says “The cameras have not been turned off. They will continue to record but will not be subject to live monitoring by the control room unless the Parish Council contributes to the cost. They have previously decided not to spend Council Tax payers’ money in this way but are due to review that decision. The more people who contact Holmes Chapel Parish Council in support of paying for the cameras, the more likely they are to do so.”

Jodrell consultation zone

JODRELL BANK Observatory’s 6 mile Consultation Zone:

“Planning applications for developments within this Zone are referred to the Observatory, which may object if the proposed development is likely to degrade the performance of its telescopes.

A steady growth in the use of consumer products which generate radio emissions, either deliberately (mobile phones, wireless intruder alarms, etc) or as a by-product of their operation (computers, microwave ovens, etc) has made the protection afforded by the Consultation Zone increasingly important in recent years. “  Prof. Simon Garrington

But, it has to be said, JBO are at the forefront of Astrophysics – world leaders in the research of quasars, pulsars, gravitational lensing and in the development of interferometry – they are not planning consultants.  Within the 6 mile Consultation Zone they try to be accommodating and suggest suitable building materials if a proposal is not too threatening to their research [due to existing shielding from houses or topography or distance].  But surely if they object to a development within their 6 mile Consultation Zone then that development should be refused.

Hermitage Lane refused

Proposal off Netherlea/Hermitage Lane refused at the Northern Planning Committee yesterday.

Notice of decision

Although Cheshire East stated that the site was sustainable for rural housing the committee fortunately refused the application for 26 houses off Netherlea on the basis that the development would be in Open Countryside and Cheshire East now has a 5 year housing supply.  Other considerations were that Jodrell Bank had objected to an increase in housing in the village and that the proposal had an inadequate road layout.

It is worth repeating that the published Local Plan confirmed that the majority of Goostrey’s development needs are to be met by Holmes Chapel – therefore there is no need for more large housing estates in the village.  The parish council’s recent Site Allocation for the Grange site was not a material consideration and did not influence the outcome.

Jones backs Jodrell Bank on Silk fm

CEC Leader Cllr Michael Jones was questioned about potential impact of housing on Jodrell Bank Observatory this morning on Macclesfield’s Silk Radio.  He mentions an ‘exclusion zone’; indeed perhaps it should have one, but for now LoveGoostrey would like to point out JBO only has a ‘Consultation Zone’.

Silk Radio dj Ditchy : “ The new ‘Cheshire East Best in the North West’ council tax booklet has a front cover image of Jodrell Bank surrounded by green fields.  Can you outline the future protection in place to safeguard this national treasure, pinnacle of East Cheshire, against the onset of planning proposals for New housing, apparently this has been proposed a mile from the telescope which Jodrell Bank have explained could damage their ability to conduct world leading research.  So what are your thoughts on that, Michael?”

Michael Jones :  “Absolutely crystal clear,  we will not support any housing coming in around the Jodrell Bank area, it has got its own exclusion zone.  It is vital we keep it.  It’s just had £3million investment from the government.  I’m very pleased we work with Manchester University there.  We are backing Jodrell Bank, the minister knows that.

This is a good story. We’re not going to allow it, I won’t support houses coming in there.  If the Minister of State wants to change his mind and change the rules, that’s up to him. On the negative, there’s a legal precedent against this, so we will fight very hard.  The question is; if Jodrell Bank believes housing is affecting them, the council will absolutely listen to that.”

18th March 2014 Silk Radio, Silk 106.9fm