Playground and School to receive funds
It is fantastic to read in the parish council’s Autumn Parish Newsletter that CEC and CWaC finally agreed with Bloor Homes that funds for the Woodlands development should be diverted to Goostrey. Well done to David Johnson and all those involved! Whilst Woodlands is technically outside Goostrey Parish the 39 addresses are ‘Goostrey’ and it was accepted that the residents will make use of Goostrey services therefore the Section 106 windfall brings the grand sum of £40,000 for the playground and £85,000 for Goostrey primary school !! Common sense prevailed. (read more on this here) (see updates on Facebook ‘Friends of Goostrey Play Area‘) Although there seems to be some doubt as to the school receiving the money, see comments below.
Whilst the 39 new houses cannot be included in the required allocation for the Goostrey area (as they have already been counted in CWaC) it was great news that Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan was passed with a yes vote of 97.72%, the highest in Cheshire East so far!! This plan is now formally adopted by Cheshire East as part of the Local Plan, which itself was adopted on 27th July 2017, and includes sensible policies for the development of the village whilst supporting our unique neighbour Jodrell Bank Observatory. In other words, the parish would accept small scale housing in the parish but not at the expense of JBO.
For instance, the Parish Council had no objection to a recent application for 3 houses behind the Red Lion 17/3883C but stated “should Jodrell Bank choose to object to it the Parish Council will support Jodrell Bank’s objection”. A decision is due on Nov 8th but JBO have objected, as they have to various applications for additional housing adjacent to 51 Main Road (and the current appeal for 6 houses is adjourned until the end of November).
However the parish is certainly in a better position now against unplanned development with a Neighbourhood Plan, a robust Local Plan and a 5-yr housing supply – the lack of which had been an important factor in developers’ appeals on unplanned development in the borough over recent years.
Local Plan given significant weight
It is encouraging to read therefore that the Secretary of State backed Cheshire East’s Local Plan when he dismissed a major planning appeal on the former Gorsty Hill golf course, near Crewe: (see Gorsty Hill appeal)
The Secretary of State gave ‘significant weight’ to the council’s recently adopted Local Plan policies for the protection of the countryside and found that, via the adoption of the plan, the council is able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, CEC cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this decision. It is a vindication of our stand against unplanned development. The secretary of state has strongly backed the policies of the recently-adopted Local Plan. He has also agreed that the council is now able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land through the Local Plan.”
“This is a very welcome return to plan-led decision making. It is also a ringing endorsement of the council’s efforts to put in place a robust, up-to-date Local Plan which gives the people of Cheshire East its best protection against unwelcome unplanned and unsustainable development.”
Will predatory developers get the message and concentrate on providing developments that don’t threaten to impair JBO? Could that be too much to hope for?