Pause in Local Plan hearings

On Friday 26 Sept the Inspector announced that he intends to defer the hearings sessions that were due to take place during the weeks of 7, 21 and 28 October 2014 (hearing weeks 4-6).  Matters 14 and 15 are to be adjourned to give the Inspector time to review the large amount of information submitted by Developers.

The examination is planned to recommence at the end of November and CE hopes to have the enquiry completed by Christmas.

From the developers submissions it appears that they are committing a lot of resources to try and undermine CE’s Local Plan.  Could it be they have ulterior motives to try and capitalise on the NPPF’s ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ and ‘grab’ as much land as possible for housing to increase their profits – despite whether it may be surplus to current requirements?

We do need more housing, but at locations assessed by our democratically elected council as being the most suitable sites, and not those assessed by developers as being the most profitable.  Developers can still make a healthy profit by working with the Council and delivering the housing on the sites assessed as being suitable.

Developers call for hearings’ suspension

The hearings on the examination of the Cheshire East Local Plan began on Tuesday September 16th at Macclesfield Town Hall and should continue to the end of October.  However a number of developers are calling for the examination to be suspended, stating that “the concerns in respect of the process of plan preparation are serious and substantial”.   read the whole article…

Cheshire East responded:

“The local planning authority does not consider that any of the concerns so far expressed warrant a delay or a pause of the desirable process of  securing a plan for Cheshire East. None of this, of course, undermines communication between the local planning authority and the examiner, or between the local planning authority and representors. However at the moment the local planning authority consider that the examination should continue as programmed.”   PS D011



Scout Hut: reminder to comment

There are just a couple of days left to let Cheshire East know that you support the proposed Scout Hut and Youth Centre.  We’ve heard that there is a great deal of support for the application in the village but more responses to CEC will show the true strength of community support.

Please let Cheshire East Council know your views by Wednesday 24th September….. 14/3948C .

Advice on how to comment and a standard letter can be found here:

“If you have already submitted your comments, may I thank you on behalf of current and future generations of Goostrey Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and indeed all the young people of the village who will benefit from this purpose built new facility in the centre of the village.”  David Giles, Group Scout Leader of 1st Goostrey Scouts.


On NIMBYs and the ‘battle for the countryside’ we’ve said before; small scale, sympathetic to existing residents, in keeping with the countryside and of high quality design that enhances the village and natural landscape….

CPRE viewpoint

I have just seen that a piece I wrote last month for Show House, the house builders’ magazine, has been published. Here it is.

The programme for the Whathouse? ‘battle for the countryside debate’, in which CPRE’s Paul Miner is taking part, asks: ‘Will the UK’s NIMBY culture ever change? How can the new homes industry win over its harshest critics?’

Well, this critic might be more easily won over if the industry seemed less obsessed with battling NIMBYs. I do not deny that NIMBYs exist. There will always be people, perhaps even some in the house building industry, prepared to fight for the places they care about.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. Fight to save a local school or hospital and you are a community hero. So why should someone trying to save their local countryside be branded a selfish NIMBY? And looking at some of…

View original post 760 more words

Local Plan examination begins

The public inquiry into Cheshire East Council’s local plan opened on Tuesday in front of a packed room of planners, local campaigners, lawyers and residents at Macclesfield Town Hall.

The Government-appointed inspector, Stephen Pratt, started the formal examination by saying he had concerns about both the legal compliance and soundness of the plan, and raised questions about the council’s level of co-operation with neighbouring boroughs.

– Read the full article:   Cheshire East Local Plan examination begins

“inappropriate developments forced down their throats”

Interesting article re Gladman [pushing for 138 houses in the middle of the village] from The Sunday Times Nov 2013 –

Builders use loophole to flood villages with concrete 

VILLAGES in beauty spots are “under attack” from property speculators exploiting new planning guidelines, according to MPs and campaigners. Canny developers have found a way to secure approval for controversial housing schemes opposed by local residents by appealing to national inspectors. They are targeting greenfield sites in areas where councils have failed to publish their own plans for new housing — allowing the government’s national Planning Inspectorate to step in and fast-track developments. Plans for hundreds of new homes in sensitive areas are being nodded through despite fierce objections from residents.

The Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi described the behaviour of some land speculators as “rapacious” — accusing them of playing the system to “concrete over villages”.

He singled out one company — the Gladman group — for particular criticism. The firm, which has a turnover of more than £200m, specialises in helping landowners get planning permission to build houses on their fields, taking a cut from a huge rise in the value of the land once consent has been secured.

Zahawi said: “Companies like Gladman are rapacious in their behaviour and are profiteering … Very clearly what they are doing is going to the most expensive parts of the shires, and looking for greenfield sites in areas where the local council does not have a core strategy in place. These areas then have inappropriate developments forced down their throats.”

Under the coalition’s planning framework, councils are required to have a “core strategy” for housing as well as a five-year supply of land for new homes. If they do not have these in place, developers whose applications are overturned by the local authority can appeal to national inspectors, who are far more likely to wave the proposal through.

The Gladman group has submitted planning applications for at least 40 sites, including land in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire. Its website boasts of its track record in securing consent quickly, saying “think 14 months not 10 years”.

In the small village of Tysoe, Warwickshire, the firm is seeking consent for 75 homes on a meadow. Mark Sewell, chairman of the parish council, criticised ministers for leaving the village open to this “speculative development”.

“This is a major problem and falls squarely at the door of the politicians. They need to block the loophole because as it stands the shires are under attack,” he said.

Twenty miles away in Welford-on-Avon, Gladman has applied for outline planning permission for 95 homes on a greenfield site on the outskirts of the village.

Simon Carter, chairman of the parish council, said the development would increase the size of the village by 20% and place a burden on the infrastructure. “This is pure opportunism by this company/’ he said.

The planning minister, Nick Boles — nicknamed “Builder Boles” because of his determination to increase house-building — urged local authorities to speed up their own plans to stop speculators developing sites people wanted to protect.

David Gladman, a director at Gladman group, said: “It is the high need for homes and the sensible, sustainable locations which we select that have resulted in planning committees and appeals inspectors approving over 90% of our numerous applications.”

Sunday Times 3rd Nov 2013; Isabel Oakeshot and Robin Henry

WW1 choral commemoration at Goostrey Station


A magnificent ‘First World War Centenary’ performance by Theatre in the Quarter was held this morning at Goostrey Station. Over 150 residents watched the touching choral commemoration – by actors, singers and musicians from across Cheshire – of the departure of local soldiers to the Western Front in autumn 1914.

[to be repeated this afternoon outside Holmes Chapel Station at 4.30]

Over by ChristmasOver by Christmas; written by Helen Newall, original music by Matt Baker.