Goostrey Parish Council AGM is on Tuesday 29th April: 7.30 Village Hall
The Parish Council can only represent your views if you let them know what your views are. Therefore we at LoveGoostrey would encourage you to come along and let them know your views.
We support our Parish Council and have many similar views to them and respect their democratic mandate. However we do disagree with them in terms of the current requirement for a Site Allocation for a major development within the village.
Last year, in the AGM, Councillor Michael Jones stated that although Goostrey was a Local Service Centre it would only require between 30-50 houses over the life time of the plan (2010-2030) and this only equates to building on average 2-3 houses within the village per year (ie similar to current development rates). Everyone agreed that this sounded sensible. In the response to Cheshire East‘s local plan over 170 people responded within the village confirming that they would prefer this development to be in a number of small sites around the village.
Since then we have had our Parish Council’s Site Allocation policy which, although well meaning to try and put barriers to unrestricted development in the village, placed all the 50 houses on a single site at the Grange. This is now already out of date with respect to subsequent events which have occurred and hasn’t proven to be as effective as they may have wished in controlling development; as their policy was not a material consideration during the recent Hermitage Lane or Chicken Farm planning applications.
In the Parish Council’s recent annual newsletter they are correct in their statement that nobody wants major development within the village and that housing will only be built if the landowner is prepared to sell the land to developers. But what they didn’t mention is that planning permission for major developments will only be given if it meets the requirements of the Local Plan and Site Allocation document (which will be published 2015/2016) . They are also incorrect in their statement that only large sites give landowners sufficient returns. If this was true we wouldn’t have seen all the small developments around the village to date! Small developments of modest size houses can be very profitable for landowners.
Since Goostrey’s PC’s Site Allocation Policy, Cheshire East have also submitted their ‘Submission’ version of the Local Plan. Although this still confirms Goostrey as a Local Service Centre, the majority of development is confirmed to be located in Holmes Chapel, a much larger Local Service Centre. Therefore it would be reasonable to assume that means that the Local Plan assumes the majority of the 30-50 houses proposed last year by Councillor Michael Jones will be built in Holmes Chapel instead.
Jodrell Bank Observatory
We understand that Jodrell Bank is also concerned about development in the village (they recently objected to the Hermitage Lane development ) and we are sure they too would prefer any additional houses to be further away from them in Holmes Chapel. Indeed we note that Goostrey PC has recently commented on the Local Plan supporting Jodrell Bank and recommending a moratorium on development within 2 miles of the Observatory (see Goostrey Parish Council comments to the Local Plan Submission).
Of course, the Local Plan will still allow small development (single houses and infill of small open gaps by 2-3 houses) in Open Countryside, and it is likely that we will still see this development in Open Countryside areas such as Hermitage Lane, Mount Pleasant and the Grange over the lifetime of the Local Plan should the landowners concerned wish to develop their land. At the current build rate of around 3 houses per year, this could easily result in another 50 houses over 15 years around the village.
Therefore as 60 houses have already been constructed within the boundary of the Goostrey ‘Local Service Centre’ since the start of the Local Plan process in 2010 – and considering the fact that the ‘Chicken Farm’ planning application for an additional 37 houses has also been passed (although construction can’t commence until access has been sorted out and is technically within Cheshire West, this will still practically contribute to the housing requirements for the village), and the potential for another 50 houses in small developments around the village – does the village still require a Site Allocation for a further 50 houses at the Grange?
Considering the above, we at LoveGoostrey don’t believe it is required ! Particularly considering there are already planning applications for around 400 houses in Holmes Chapel (approx 200 of which have already been passed ) which is far more than their required allocation.
What do you think?