It’s not just Goostrey that has controversial planning applications. Members of the local Brereton community are so concerned about the impact that they have now appointed their own planning consultant and are commissioning independent surveys to demonstrate how detrimental a plan will be to the community and the rural parish. The last date for submitting comments is the 12th January.
Brereton PC are yet to make a decision on the proposal; the next council meeting being on the 22nd January at the parish school. Cheshire East have scheduled a committee date of 7th February. Brereton resident Matthew Stead is hoping that the proposal to turn Brereton Hall into a wedding/conference venue might be withdrawn following villagers’ concerns. Residents first understood that a planning application had been submitted to change the use of Brereton Hall from a restored private residence to a 12 bedroom boutique hotel. Link to application: 17/6118c
However, at a recent Brereton Parish Council meeting residents heard from Peter Heywood of the Flat Cap Group that they planned “to turn the Grade 1 listed Brereton Hall into a wedding and conference centre” and Mr Heywood went on to say that “there would also be a restaurant with between 40 – 50 covers”.
Local resident Matthew Stead said “ People were genuinely stunned as Mr Heywood revealed the true plans to turn the Grade 1 listed Hall into a wedding and conference centre, needing a new access road for coaches to bring in revellers to the peaceful and tranquil parkland setting of the Hall. We knew the math simply didn’t stack up. Mr Heywood’s application states he will create the equivalent of 40 new full time jobs. Having taking counsel from a number of the North West’s leading hotel and hospitality companies this would mean charging a minimum of £650 per room per night at Brereton Hall just to cover their day to day running costs.
Flat cap have also made no reference to the existing enforcement notice served on previous owners of Brereton Hall who conducted weddings and events at the Hall, subjecting local residents of Brereton Green to over three years of misery as they went through the legal process, resulting in functions having to cease at the Hall”.
“It does not bode well for Brereton Parish if this application goes ahead”, says another concerned resident, Richard Gibson. “For a start, the new access road from the A50 will add another potential accident black spot, carve across the open countryside within the Listed Hall and Gardens and undoubtedly increase the traffic also on the church lane which is actively used as a major public right of way to give access from Brereton Green to Brereton Heath nature reserve”.
Mr Stead confirmed “Local industry sources support our concerns saying that you need at least 50 bedrooms and function room capacity for 150 people to make it pay and that still may not work in a grade 1 listed setting with all the additional operational complexity and costs associated with this type of setting. One of our concerns is that this is just the start of an even larger development plan for the Hall and grounds. This is our Parish’s ‘Jewel in the crown’, one of the last few restored privately owned grand houses with a Grade 1 listing within Cheshire East”.
Brereton Hall action group. Link to Brereton Life webpage.