Playground campaign in Knutsford Guardian

MONEY from a housing developer will be used to pay for a new playground – but in the wrong village to the dismay of Goostrey residents.  Knutsford Guardian 27th March 2016

Goostrey resident David Johnson is in the process of setting up a Friends of Booth Bed Lane Playground and is about to survey users on their priorities for improvement and development of the playground.


He was hoping that section 106 money, from the Bloor Homes Woodlands development which is within 700 metres of the playground, could be used to implement the resulting changes requested by the playground users.

Section 106 payments are intended to make a development proposal acceptable by providing funds to compensate councils for the extra demands that the development will make on local facilities.

But David was told that the money had been paid to neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester Council and was earmarked for a playground more than 3km from the development in the village of Allostock.

“We are not blaming Bloor Homes for this situation,” said Cllr Peter Godfrey, chairman of Goostrey Parish Council.

“The houses, although adjacent to Goostrey, are actually in Allostock Parish in Cheshire West and Chester.

“As a condition of granting Planning Permission, CWaC Council required the developer under a Section 106 Agreement to pay a contribution around £84,000 towards education and around £40,000 towards the provision of open spaces, £20,000 of which was earmarked for formal play areas such as the Booth Bed Lane playground.

“Nobody has done anything illegal here but what residents and the parish council are asking for is for a bit of common sense to be applied and for the money to be put towards the facilities which the people occupying the new houses will actually use.”

David added: “Parents and children living in the new houses will be able to walk to the Booth Bed Lane playground in less than 10 minutes – how many of them will get in their cars and drive to Allostock?”

Cllr Godfrey added: “Surely, even at this late stage, CWaC could recognise the unfairness of the current situation and agree to transfer the funds to where they will be needed to provide facilities to the people occupying the new homes.

“Goostrey is a small village with limited facilities.

“Goostrey Parish Council and many residents objected to the Bloor Homes planning application on the grounds that people purchasing the 38 houses would swamp the existing village facilities; however CWaC approved the application even though it adjoins Goostrey and Cheshire East. It is ironic that they are now holding onto the funds intended to provide facilities for the newcomers.”

CHESHIRE West and Chester Council said it could not help as it does not have any formal reciprocal agreement with Cheshire East Council whereby Section 106 monies from one development could be used in another borough.

Cllr Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “As is usual in many residential applications, the developer is required to make financial contributions towards education.

“As the houses will be in the Cheshire West and Chester area, the council is legally required to ensure sufficient school places are available, therefore a sum was secured from the developer towards such school places within West Cheshire.

“As no informal or formal space was provided within the actual development site a contribution was secured for the provision of informal open space and for the provision of formal play space within the local area.

Martin Aston, design and technical director for Bloor Homes North West, said: “The vast majority of The Woodlands site, including 38 of the 39 houses, falls within the Cheshire West and Chester local authority area.

As a result, the Section 106 planning agreement for the development, which includes a contribution from Bloor Homes of £39,748 towards a play area and public open space, was made with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

“During initial discussions about the development, we encouraged Cheshire East Council to enter dialogue with Cheshire West and Chester Council regarding the allocation of S106 funding.

“However, the responsibility for deciding where the money is allocated ultimately lies with the local authorities concerned.”

Cheshire East Council was asked to comment on the situation.

Knutsford Guardian 27th March 2016

The Woodlands Showhome open

It is interesting to see the Woodlands development now that the Show home is open – and the houses on the market – and to drive on Blackberry Way, the contentious access road.  Jodrell Bank did not object to this development, just requested screening measures.

The New Homes Bonus does not go to Goostrey however, despite locations and amenities being advertised as Goostrey, as it is technically Allostock, Cheshire West and school places are funded at Peover not Goostrey School.  The Woodlands address however is ‘Goostrey’.  A prime example of cross-boundary planning.




Development on ex-chicken farm to go ahead

The appeal by Bloor Homes has been allowed by the Planning Inspectorate and planning permission has now been granted for the access road off New Platt Lane to the ex-chicken farm.  Cheshire West & Chester had already approved an application for 38 houses to be built on the site.   Appeal decision

Previously CEC planning officers had recommended approval but the application was refused by the planning committee.

“The reason for refusal was that the construction of the access road would be impossible because of the applicants’ lack of ownership of land sufficiently wide to accommodate it and because the chicane planned at the two authorities’ boundary would result in unacceptable risks to highway users.

7. Those issues were, in practice however, resolved at a site meeting between the applicants and officers of both Councils after which the Cheshire East’s Highway Officer that ‘….all outstanding technical issues with the proposed access road have now been resoved….’ and that the proposal was in accordance with relevant development plan policies.  

8. The applicant’s assessment of the process is that local opponents to the development, despite Cheshire West  granting permission for the substantive part, persuaded Cheshire East members to intervene to prevent its implementation. Cheshire East members did so, firstly, by reneging on the agreement that Cheshire West would take responsibility for the whole development and, secondly, by devising spurious reasons for refusing permission for the access road despite evidence that these were untenable. A full award of costs against the Council is thereby justified.”              Costs decision 9th January 2015



GPC planning ctte 7.00 Tuesday

On Tuesday 11th November residents are welcome to attend the GPC Planning Ctte 7.oo – 7.30pm discussing the  ex-Chicken Farm access appeal & the recently advertised Gladman proposal for 132 houses next to Shearbrook in the middle of the village.

see Planning Ctte Agenda.

The meeting is immediately followed by the monthly GPC meeting 7.30pm, both in the Village Hall Lounge.

see GPC Agenda.

Access refused

14/2840C; access to Bloor Homes development off New Platt Lane

Against the Planning Officer’s recommendation for approval, Cheshire East’s Southern Planning Committee today refused permission for access to the Bloor Homes development on the site of the ex-chicken farm on the Cheshire West boundary.

LoveGoostrey hears that the Committee demonstrated common sense in their deliberations with the developer and Highways – and permission was denied mainly due to a lack of safe access by any road users (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians), especially with regards to the ‘pinch-point’.  Emergency vehicle access and flooding were also considered.

(Of course, there still might be an appeal.)


Chicken farm access – approval recommended

Southern Planning Committee: Wednesday, 30th July, 2014 1.00 pm Crewe

14/2840C: Planner recommends approval of the access

“The applicant has addressed the Strategic Highways Manager’s concerns regarding buildability of the access road through the chicane. The  proposal therefore adheres to Policy GR9 of the adopted Congleton Borough Local Plan First Review.  On the basis of the above, it is recommended that the application is approved subject to conditions.”

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