Neighbourhood Plan referendum 17th August 2017

The Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan for Goostrey is now finished, approved by the Examiner, and will go to a public vote in a referendum on Thursday 17th August when Goostrey residents will be able to vote for it to be adopted.  If you will be away and can’t vote in person you can easily apply through the following links for a Postal Vote or a Proxy Vote  but must do so by 31st July.

We encourage everyone to vote “YES” for the Plan; designed to deliver the Vision via a set of Policies that reflect the views expressed by residents in the village questionnaire back in 2015 after the Parish Council first set up the Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

You can read the full plan – click on the link Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan  – which will only be adopted if more people vote ‘yes’ than ‘no’.

Paper copies are available for inspection from 3rd July in the Parish Office  (01477 535825).

All residents of Goostrey Parish on the Electoral Register will be able to vote – the question will be:

  • ‘Do you want Cheshire East Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Goostrey to help it decide Planning Applications in the Neighbourhood Area?’

Referendum is Thursday 17th August 2017.

A pictorial of Goostrey Vision and Policies

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.

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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.

Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan consultation Mar6-Apr17

Cheshire East has now started the formal consultation for the Goostrey N’hood Plan (GNP) for residents to make their comments up to 17th April;  the Plan is then sent to an Independent Examiner prior to the final referendum.

Link through to the GNP’s website to read the documents.

To comment: link to the Cheshire East GNP page; scroll down to Regulation 16 “Consultation”.

Goostrey parish

Fiona Bruce

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Fiona Bruce spoke in parliament at length last night; mentioning neighbourhood planning in Goostrey, Brereton and Sandbach and, following recent inconsistencies in the planning process, she asked for clarification on the weight “to be given to made neighbourhood plans in the absence of a local plan, and also to provide increased weight to a draft plan because of the stage it has reached. “

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill was at its third reading before going to the Lords, the Planning Minister Gavin Barwell having “made it clear that from yesterday, where communities plan for housing in their area in a neighbourhood plan, those plans should not be deemed out of date unless there is a significant lack of land supply—that is, under three years. That applies to all plans for the next two years, and for the first two years of any plan that is put into place. That will give a degree of protection that has not been available. The message needs to go out clearly from this House that local authorities must get up-to-date plans in place to provide that protection for neighbourhood plans.”

NP team at village hall Sat 5th 10-12:30

Remember remember 5th November:  Drop-in to the Village Hall tomorrow morning 10am – 12.30pm if you have any queries/questions for the Neighbourhood Plan steering group.

The pre-submission documents can be viewed on the following link… Regulation 14.. where you will also find the link to put your comments.

The consultation period closes at 9am on Monday 28th November 2016.

Inspector’s remarks on CEC Local Plan hearings

Extract from the Inspector’s closing remarks after the CEC Local Plan Examination Hearings:

“Finally, I have to say that this has been the most complex and challenging Local Plan I have ever examined – and I have examined over 20 of these types of plans over the last 7 years or so. I have been fascinated by the wide range of views expressed in the representations and at the hearing sessions and recognise the genuinely held views of all participants. You will have to give me some time to consider all the issues involved, but I will do this as efficiently as I can.”   Stephen J Pratt – Inspector.  20 October 2016

(and don’t forget to read through the Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan pre-submission document and Village Design Statement !  follow the instructions if you want to make comments)

Draft Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan ready!

The pre-submission version of Goostrey’s Neighbourhood Plan  along with the Village Design Statement  have now been prepared and can be seen on-line (hard copies also available). The NP committee are asking for the public to comment  so any revisions can be included before they are submitted to Cheshire East for the final consultation process.

Take time to view the documents… and enter your comments through the following link: Regulation 14..

The consultation period closes at 9am on Monday 28th November 2016.

*A drop-in session on Sat 5th November from 10am – 12.30pm has been booked in the Village Hall for any questions.

Coincidentally there was a second reading of the Neighbourhood Plan Bill this week when the Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell was asked to look at increasing the weight given to adopted neighbourhood plans where a council doesn’t have an up-to-date plan in place.

Our MP Fiona Bruce also put forward the JBO situation, “I have an appeal going through now to the Secretary of State for a large development near Jodrell Bank.  Jodrell Bank is concerned that having many more houses in the area will interfere with its instruments. It is a critical, individual, specific issue, and that area needs protection. It is important that that protection is not weakened if the council is unable to resist housing in unsuitable locations. Will the Minister clarify that the Bill will ensure that such sensitive designations will not be overridden and developers’ appeals will not be allowed? Will he confirm that that will be embodied as an amendment to the NPPF?”  Hansard 10th Oct 2016