Parish council research N/Plan

GPC discussed the possibility of producing a Neighbourhood Plan at last night’s parish council meeting and agreed to arrange a meeting with a Principal Planning Officer from CEC and a ‘champion’ of Tattenhall’s Plan before leaping in with both feet.

On top of the cost, one drawback would be the time it takes: man hours required of councillors [volunteers already busy with planning applications on top of normal parish business] and an expected minimum time-frame of 12 months.  By the time a Neighbourhood Plan would be far enough along to carry enough weight at Planning the current rash of applications could have already gone to committee/appeal.

Therefore there is a possibility that a Neighbourhood Plan could leave the village open to even more development rather than defending it against current developers.

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  1. Reply

    So, what did we get so wrong that Tattenhall get so right?! And what should we do from here? £10 for every person living in the village would pay for the Local Plan. Or entrust Cheshire East to do it right (second time around)?

  2. Reply

    We have to do something constructive !

  3. Reply

    I agree with Lesley we have to do something – it is a pity GPC chose not to positively consider the suggestion after the meeting with Michael Jones (23/4/13) when he advocated that a Local Plan would assist CEC to support Goostrey’s interests.

    • Reply

      The current situation is not the fault of Goostrey PC. The Local Plan as promised by Clr Michael Jones has not been ratified as the planning inspector requires Cheshire East to provide more houses than allowed for in the current emerging Local Plan. The Planning Inspector agrees with some of the arguments presented by developers such as Gladman at the Local Plan inquiry. The country needs more houses and they need to be built somewhere, however we would argue that it is not sensible to have significant development in Goostrey due to its proximity to Jodrell Bank. Goostrey PC will be researching a Neighbourhood plan or Village design statement in the next few weeks. But both wouldn’t be ready in time to have input on the current planning applications. Unfortunately with the NPFF and no Local Plan or 5 year housing supply there is little we can do other than wait for Cheshire East to fix the Local Plan and build a 5 year housing supply. At the moment there is no easy solution …

      Tattenhall aren’t out of the woods yet either, despite winning 2 appeals on the neighbourhood plan they still face public inquiries for an additional 400 homes.

  4. Reply

    My previous post should have read “neighbourhood plan” not Local Plan. I still maintain that GPC could have been more proactive to consider this AFTER the meeting in April 2013, rather than doing the belated research now. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted comes to mind.

  5. Reply

    Ok understood. The difficulty is in 2013 Goostrey PC were assured by CE there was nothing to worry about, the Local Plan and 5 year housing supply would be in place which would protect against unsustainable and unwanted development. When we all complained about being made a Local Service Centre, Cllr Michael Jones stated there was nothing to worry about Goostrey would only receive 30 houses in total over the duration of the Local Plan. This was subsequently amended at last years AGM when it was announced that Goostrey would receive no site allocations. Neighbourhood plans were advised by CE as being unnecessary, unless the community wanted to increase the number of houses required in the village, as the Local Plan and 5 year housing supply would provide the protection we required.

    However, the situation now is that CE were too optimistic that the Local Plan and 5 year housing supply would be in place. As we have recently seen neither are in fact in place. There is now no defence against unwanted development, with the NPPF allowing ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’. Neighbourhood plans being seen as the last line of possible defence.

    Although recent case law has indicated that Neighbourhood plans carry some weight in planning appeals, it is clear that what is really required is an adopted Local Plan and 5 Year Housing Supply. The only appeals Gladman have lost to date is when an adopted Local Plan and 5 Year Housing Supply was proven to be in place.

    A Neighbourhood plan may not be successful as the ‘objectively assessed needs’ (number of houses required) has not been determined by CE. Therefore any Neighbourhood plan could just meet the same fate as the Local Plan despite the amount of work we all put into it.

    The only current defence against these speculative applications in the village is the argument that these are ‘unsustainable’ if Jodrell Bank raise an objection. Jodrell Bank have already objected to the Hermitage Lane and Mount Pleasant site.

    We will see what weight JBO’s objections will have at appeal, but I suspect we need to prepare ourselves for a large increase in the size of the village in the next few years…

  6. Reply

    Thanks Martin I appreciate your comments and agree with your prognosis. Do GPC have any official dialogue with JBO?

  7. Reply

    Yes I believe they do now, they have regular meetings/discussions with JBO, and I know Fiona Bruce MP has met JBO as well. I’m sure JBO are aware of the developments in the village, but it seems to take them a while to complete their analysis of whether the development poses a risk to them or not, as the analysis seems to be very complicated, so we may not see a comment on the Shearbrook development for a while.

    While CE does take any objection by JBO seriously and are likely to refuse permission for Shearbrook if JBO does object, the key will be at any planning appeal and whether the planning inspector is as convinced by JBO’s defence. Time will tell…

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