(Approved 19th October 2018)
Comments on the proposal for offices at the entrance to the exMoD site close on 22nd August (Wednesday). JBO are yet to comment but if they don’t object then it would be an improvement on the old derelict buildings.
However Jodrell Bank Observatory has previously objected to activity in this area, stating “This is a general direction in which there is already significant development close to the telescope” for instance 4 houses by Hiverley refused in Feb18, 6 houses opposite exMod entrance Dec16, 2 houses at Hiverley Cottage and 14 at Twemlow Manor Fields in Aug16. It is common knowledge now that it is the cumulative effect of increased electro-magnetic interference that concerns JBO, though at least offices only operate 9-5 ish rather than 24hrs a day as dwellings would.
No applications in this area should be considered without JBO’s comments but equally they should not be prejudged. It is surprising that Cheshire East said it is unlikely that the block of 14 offices proposed on Twemlow Lane ‘will be a concern’ to JBO in their Pre-planning advice :
“Although this proposal would introduce electronic interference with the assumed reintroduction of office equipment, the existing use, which includes an element of office space, could be re-introduced at anytime. As such, it is unlikely that … Jodrell Bank will be a concern as the impact upon JBO is likely to be neutral.” Nick Hulland Senior Planning Officer at CEC
The existing Sui Generis (unique in planning terms) buildings are “currently unfit for human occupation” and cannot be renovated due to asbestos so couldn’t “be re-introduced”; it would undoubtedly be an improvement to have replacement buildings with change of use to offices that blend with the area – but not at the expense of of the Lovell’s efficiency.
As JBO look at proposals on a case-by-case basis they will be submitting their view on whether the offices will cause increased electro-magnetic impairment, after all there is bound to be a difference from a building that has been derelict and quiet for decades to a bank of 14 offices catering to a new community of workers, no matter what shielding is incorporated.
If JBO don’t object then the new office block (and the local business opportunities that it could offer) would be an improvement on the existing, untended building.