Public inquiry resumes today

Henderson Homes’ public inquiry into the refusal of 6 homes next to 51 Main Road resumes at 10am this morning for Closing Statements.  The inquiry is being held in Congleton Town Hall and due to the length of time taken to present evidence etc it was adjourned until today.
Cheshire East’s barrister Scott Lyness has stated,” What the appellant fails to recognise is the importance of Jodrell Bank policies and the weight which should be accorded to them”.

(click here to read Closing Statements) 

It will be some time yet tho until the Inspector determines the outcome.

Henderson Appeal in Sandbach Chronicle “no cogent case”

The following article appears in this weeks Sandbach Chronicle following the public inquiry into the refusal of 6 homes next to 51 Main Road.  The inquiry was held in Congleton Town Hall last week and due to the length of time taken to present evidence etc it has been adjourned until Nov 28th.

Congleton town hall

The Lovell radio telescope

The article states that barrister John Hunter, on behalf of the developer, said that “there is an acceptance that the new development will result in additional interference that would inevitably result in conflict with the Jodrell Bank policies”.

Cheshire East’s barrister Scott Lyness stated,” What the appellant fails to recognise is the importance of Jodrell Bank policies and the weight which should be accorded to them”.

Councillor Dr Ken Morris, representing Goostrey PC, said it conflicted with the Neighbourhood Plan and Jodrell Bank policies.  (Dr Morris is not however Chairman of GPC as stated in the article)

Appeal for 6 homes in Goostrey adjourned

October Appeal for 6 houses by 51 Main Rd

A year ago an application was refused for six houses in Goostrey on the land next to 51 Main Road, behind the two recently erected homes.  The developer is now appealing this decision at a Public Inquiry next month when Henderson Homes will be opposing the objections from Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire East and Goostrey Parish Council.

The public are welcome to attend the Inquiry which runs on October 10th, 11th and 12th October at Congleton Town Hall.

JBO’s Professor Garrington states in his submission ‘Allowing this scheme would create an ever-worsening baseline of interference against which it would be difficult to control future development which also breached the international threshold.’

Henderson Homes Appeal 51 Main Rd

Goostrey Parish Council’s submission can be read here.  

Various applications have been made recently on this site.

Further application for new houses behind Main Rd

New planning application 17/4451C  

The saga continues on the paddock behind the 2 new houses opposite the entrance to Mt Pleasant.  This time the application is for a detached house and 2 semis (now classed as “social rented”) – on the same footprint as houses in earlier applications where JBO have previously objected to several houses.

Click the link to make comments on 17/4451C  Cheshire East by 27th September.

For details of the other applications/appeal on this site click here.

3 houses on paddock between 51/61 Main Road

Parish Council to oppose Appeal for 6 houses

Goostrey Parish Council have registered to speak and submit evidence to oppose the appeal by Henderson Homes for six houses (behind the pair newly constructed on Main Road, Goostrey) at the forthcoming public inquiry.

Objections should be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by 25 April.  …..  click to the planning inspectorate website  where you can read all the documents for the case 3166025 – and click on ‘Make Representation’.

The Henderson appeal here in Goostrey, if allowed, would add to the cumulative impact on JBO through creeping development and could set a precedent for over-riding JBO objections to future sites elsewhere in the village.

For interest, following a recent appeal the Secretary of State has just overturned a Planning Inspector’s recommendation to approve 27 houses in Marton. It is encouraging to note that his refusal included weight being given to Marton’s Neighbourhood Plan (despite no Local Plan) as well as JBO’s objection; “such additional development should be viewed as cumulative.”

Whilst the site may seem at first glance a suitable spot for housing, it is in direct line of sight of the Lovell Telescope.  Are six extra homes in Goostrey worth the potential cumulative impact on JBO – leading to “death by a thousand cuts” as described in the Gladman appeal on an immediately adjacent plot?  We are, after all, somewhat unique as a village in having such a world-class, iconic neighbour “given the importance of the work carried out at the Jodrell Bank Observatory”, to quote the Sec. of State. 

Henderson Homes streetview

In his objection Professor Garrington says, ‘the cumulative impact of this and other developments is more significant than each development individually’. 

Strangely Emery Planning’s Statement (on behalf of Henderson Homes) states that the floor space of the six houses would be the same as 3 homes that were previously unopposed by JBO.  Perhaps they have not understood that JBO objects to radio interference from electronic devices rather than size of rooms. Clearly 6 homes with 23 bedrooms would house quite a number of people using such devices; mobile phones, microwave ovens, wifi, computers, game consoles, even l.e.d. lighting and so on.

Other issues from their Planning Statement:

..that Goostrey has a butchers, it does not.

The 319 Bus. In fact this only operates outside commuting times and only in one direction so one cannot return from the railway station by bus.

Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan lists 23 approved/constructed dwellings rather than Emery stating only 13 [not to mention the 39 being built on the village boundary].

They state that the appeal site ‘enjoys the benefit of the extant permissions for 2 and 3 houses respectively’.  However this is not, as they state, an ‘important fall back position‘ as the site where the 2 houses have been built (15/5517C) is outside this appeal site. Furthermore, only 1 of the 3 houses (13/4266C) is located on the appeal site – so could no longer be physically achieved as originally applied for.

Henderson’s current application for 1 house [of the 6] is not mentioned – which has also been opposed by JBO.

The Planning Statement also refers to Goostrey being a ‘Key Service Centre in Cheshire East’. Incorrect.   The emerging CELPS (Local Plan) proposes that Goostrey is part of a Local Service Centre.  But CELPS Policy PG2 (para 8.34 of that document) also states that ‘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.’

Objections should be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by 25 April.  …..

go to the planning inspectorate website  where you can read all the documents for the case 3166025 – and click on ‘Make Representation’.


Full public inquiry: Appeal for 6 houses at 51/61 Main Rd

The Appeal for 6 more houses behind the two under construction on Main Road was to be an informal ‘around a table’ hearing, however the Planning Inspector has now changed it to a full Public Inquiry.   Statements and Interested Parties comments are now due by 25th April.

Henderson Homes were refused permission in Oct 2016, ref 16/4306C , because it would impair the efficiency of JBO.  It is interesting to note that the field in question is next to the site that Gladman appealed (and lost) last year; the Secretary of State agreeing with the Planning Inspector in his decision “that the protection of Jodrell Bank Observatory as a facility of international importance transcends the housing land supply circumstances of the case. The Secretary of State therefore attaches considerable weight to Policy PS10.”

Link to the Appeals page ref 3166025 (to read the appellant’s statement of case click on Documents).  

There is currently an application 17/0680 for just one more house behind the two nearing completion – on the same footprint as one of the six – with a decision target date of 6th April. (Should this be deferred until after the Appeal?) 

Henderson Homes Appeal Inquiry site

Gladman site in red above Henderson Homes appeal site

Sept 2016: 16/4306C refused

Sept 2016: 16/4306C refused


In Oct 2016 JBO opposed the application for 6 houses on the site, “In the case of the proposal 16/4306C , we oppose this development. Our view is that the impact from the additional potential contribution to the existing level of interference coming from that direction will be relatively minor. This is a general direction in which there is already significant development close to the telescope. We note that this application is one of a series that Emery Planning Partnership has made for this site….”

15/3131C  for 7 dwellings: JBO opposed and was refused Oct 2015.

15/5517C  for 2 dwellings: JBO opposed but was approved Feb 2016.

16/4306C for 6 dwellings: JBO opposed and was refused Oct 2016.

17/0680N, for 1 dwelling: JBO opposing 23/2/17.

“Jodrell Bank Observatory now opposes development across a significant part of the consultation zone as a matter of principle, in order to protect the efficiency of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope’s ability to receive radio emissions from space with a minimum of interference from electrical equipment.”

Appeal ref: 3166025

Cheshire East ‘no longer supportive’ of applications

Cheshire East Council specify that Goostrey parish is part of a Local Service Centre with a requirement to provide around 27* new homes.

But since the appeal for a development of 119 houses (and presumably all the evidence that JBO put forward in regard to the cumulative impact from housing) CEC are now giving signifiant weight to the potential impact on our iconic neighbour Jodrell Bank Observatory.

CEC Planning Officer Nick Hulland Oct 2016 in response to Emery Planning re the current appeal for 6 homes, “As such, the Council are no longer supportive of any residential applications, in particular within the closest Parishes, such as (but not exclusive to) – Twemlow, Goostrey, Cranage and the edge of Holmes Chapel due to the ‘cumulative impact of new development on the efficient operation of Jodrell Bank’.

Therefore, because the Council are now attributing significant weight to the impact upon Jodrell Bank, even if ‘relatively minor’ as advised by JBO, it will nonetheless have an impact to the extent that it would ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweigh the benefits of the vast majority of the residential schemes being considered by the Council.

Historically, when such a response has been received from JBO, the Council have still considered that on balance, the benefit of the new housing has outweighed the impact upon the telescope. However, the cumulative impact of the granting of new residential developments in recent years within these areas has now ‘tipped the balance’ as part of our planning assessments to the extent that all new residential development in these areas close to Jodrell Bank are considered to weigh heavily against the scheme in the planning balance.”

This dichotomy must be somewhat confusing for developers/planning consultants and no doubt clarification would benefit all, including Goostrey Parish Council, and especially JBO; Policy SC2 in the draft Neighbourhood Plan clearly states ‘Development should not be permitted where JBO determines that the efficiency of the radio telescopes would be impaired.’

Previously, in Feb 2016, CEC approved 2 houses on the site by 51 Main Road, despite JBO’s opposition. However, since then the Secretary of State agreed with the Planning Inspector after the appeal for 119 houses that JBO “as an established world class facility should be afforded reasonable protection”.  He considered that the Council’s housing land supply shortfall was “ largely a local issue, while Jodrell Bank Observatory is a facility of international importance such that its protection from the identified harm transcends the current housing land supply circumstances.”

– JBO are currently objecting to just one additional dwelling (in addition to the two built) on the site of the forthcoming appeal for six.  Albeit JBO prefer to comment on the degree of impact on a case-by-case basis it is hard to see where a further 27 dwellings would be acceptable – unless locations can be found for additional housing where the topography and existing development can be proven to provide sufficient screening. It is therefore likely that the remaining 27 houses in Goostrey may be just developments of single houses further away from the telescope and in any natural valleys.

 * “the construction of around 50 new homes will be supported…..23 new dwellings have already been committed towards the 50” Policy HOU1 page 20/22 draft Goostrey NP.


Martin de Kretser | March 7 2017 

Looks like Emery Planning are pinning their hopes on the fact that this further development does not pose a ‘significant’ increase in interference on Jodrell Bank, which is similar to the argument used at the Twemlow Appeal a few years ago. However as concluded in the Gladman appeal, the judgement made in the Twemlow Appeal was found to be incorrect, and in effect, any increase over the international agreed standards for radio interference was not sustainable. Emery Planning also state JBO are blocking all development in the village, this is also incorrect, as there have been a number of developments in recent years that JBO have not objected to and just requested screening measures. However , It looks as though that recent development in the surrounding area has now reached ‘saturation point’, hence Cheshire East’s revised stance.