CEC’s draft Site Allocations for Goostrey

The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD) is part two of the Local Plan and identifies additional sites for development throughout Cheshire East.  It will be presented to the Strategic Planning Board at the end of August – followed by a six week public consultation from 11th Sept.  The revised version will have a second public consultation then goes to an Inspector for approval (probably) in 2019.  The housing figure for Goostrey is low due to its location in one of the most sensitive areas for radio interference for the Jodrell Bank Observatory.”

A Settlement Report  on Goostrey supports the overall SADPD..here are some extracted relevant points:    “…it is recommended that no sites should be allocated in the SADPD for development in Goostrey.”

2.1 Goostrey is a village with its own settlement boundary, set in the Open Countryside, as defined on the Proposals Map of the Congleton Borough Local Plan First Review, adopted in 2005. It is identified as a Local Service Centre (“LSC”) in the adopted Local Plan Strategy (“LPS”), and has a 2016 mid-year population estimate of 3,800 people.  [LG: yes we disagree with it being an LSC and all know that Goostrey village does not have 3800 residents !]

2.1 The focus for Goostrey over the LPS period is that of limiting any further impact, exacerbated by development, on the globally important work being carried out Jodrell Bank Observatory. It is also anticipated that Goostrey’s development needs will be largely provided for in Holmes Chapel (LPS ¶8.34).

Settlement Report Aug 2018.png

3.7  There were 8 housing completions (net) in Goostrey between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2017, and 0.00ha employment land take up. Commitments as at 31 March 2017 were 8 dwellings and 0.00ha of employment land.  A planning permission for 38 dwellings, granted by Cheshire West and Chester Council, does not technically count towards Cheshire East’s figures, however, in a practical sense the proposed development will also be part of Goostrey, and therefore should not be ignored in the context of considering the village’s growth.

3.8  Taking into account existing completions/take up and commitments, this leaves a remaining requirement for the provision of 0 dwellings and 0.00ha of employment land over the remaining Plan period.

4.7  Goostrey has small centre with limited services. However, it has representation from all of the respective retail and service sectors, which provides a key resource to local residents. There is a vacant unit that reduces the vitality of the centre, given the small number of overall units. Although Goostrey has a lower level of retail and service units than expected in a LSC, it is recognised that the centre provides an important role in catering for the day to day needs of the local community and as such support its designation as a local centre (“LC”).

To read the whole report click here – Goostrey Settlement Report.

It is certainly interesting to see the Allocations throughout all the Local Service Centres:Draft SADPD 2.2.png


Awaiting decision of public inquiry on 6 homes 51/61 Main Rd

The Henderson Homes public inquiry on the refusal of 6 further homes on the paddock between 51/61 Main Road ended yesterday with Closing Statements from the three parties.

16/4306 application for 6 dwellings

The hearing, held in Congleton Town Hall, had been adjourned since October having taken longer than anticipated, but it will still be some weeks yet until we hear of the Inspector’s final decision.

In short…and not all inclusive….

Cheshire East Council

Scott Lyness, barrister for Cheshire East, outlined the international importance of the Jodrell Bank Observatory – the 3rd largest steerable telescope on the planet, “recognised by the international scientific community as one of the world’s major radio astronomy facilities”.  He stated that its “globally important operations can only take place at the leading edge of science if their exceptional characteristics are protected” and pointed out that the six homes would be close to JBO in a direction that the Lovell is often pointed to to conduct its “internationally significant pulsar work” and are clearly in breach of JBO policies as well as Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan.

Mr Lyness pointed out that the proposed dwellings would cause the quality of data to take a “significant step downwards”, as detailed in Professor Garrington’s evidence of harm – which was unchallenged throughout the inquiry – and would produce a “hotspot” of interference.  He also described the expression ‘relatively minor’ used in planning objections; explaining that a relatively minor numerical change “in no way means that the impact…on the work of JBO would be minor”; Professor Garrington acknowledged that the term does not fully reflect JBO’s concern. (for instance, in pulsar timing measurements, small increases in interference can have a much larger non-linear effect on the quality of the data).

JBO’s Prof. Garrington (L) and CEC barrister Scott Lyness (R)

Mr Lyness also explained that the 39 new houses [Blackberry Gardens] will “in practice be part of Goostrey and contribute to its sustainability and viability”.

Goostrey Parish Council

Goostrey PC summed up their position; that the proposal breaches several N’hood Plan policies covering JBO and density. The PC referred to all parties at the Inquiry being in agreement that the proposal will impair the efficiency of the telescope and the NP’s policy is very clear – “There is no leeway, no ‘unless’ , no latitude”.

The appellant (Henderson Homes) proposes to use mitigation measures however the PC pointed out that mitigation had already been taken into account in Prof. Garrington’s calculations – resulting in the ITU threshold being exceeded by a factor of 100.  The Professor had “told the inquiry that even small increases in interference will have larger and larger effects as radio astronomers make more and more sensitive observations. In that scenario it is easy to see why an exceedance factor of 100 is so significant.”

Goostrey’s unique position as an LSC was also pointed out, the CELPS stating ‘In the case of Goostrey’…’it is anticipated that development needs will largely be provided for in Holmes Chapel’.  In addition to the new 39 dwellings [Blackberry Gardens] the PC pointed to the fact that many existing houses will become available during the life of the Plan, so “these 6 appeal houses therefore cannot be regarded as needed for Goostrey to retain its vitality.”

The PC also highlighted that the outcome of this appeal is being “eagerly awaited by small landowners and developers” – “allowing this appeal could open the flood gates”; a member of the public had in fact supported the appeal saying they would re-apply if the appeal is successful.  Others may similarly re-apply, as well as other propositions that the PC are aware of but are not yet formal applications “in the knowledge that the developments could potentially harm the JBO telescopes.”

Henderson Homes:

Barrister John Hunter for Henderson Homes then gave their closing statement: covering the ins and outs of Goostrey being a Local Service Centre and the “residual requirement for at least” 27 homes,  problems with affordability for younger households, the “disproportionate number of elderly residents” and its “consequential impacts on the vitality of the settlement” [..non taken! LG] . 

The Lovell

Mr Hunter opined that the 6 homes would “assist significantly in helping achieve the housing requirement” of the local area and the district as a whole, and the inclusion of 2 affordable homes should carry “significant weight”.  He said there was “no dispute” that JBO should be afforded “reasonable protection” and no dispute that the “modest additional interference” of the proposed scheme would give rise to some impairment. “However, that does not mean that any level of impairment is necessarily unacceptable”, he added.  Mr Hunter pointed to the JBO response to the initial consultation of “relatively minor” which should therefore only be given ‘moderate’ weight in the decision balance.

Mr Hunter also commented on the wording in Goostrey’s NP Policy HOU1 [“and should not individually or cumulatively harm the operation of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescopes“] saying the “word ‘should’ does not always mean the same as ‘must’.

Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan

17/4451:  Current application for 1 detached and 2 semis on the appeal site.


Housing strategy survey

During the coming months Cheshire East Council will be developing a new Housing Strategy for the period 2018-2023.  If you would like to submit your comments to their consultation click through the link:


“We have a Housing Strategy to directly support the ambitions of the Cheshire East Local Plan, so we have a clear approach on how we intend to find solutions to the major housing issues that affect residents of Cheshire East.

We are responsible for providing a range of activities and services to meet housing need. We work jointly with local organisations and residents; which include voluntary and community groups; registered housing providers; home makers and developers; planning agents; private landlords and their agents; Government organisations and neighbouring councils. Our new Housing Strategy will look forward to what our ambitions and priorities should be for the next five years and how we should focus our resources.

Have your say:
We are looking for the views from a range of groups, organisations and individuals to help us inform the final Housing Strategy. Therefore, please take the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the new strategy by completing the our short online survey.” Cheshire East Council.

  • Download the draft Housing Strategy 2018-2023 (PDF, 3348KB)

Last day to defend the 319 bus service

Last chance today to put your feelings across in the consultation: click www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/busreview  ending today. 

Fiona Bruce MP and parish councillors

The circular route from Sandbach through Goostrey via Brereton to Holmes Chapel, Cranage and Twemlow will be withdrawn next year by Cheshire East Council unless a public consultation ending today is successful.

Residents have said that stopping the 319 will leave pensioners, young people and others without access to transport to get to shops or for medical appointments etc.

CEC want your views on scrapping the local bus

Cheshire East Council is proposing scrapping the local bus service 319 as part of its budget plans.  Details of the proposed changes are set out in this information booklet.

Let Cheshire East know your views on the bus review by:

Click the link: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/busreview and complete the questionnaire online

OR Email your comments to bus.review@cheshireeast.gov.uk

OR on Twitter using the hashtag #CECBRS2017

The consultation period ends on 26th July. (The Little Bus service, previously known as Dial-a-Ride, provides door-to-door transport for pre-registered members who cannot use scheduled bus services.)

The Little Bus Service



Goostrey’s bus service under review

Cheshire East are to launch a 10-week consultation on May 18th on the possibility of withdrawing bus service subsidies.  This could lead to some Sunday and evening bus services being withdrawn or some routes being axed entirely.

Services that could be axed include the circular 319 Sandbach to Holmes Chapel through Goostrey; presumably targeted due to a low number of users resulting in a high level of cost per passenger.

Others to be considered are the 32 Sandbach to Crewe; the 77 Congleton – Mow Cop – Kidsgrove; the 99 Congleton to Macclesfield; the 315 Congleton to Rode Heath.  Support could also be withdrawn from the Sandbach town services and the Crewe Flexirider.

During the consultation – which starts on Thursday May 18 – the public will be able to give their views online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/busreview and on paper-based surveys at libraries and customer service centres.  goostrey sign

Cheshire East encourages all members of the public who use buses for work or leisure, as well as those who don’t use buses, to engage with the consultation.

Councillor David Brown, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Changing the way services operate is always a very complex issue.  Naturally the council wants to weigh up the needs of all our service users for such an important consultation, so we are determined to take every possible opportunity to get the message that we want to hear your opinions out there.  We will still be investing more than £2m in subsidised bus services.”

Cheshire East May 9th 2017


Site Allocations public consultation til 10th April

CEC are running a new public consultation onn the second part of the Local Plan: the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD) Issues Consultation from 27 Feb to 5pm, 10 April.

This could impact the village as it sets the methodology for how CEC will allocate sites, extend settlement boundaries and determine the number of houses to be built in each LSC and so on.   Click this link for  The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document: Issues Paper.

CEC: ‘We have now started work on the second, more detailed part of the Local Plan and a number of documents are published for public consultation from Monday 27 February to 5:00pm on Monday 10 April 2017:

  • Site Allocations and Development Policies Document: Issues Paper;
  • Community Infrastructure Levy: Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule;
  • Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report; and
  • Call for Sites.

The consultation documents and comments forms are available on the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan and in Cheshire East customer service centres and libraries. Responses should be returned to localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk or by post to Cheshire East Council, Spatial Planning, Westfields, C/O Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ by 5:00pm on Monday 10 April 2017.’