Proposal off Netherlea/Hermitage Lane refused at the Northern Planning Committee yesterday.
Although Cheshire East stated that the site was sustainable for rural housing the committee fortunately refused the application for 26 houses off Netherlea on the basis that the development would be in Open Countryside and Cheshire East now has a 5 year housing supply. Other considerations were that Jodrell Bank had objected to an increase in housing in the village and that the proposal had an inadequate road layout.
It is worth repeating that the published Local Plan confirmed that the majority of Goostrey’s development needs are to be met by Holmes Chapel – therefore there is no need for more large housing estates in the village. The parish council’s recent Site Allocation for the Grange site was not a material consideration and did not influence the outcome.
At the start of last night’s meeting, Goostrey residents expressed their concern that Goostrey PC seemed to have already decided on the Grange site as their only preferred option with the way the Agenda had been written and without any public debate of the other sites put forward. GPC denied this was the case and read out the clause from the Parish Council rules which forbids pre-judgement. GPC stated in their ‘village survey’ that the majority of votes for additional housing was for the Grange. However only 104 votes were cast and there had been no flyer distribution to each household in the village, with the majority of votes cast from residents affected by the other development proposals in the village.
Parish council point to the Grange for Site Allocation
Despite input from Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO) Director Prof Simon Garrington, who attended this weeks GPC meeting, the parish council voted for the full housing allocation that Goostrey may have to take to be sited on greenfields at the Grange Livery fields to the east of the village. There is currently a planning application for 26 houses behind Hermitage Lane and a further pre submission proposal for 25 for behind Mount Pleasant, but the council chose to put forward the full 50 house allocation for the Grange Livery fields to Cheshire East’s Site Allocations.
Not only did Prof Garrington inform the council that the Grange Livery site would be the largest and closest development ever proposed near the Observatory, but a single device at the site would exceed the recommended electromagnetic threshold’s at the observatory. Residents’ comments to the recent Local Plan consultation pointing to their wish to have a spread of smaller numbers developments through the village was also ignored. Goostrey PC stated they did not want to see small developments of big houses but felt that a rural feel of the village could be best maintained by a single large housing estate to the East of the village where the type of houses could be controlled .
Goostrey PC stated they could only review the information they already had and could not consider JBO’s representation.
The Parish Council stated they had tried to engage with JBO in November last year but as JBO failed to reply they assumed JBO weren’t interested in engaging with the Site Allocations within Goostrey! Prof Garrington apologized and stated he had not seen the email or missed calls and tended in the past to just deal with the Cheshire East planning department directly. Prof Garrington offered to undertake an assessment of all the sites proposed with respect to the potential impact on the Lovell telescope which would take a few weeks to complete, Goostrey PC stated they were unable to wait for this assessment as they wanted to comment on the Hermitage Lane site planning application , the deadline of which was due at the end of the week. Goostrey PC stated they were still interested in receiving JBO’s assessment of the impact of additional houses on Jodrell Bank Observatory at the sites proposed and could re-consider at a later date. GPC also stated that this decision today may not stand and may be over ruled by Cheshire East Council.
see JBO’s detailed consultation comments on the website.
Jodrell is lit up this evening as it gets ready for another series of Stargazing LIVE on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on the BBC2 at 8.00pm.
To mark its return the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre will be hosting family science shows on Saturday and Sunday (January 11 and 12) and is designed to encourage everyone to make the most of the night sky.
The Jodrell team will be discovering how stars are formed, what stars are made from and we’ll be carrying out some explosive live demonstrations. The family science show times are 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and booking is recommended due to high demand.