The Inspector returned to Cheshire early on Monday and took a walk around Goostrey (his second) looking at the areas which had been discussed. He, with a representative from each party, then had a tour of Jodrell Bank Observatory, hearing how it had developed from Sir Bernard Lovell’s first dreams, before going up the Lovell Telescope and setting foot on the dish.
Day 5 (Tuesday) started with Goostrey resident, Roger Dyke, who had been on holiday last week so unable to speak at the beginning with other residents. He spoke in two capacities, first as Leader of the Goostrey Footpath Group. Footpath 12, he explained, runs alongside the proposed development site. It has a number of unique features in that at least part of it is fully accessible and it is the only rural footpath which links the two halves of the village. He pointed out that it is used by many Goostrey folk, in particular dog owners, but it is also well known to the Ramblers’ Association and appears in a number of walking books. The proposed development would block the view of the Lovell Telescope and housing would completely destroy the open rural feel.
He then spoke wearing the hat of a retired electronic engineer and licensed radio amateur. Having commended to the inquiry Professor Garrington’s rebuttal to Dr Trotta’s evidence he became the first witness to use visual aids and props. He held the inquiry’s attention as he explained how houses will leak radio waves as holes are cut into the foil backed plasterboard to insert the wiring for the ring main. When appliances and gadgets are plugged into this the wiring conducts the radio interference out of the house and radiates it to the telescope. Gladmans, having stressed the great age of the average Goostrey resident, had earlier implied that the new development would attract younger residents. Roger took this argument and shot it back at them saying that younger people typically have more gadgets so would create more interference. His demonstration concluded with a dismantled LED bulb. These are great for saving greenhouse gasses, which is why they will be used in any new development, but most are made in the far east under price pressure and emit illegal levels of radio interference.
The second part of the morning was devoted to agreeing conditions which would apply to any development on the site, if permission is granted. All very necessary but somewhat pedestrian. S106 payments were also covered, everything going through on the nod with the exception of CEC’s request for money for Goostrey Community School and Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School. CEC’s case was that both these schools are full so they need money to cater for the children who would come from the proposed development. Gladman’s expert responded with the fact that they are only full because people travel from out of the catchment area and, indeed, out of the county to attend these schools. CEC batted back that this was parent choice etc. If the appeal fails we will not have to be concerned with such niceties.
However, that afternoon was the long awaited highlight of the inquiry: the advocates’ closing submissions….(link to Day 5 part two)
(part one of two)