Wychwood Community Group

Working as a community to stop the development of 900 homes and re-open the Gorstyhill golf course

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Chairman’s Statement – 23rd November 2015

It has been a while since our last update, but rest assured that the Wychwood Community Group Committee that I Chair have continued to work behind the scenes with the Cheshire East and Weston and Basford Parish Councils on matters arising from the planning application.

As some of you may have noticed, a letter from the council was sent out a few days ago advising you of a revision to the planning application for the proposed development of 900 homes on the ex-Gorstyhill Golf Course.

The revision is to satisfy the council on a number of issues raised both by them, and by the committee on many aspects of their application; mostly focused around infrastructure and environmental, although it still fails to answer many key points.

Having looked through the revised documentation, very little of any substance has changed, aside from more social housing and a completely new environmental report, which is now showing significantly more evidence of species living around us; something Jenny and Evie have worked incredibly hard with local experts on to disprove the initial reports findings.

The basic premise is that it still proposes 900 New Dwellings on the old Gorsty Hill Golf Course, engulfing Wychwood Village, and overdeveloping Wychwood/Weston as a whole.

I urge all residents to review the new documents (dated 17/11/2015 onwards) on the planning portal, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=14/5671N, and where required, submit a further objection to the plan on any specifics you find. Extra points that we would suggest you reiterate are that this proposed development is NOT a part of the emerging Local Plan and, from initial data provided as part of the Weston and Basford Neighbourhood Plan, is NOT seen as a need or requirement of the vast majority of the residents of the Parish.

Please note that all previous objections you submitted still count – this is not a new application, only a variation. Please ensure though that you mark any new comments as an Objection.

Having spent the last few months back and forth with the Council, the Committee expect this latest revision is nothing more than a stalling tactic, should the Council need to bolster their projected 36,000 new homes within the emerging Local Plan, which is expected to be submitted in early 2016. Without inclusion within the local plan, we cannot believe this application would be passed based on its own merit, but only in order to satisfy the needs of the Inspectorate on new homes for the Cheshire East region. Cheshire East are confident that this is not the case.

I will report back soon once I have any further pertinent information.

Rest assured the Committee and I are using all means available to engage with the Parish, Cheshire East and our local MP, Edward Timpson, to continue the fight against this speculative development, and we hope that this latest set of documents will be the last and that we can get to properly debate the proposal in front of a Strategic Planning Board meeting. A debate that we expect to win.


Wychwood Annual General Meeting (AGM) – 26th April 2015 2pm

This is formal notification of the AGM for the Wychwood Community Group, which will take place on Sunday 26th April 2015 at 2pm in the Wychwood Village Hall. The agenda of the meeting can be found here.

Should anyone wish to put themselves forward for a position on the Committee, please respond to the email address agm at wychwoodvillage.

Following the formal part of the meeting, the new Committee will take part in an open forum should you wish to ask anything relating to the development proposal.

I look forward to seeing you all there to endorse a new Committee and continue the fight to stop any development in our wonderful surroundings.

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Wychwood Planning Update – 5th April 2015

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you are all enjoying a well earned break and recharging those batteries?

I promised in my last note to update you as soon as I had further news on the Strategic Planning Board that will decide our application, and we now have more definite information.

The Strategic Planning Board will not happen in April and is now most likely to be scheduled for July or August. The main reason for this is so that Haddon can respond to the Council on the many items we have raised and the missing information in their initial proposal. Haddon has agreed to this extension so there is no risk of Appeal against Pre Determination at this stage. In some ways the longer this goes on the closer the Local Plan will get to being completed, which again we are very confident will not include our site. The Committee and yourselves have built an extremely strong and robust case for refusal and we are extremely confident that Cheshire East will robustly refuse this application, which then firmly leaves the ball in Peter Hunt’s (the owner of Haddon) court. Does he want to pursue it through further appeals, at great cost, or will he then accept that this is not a Community to be messed with, or a place to build 900 houses? Only he knows.

In other news I have been working closely with Cheshire East on a Community Right to Bid piece of work which has now been officially approved by the Council. This effectively gives the Community first opportunity to buy the Gorsty Hill Golf Course and Country Park should Haddon wish to sell it. The Community has 6 weeks to register an interest as and when the asset is notified for sale and then there is a full 6 months moratorium to assemble a bid for the asset. This is a powerful tool and along with having the area designated on the Open Space register shows how much we value it and are prepared to fight to protect it. I have to say a great deal of thanks to Janet Clowes, our local Ward Councillor, who has been very helpful in getting this actioned and who has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout this whole process, thank you Janet.

Another vital piece of work that we are planning to work on with the Parish Council is a Neighbourhood Plan for the Weston and Basford area and I am meeting with the Parish next week to see how the Committee and I can help to push this along. Getting a formal Neighbourhood Plan in place is another strong piece of evidence for refusal of the application. Questionnaires will hopefully be out within the next few weeks.

Things may seem quiet over the next few weeks, from the development side at least, but please use them to take the opportunity to challenge your local Candidates for Ward and Parliamentary elections about how they will support residents in their fight against speculative and unsustainable developments. Government Ministers and Local Councillors are the people who will most likely have the final say on this application and we need them to be as supportive as Janet Clowes and Edward Timpson MP have been to us throughout our campaign.

The Committee and I continue to explore every avenue we can to strengthen our already very strong case to beat Peter Hunt and to get back to the life we all wanted in this area. Bovis will be off site shortly and we can work on making the Wychwood area into a place to live with a real sense of Community which this fight has helped to create.

Have a great Easter and I will update you on any further information I hear.

Kind Regards,

Trevor Sandry
Chairman – Wychwood Community Group

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Wychwood Planning Update – 16th March 2015

Since I updated you a couple of weeks ago we have seen some more objections raised and we now stand at over 1150, a marvellous effort by all concerned. I promised to update you on the Strategic Planning Board and this week we found out that the Haddon Application will not be discussed at this months meeting, but is now very likely to be discussed at the meeting on April 15th. I will confirm this as soon as I know, but we as a Group are very keen to get the Application heard, so that Cheshire East can formally reject it.

We are still working behind the scenes with a number of agencies to discredit and destroy the application and we are all entering into new spheres, which are challenging and enjoyable although do take up many man hours of the Committee’s time. Our continuing work, and the quality of our objections, has been noted and praised in many political circles and that holds us in very good stead going forward.

You may have seen and will continue to see a host of officials on site over the next few weeks as Cheshire East review evidence and take their own independent evidence, although we continue to help them with our own data and findings.

We are also due an AGM and I propose to have this after the Strategic Planning Board in April, so that we can fully appraise you of the results and the next steps we all need to take.

Thank you all again for your continued support.

Trevor Sandry
Chairman – Wychwood Community Group

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Wychwood Planning Update – 27th February 2015

We have made the largest objection to a planning application Cheshire East has ever seen……well done, and thanks, to each and every one of you.

We have achieved our target and have so far seen circa 1140 objections posted against the Haddon proposal for 900 houses. This is a fantastic result and will make Cheshire East Council sit up and take notice. The local residents, and as importantly local voters, have shouted out a resounding NO, to this application.

Next steps are still a little unclear as Cheshire East review the comments and the original application, and I believe they have gone back to Haddon on clarification of a number of points, which will involve some reworking, and may delay this going in front of the Strategic Planning Board. I will advise of the date of that as the Committee and a number of other allies, are planning to speak at the meeting and a strong display of resident support will certainly help. It is very important that due Planning Process is followed and whilst I am keen to get this positively resolved, it has to be actioned within the prevailing planning laws, frustrating though that may be at times.

At this stage can I say a massive thank you to your committee, Andy, David, Ian, Jenny and Paul who have literally put in hundreds of hours of work in preparing our objections, which are truly amazing, and are continuing to work on your behalf on a number of other areas behind the scenes to ensure this application is rejected. There are also so many of you that have helped, not just by objecting, but by turning up to various meetings, helping with printing, delivering leaflets, putting up posters, helping the committee with specialist feedback on objections and in so many more ways. This really has been a genuine community effort to get us where we are today, which I firmly believe is in a very strong position to robustly defend ourselves from Haddon and to get this application rejected both by Cheshire East and by any subsequent appeals.

Interestingly Cheshire East has just won another High Court Appeal, this one against 146 houses in Willaston, added to the recent Gresty Oaks victory at appeal shows that the tide is turning in the favour of South Cheshire residents.

As soon as I know firm dates for Council meetings I will let you know, but trust that your Committee and I will be there to represent you and to get the right result for Wychwood Village and Park, Weston and surrounding villages.

Remember that this could well be the first of many battles to come, which may well involve considerably more effort and expense, and whilst we are looking into setting up a Just Giving page, as agreed at our last residents meeting, there are rules around this, which we have to work through.

You may well have seen we have been active in the media locally and will continue to do so as we run up to the Strategic Planning Board, and are planning an event which we hope will get us local and hopefully national coverage, so watch this space.

Don’t forget you can read the group objections (2 Grange Close) on the planning portal, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=14/5671N. We are sure you’ll agree they offer strong grounds for refusal.

Your ongoing support drives us all on.

Trevor Sandry – Chairman

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Wychwood Planning Update – 24th February 2015

This is YOUR last chance to OBJECT and make a difference; deadline is tomorrow (Wednesday 25th at noon). OBJECT NOW against plans to build 900 dwellings plus employment, leisure, supermarket, primary school and residential home on the site of the ex-Gorstyhill Golf Course.

Do you really want to live on a building site for the next 20-30 years? Can you imagine the impact of 2,000+ more vehicles on our single access point? Did the original design concept and protection of the Section 106 help you decide to live here? Do you want to see protected wildlife habitats fragmented and torn apart? Have you considered the negative impact on your families enjoyment of the open-space countryside and the value of your home; can you afford to lose 30%? Are you going to allow the greed of one ‘out of town’ individual ruin your way of life, or are you going to fight back?

How do I object?

Simply visit the planning application page here, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=14/5671N

Click ‘Comment on this application’ (on the right hand side) and fill in the required boxes. Don’t forget to select ‘Object to the proposal’ (default is ‘No Selection made’).

Objecting is simple, it takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any complicated login process.

Key planning considerations you may wish to raise as part of your submission can be found here, https://wychwoodvillage.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/key-objections.pdf

Who can object?

Everyone in your household can OBJECT, so don’t just submit a single objection, submit for all members of your household. Get your friends and family to OBJECT too if this would impact upon them.

Need further help?

If you are struggling to object for any reason, please email us back and we’ll help you out. We can’t risk any excuses impacting the future of the area, so don’t hesitate in contacting us for assistance.

Last chance!!!

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Wychwood Planning Update – 11th February 2015

Time is fast running out to OBJECT against plans to build 900 dwellings plus employment, leisure, supermarket, primary school and residential home on the site of the ex-Gorstyhill Golf Course.

When should I object?

You should OBJECT NOW, don’t delay! We have had feedback from the Council and there is a pressing need to get the volume of our objections into them ASAP to help strengthen our case.

How do I object?

Visit the planning application page here, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=14/5671N

Simply click ‘Comment on this application’ (on the right hand side) and fill in the required boxes. Don’t forget to select ‘Object to the proposal’ (default is ‘No Selection made’).

The deadline is Wednesday 25th February 2015 at noon. Don’t delay.

Objecting is simple, it takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any complicated login process.

Here are some key planning points you may wish to raise as part of your submission, https://wychwoodvillage.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/key-objections.pdf

Who can object?

Everyone in your household can OBJECT if they have an opinion on this application, so don’t just submit a single objection, submit for all members of your household.

Once you’ve done that, get in touch with your friends and family; have them OBJECT too if you feel this development would impact upon their enjoyment of the area.

If each household submits 4 objections (or more), we’ll have thousands by the deadline which will make a huge statement to the decision makers. Quality is most important, but quantity certainly makes them sit up and take notice!

Need further help?

Following feedback received, there are quite a few people struggling to get their objections completed.

For this reason we will be opening the doors of the Wychwood Village Hall this Sunday 15th February between 10am and 1pm to offer help and guidance.

We will be armed with a couple of laptops to help you submit your objections there and then, and can also help submit on behalf of your friends and family if you have their consent and bring along their details.

We will also be spreading the word by handing out flyers from the gates of the Hall to passers-by on foot and in cars, so if you can spare an hour on Sunday morning to help, we’d appreciate it.

You can of course also email us at any time for assistance completing your objections. Please don’t leave it until last minute, the committee have a significant volume of work to do on the ‘group objection’ so it would be great to know the residents are one step ahead.


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