Neighbourhood Plan: response to questionnaire

Are further Site Allocations required?

We at LoveGoostrey applaud our Parish Council for the start of the preparation of Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan. This will allow the whole village to have their say on how we all want the village to look and what services we want in the years to come.  But there are some important points to consider with regards to the decision to put forward Site Allocations in response to the recent flurry of speculative planning applications including NetherLea/Hermitage Lane (26 houses), Mount Pleasant (25 houses), Shearbrook (119 houses), Sandyacre (7 houses), and the former Chicken farm (35 houses approved and under construction) as well as possibly (55 houses) on Mill Lane and (60 houses) at The Grange :-

– Jodrell Bank Observatory has objected to all the large developments proposed by speculative developers (apart from the Chicken farm) in the village and appear to be against any large increase in the size of the village.  Indeed, this appears to be one of the reasons the Parish Council withdrew their previous Site Allocation for 60 houses at The Grange livery stables.  JBO’s Professor Garrington advised LoveGoostrey that a single house at The Grange could result in exceeding the acceptable levels of radio interference.  As a village Goostrey has a ‘duty of care’ not to undermine the research at Jodrell Bank Observatory, and is unique in having such an internationally renowned facility as its neighbour.

– The Local Plan does state ‘ 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 ‘

– Goostrey and Holmes Chapel have already exceeded the revised estimate for the number of houses required for the area as a result of recent planning appeals.

– As a result, Cheshire East confirmed no further Site Allocations are required for Goostrey or Holmes Chapel.

– Our local schools and health centre are full, and our rail station and local shopping centre car parks are at capacity.

– Site Allocations do help to bring derelict, unsightly, or under-utilised areas of land into useful use.  The only area in Goostrey which could be considered in this context is the ‘former sidings’ however, due to its location in the east of the village, its close proximity to Jodrell Bank Observatory may result in the same problems as at ‘The Grange’.

– Site Allocations could result in a rapid increase in the size of the village, which would overload local schools and services, rather than a preferred slow and gradual inflation.

– A Site Allocation tends to make one landowner very wealthy who may chose to not reinvest in the village, rather than allowing the sharing of the economic benefit around all landowners, allowing them to release small parcels of land and help support the economic viability of local farmers, businesses and all landowners and increase the chance the rest of the village will benefit in reinvestment (eg local jobs).

–  A Site Allocation would not be an effective defence against any other predatory planning applications in the village.  A vote to build in someone else’s back-yard wouldn’t stop development in your own back-yard as well !

–  If Jodrell Bank’s evidence is ignored in the forthcoming planning inquiry for Netherlea/Hermitage Lane (and any other developments that come forward), then we would get these developments plus any development proposed in any Site Allocations, further overloading our limited services and infrastructure.

Therefore, if you agree, LoveGoostrey suggests you return your questionnaire with ‘NO’ against the item ‘Location of New Developments’.  As Neighbourhood Plans can be updated every 5 years, if the village needs changes, the need for Site Allocations can be reviewed later on.

Of course this does not mean that there won’t be any further development in the village, indeed small developments have continued within the village in recent years.

Remember, Cheshire East’s Local plan ‘trumps’ any Neighbourhood Plan that the village produces.  In accordance with Cheshire East’s Local Plan..

In the Local Service Centres, small scale development to meet localised objectively assessed needs and priorities will be supported where they contribute to the creation and maintenance of sustainable communities.

The Local Service Centres are Alderley Edge, Audlem, Bollington, Bunbury, Chelford, Disley, Goostrey, Haslington, Holmes Chapel, Mobberley, Prestbury, Shavington and Wrenbury.

However, Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan could provide a simple statement to help support our prestigious neighbour: that no development would be supported if it is opposed by Jodrell Bank Observatory.

It could also provide a design standard that any new development should have to meet to maintain the rural character of the village.  In addition the identification of further services and infrastructure could be identified to improve the sustainability of the village as a whole, eg:-

– Support of the proposed Youth Centre.

-re-opening of an outreach medical centre to reduce the requirement for residents to have to travel to Holmes Chapel for doctors appointments

– further improving bridal ways and footpaths in the area, maybe a footpath/bridal way to Jodrell Bank Observatory, to encourage the enjoyment of Goostrey’s countryside.

– a safe footbridge/walkway between rail platforms

– reopening of Goostrey station ticket office

– improved bus service

– Support and encourage cycling with the protection of Goostrey as a designated cycle route.

and any other ideas you may have..

The most important point is to make sure you get involved, listen to the arguments and make your views known!!  Apathy is our worst enemy…

4 thoughts on “Neighbourhood Plan: response to questionnaire

  1. Worth noting that according to Cheshire East, the Local Plan does not trump the NP on things like : Density of housing, number of houses per site, design of houses, off road parking,, these and other policies can be specified in the Neighbourhood Plan. Divergence would require very strong reasons (which is also true for challenges to the Local Plan or indeed anything that can be challenged in law!) CE have 1,000 more houses to spread across the LSC’s (40% increase). A NP can influence this, without it CE will anyway do their own site allocations and extensions to settlement zones. At the moment there is no Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan, so fill in those questionnaires and lets get moving!

  2. Also Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan will be whatever the residents want it to be and it can only be decided and owned by the community, not the Parish Council. So volunteers are needed!

    • Yes agreed. Let’s see what the additional houses recently voted by CE means for the LSC’s such as Holmes Chapel and Goostrey. I suspect with the recent permissions granted and the outstanding appeals then we may still not need any Site Allocations. A NP is a good idea, but we do need to setup a steering committee to make sure it is truly representative of the village to help drive it forward.

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