Plans for the Sibelco sand quarry on land at Rudheath Lodge, New Platt Lane were approved today by Cheshire West & Chester. The proposal had previously been approved on April 4th by Cheshire East’s strategic planning board. (new info from the Environment Agency wasn’t discussed at the meeting but if the EA change their original ‘no objection’ then it will be referred back to planning).
Cheshire East are to meet again to review the new documents but it seems doubtful that they are allowed to alter their original vote.
Amongst others Goostrey’s Cllr Ken Morris spoke against the application over concerns about fugitive silica dust as well as pointing out that the stated Condition by Jodrell Bank Observatory for the site to not exceed the ITU threshold cannot possibly be enforced. Especially when Sibelco say the site already exceeds it (before driver’s mobiles etc). JBO have been given a draft scheme by Sibelco and will have to sign off on it before plans can go ahead.
In regard to water levels of nearby New Platt Mere dropping; CWaC stated that work would stop if water levels dropped to a certain level, and only resume once they had risen again.
Although CEC’s Strategic Planning Board voted earlier this year to approve the part of Sibelco’s planning application which is in Cheshire East, the decision has not yet been confirmed and an approval letter has not yet been issued. Residents now have the opportunity to submit further comments due to additional information, see below, up until the 3rd January 2019. (Original comments are still relevant)
The application has not yet been considered by Cheshire West and now new objections have been raised by Garnett Farms. They put the case that the water table in the area will be lowered if the Quarry goes ahead; in particular the water level in New Platt Mere would drop. This has resulted in a number of new technical documents between the Environment Agency, Sibelco and others – which can be found on the following link to Cheshire West website under 17/03104/MIN.
The Sibelco rebuttals (but not the other documents) have appeared on the Cheshire East planning website in the last few days and are open to public consultation with a closing date of 3rd January 2019, the planning application number is 17/3605W. (click link).
After a number of re-schedulings the latest date for the Cheshire West Planning Committee is 8th January 2019.
Interestingly Cheshire West have also published a document from Sibelco entitled ‘Electromagnetic Compatibility Scheme’ which shows that the background level of radio emissions are higher than those specified by JBO, even before any works are started. Although Sibelco have asked for a response from JBO, there is nothing showing on either CEC or CW&C websites.
JBO has opposed the current proposal that includes 10 ‘glamping’ pods, noting “that the impact from the additional potential contribution to the existing level of interference coming from that direction will be moderate to severe” …..”the pods themselves are likely to offer less shielding than conventional building materials and this site is very close to the telescope”.
Goostrey Parish Council have also objected to the scheme due to conflict with N’hood Plan policies and the lack of footpaths/pavements from the site along the narrow lanes to the village. Highways have pointed to the lack of car parking spaces on illustrations.
link to application: 18/5000m Comments by 14th November.
The application, for Mr Barber of Cheshire Country Holidays on Bridge Lane, includes the construction of 10 glamping pods – on wheels covered by decking- a permanent reception/office, store, shop and shower block with parking spaces for 15 vehicles.
Outline planning has been refused for 8 houses on the site of The Grange stables and menage off Station Road. Goostrey PC voted to object and Jodrell Bank Observatory had strongly opposed the proposal.
The Local Planning Authority considers that the proposed development would introduce a suburban, residential development (by virtue of the scale massing layout of the proposed dwellings) in this rural area which would not preserve or enhance the character of the locality. It is considered that a residential scheme in this location would not be acceptable in terms of its landscape and visual impact and would lead to an unacceptable form of development within the Open Countryside
The proposed development would impair the efficiency of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope which is an internationally important scientific facility.
The planning officer made the following observations:
“In any event it is not considered that the fundamental principle of the replacement of the existing buildings with two storey dwellings (as proposed) would preserve or enhance the character of the area and that the proposed development would have a significant negative impact on the Open Countryside and area. The existing equine use is considered to be appropriate to the character of the area and it is considered that the form/layout of the proposed residential development would assist to erode the landscape character of the area”
“Given the local character of the area, the impact on the landscape and the impact on Jodrell Bank it is not considered that the redevelopment of the application site to a residential use represents sustainable development as detailed within this report.” Link to full officer’s report.
Jodrell Bank Observatory has objected to two current applications in Goostrey, ‘noting that the cumulative impact of this and other developments is more significant than each development individually’.
12 homes proposed by Crabtree Homes Ltd on open countryside to the east of Hermitage Lane, with access off Nether Lea. Decision expected 3rd Jan. Link to application: 18/4980C
Mount Pleasant Residential Park (Tingdene Parks Ltd) applied for the demolition of 60 & 60a Main Road and the garage blocks to redevelop the site with 9 new park homes. Decision expected 30th Nov. Link to CEC planning page: 18/4510C
Jodrell Bank Observatory have objected to the proposal and were opposed to a previous application for 26 homes at this location (Ashalls submitted a different proposal in 2014 – 14/1964C ; refused and then withdrawn before appeal) however the new developer has included a ‘bund’ to the east in the hope that it might help block interference – higher than the houses??).
It is not clear how effective that would be and details of its height are not included – but …would diffraction be an issue anyway?
“The development will create 12 new dwellings with associated public open space , which provides a choice of housing to meet the needs of the area, whilst respecting and enhancing the site’s environmental assets. This will be achieved through the provision of 9 market houses and 3 affordable homes . Housing will be set within a robust green infrastructure, which will include existing mature trees and hedgerows. It will also include a permanent earth bund to the east side of the site which will help to block any interference to Jodrell Bank. The development will provide a mixture of market and affordable homes enhancing the land which has previously been used for agriculture and is currently empty .” Design & Access, Crabtree Homes.
Updated Nov 2018. The Appeal after the Jan2018 refusal has been dismissed for a subterranean house near Jodrell Bank Observatory in the garden of Coachman’s Cottage. PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFERENCE: APP/R0660/W/18/3206533.
The main reason given was the potential harm to the efficiency of JBO; the Appeal Inspector also stated……
“I therefore conclude, on balance, that the proposed development would be in an unsuitable location, having regard to local and national policy. Although any harm to the character and appearance of the countryside would be limited by the subterranean design of the dwelling, it would conflict with Policy PG 6 of the CELP, which seeks to protect the open countryside by carefully restricting development outside any settlement with a defined settlement boundary. It would also conflict with Policy HOU1 of the Neighbourhood Plan. Given that the Council has a sufficient supply of housing, there is no justification for breaching the spatial strategies of the CELP or the Neighbourhood Plan”
Both JBO and Goostrey PC had objected. Two reasons were given for the initial refusal: firstly it would be in ‘Open Countryside’ and secondly, even though partially subterranean, would impair the efficiency of JBO. Cheshire East’s Local Plan policies and Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan policies were quoted. Link to the Officer’s Report:
“The application is located in the open countryside where development is subject to stricter control and the policy focus is on preserving the openness, character and appearance of the countryside. The application seeks permission for a new subterranean dwelling in the garden of Coachman’s Cottage. Policy PG 6 of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy 2017 (CELP) defines open countryside as the area outside of any settlement with a defined settlement boundary. Within the Open Countryside only development that is essential for the purposes of agriculture, forestry, outdoor recreation, public infrastructure, essential works undertaken by public service authorities or statutory undertakers, or for other uses appropriate to a rural area will be permitted. The policy allow several exceptions for new dwellings including where there is an opportunity for limited infilling, re-use of existing buildings and replacement buildings. Infilling is allowed in villages and ‘the infill of a small gap with one or two dwellings in an otherwise built up frontage elsewhere’. The CELP defines infilling as ‘the development of a relatively small gap between existing buildings’. The site could not reasonably be described as an infill plot, it does not have a built up frontage and is not located between two or more existing buildings but rather is adjacent to woodland and agricultural fields. The proposal would not re-use an existing building and is not a replacement building. As such it does not comply with any of the exceptions which allow new buildings. New buildings are not permitted within the open countryside and therefore the principle of the development is not acceptable.“