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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Annual General Meeting (AGM) Minutes 29/04/2018

Thank you to those that attended the AGM, held on the 29th April 2018 in the Wychwood Village Hall. A copy of the minutes can be found below, along side the original AGM flyer.

AGM Minutes
AGM Flyer

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Do you still want to receive updates from us?

Over the past 5 years, you have registered to become a member of the Wychwood Community Group (“say no to 900 homes”), in order to receive updates on our fight against development.

Whilst this battle is over (for now!), and the elected committee has been ‘suspended’, we must remain ready, should the land owner try again.

We’d like to keep sending you relevant updates, but the new European GDPR legislation that takes effect on the 25th May means that we need to ensure you wish to remain on our email members list.

So, to keep receiving updates from us, please can you reconfirm your membership by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Visit http://www.wychwoodvillage.co.uk
Step 2: Click the ‘Follow’ button in the bottom right of your browser
Step 3: Enter your email address and click ‘Sign me up’.
Step 4: You’ll get an email with a link to confirm your sub. Click ‘Confirm Follow’.

Thank you to each and every member for the support over the years, we couldn’t have done it without you.


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Spring 2018 Statement

The Committee and I hope you are all well and looking forward to Easter and the onset of Spring.

Firstly I need to apologise to you for not as yet arranging a celebration for us winning our 5 year battle against Haddon’s plans to build on the Golf Course, but hopefully we can set that right shortly.

The Committee met last week and agreed, that as per sections 36 and 37 of our Constitution* we plan to Suspend the Committee indefinitely, with the option to reform should Haddon lodge another planning application on the site. We would need member approval to do this and as such I propose a Special General Meeting is held on Sunday 29th April 2018 at 14:00 in the Wychwood Village Hall, hopefully this will be fairly swift and then we can adjourn to the Claret Jug on Wychwood Park for a drink or two to celebrate our success.

We are still left with some monies in our accounts and proposals for how we deal with that need to be agreed. Suggestions so far include the installation of some low level fencing on the Village entrance, and other potential weak points, to help with parking issues and to increase security against further traveller invasions. This would involve consultation with Cheshire East, which would be forthcoming. Other options include just keeping the money in an interest bearing account should we need it in the future.

If you have any further ideas, please feel free to let me know, by the end of March, so we can then create formal proposals.

I hope to see as many of you as possible on the 29th April, either at the SGM or afterwards at the Claret Jug.

*Copy of the constitution is available at the website

Trevor Sandry – Chairman


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Autumn Statement 2017 – Update

Following my previous update in early October, I stated that Haddon had 6 weeks to contest the decision to refuse their appeal and I am pleased to communicate that they have not exercised that right, which could only have been made under a point of law, so for the time being at least Victory is ours, and should be rightly celebrated. We will look to organise a celebration in the New Year as venues are busy at this time of year and we all have conflicting demands.

I will update on planned dates and venues as soon as I can.

Unfortunately who knows what the future will hold for the land, as that is still very much in Haddon’s court. The Committee and I have already forwarded details of a third party interested in the purchase of at least some of the land from Haddon. You can rest assured though that we would ensure that any purchaser is fully aware of the existing Section 106 and adheres to what we have fought so hard to protect.

Much has been said of house building this week in the budget and we watch closely any political developments and shifts in planning legislation

The Committee and I will be contacting Haddon in the New Year to discuss future use options, which they may or may not be prepared to do, although hopefully there can be a meaningful and productive dialogue.

In the meantime I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and if there are any further developments I will be sure to let you know.

Trevor Sandry – Chairman


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Autumn Statement 2017 – We have WON our fight against Haddon

After a long summer of waiting I am absolutely delighted to let you know that the Haddon Appeal to the Planning Inspector, and ultimately the Secretary of State has been dismissed and we have WON our case against Haddon.

This is a monumental decision for us and vindicates the hard work that has gone in from so many people over the last 4 and a half years…yes it really has been that long!!!

The Community Group Committee has been immense throughout this process and has stood firm and united against Haddon and the threat they have posed to our Community. Andy Bailey, Ian Dews, Paul Burt, Jenny Moran and Tom Applegarth have been here since the beginning, along with Andy Lamb who helped form the Group and latterly David Deacon who joined the Committee. Every one of them has committed hours and hours of selfless effort, and whilst we haven’t always agreed and there have been numerous debates we kept together and our efforts have been rewarded.

There are so many other people to mention across the time, Evie, Amanda, Dean, Mark, Hannah, Niall, Natalie, Jeff, Adrian and everyone who submitted objections, posted leaflets, attended fund raisers and supported us. It would not have been possible without you all, and everyone else reading this note.

Our Parish Council, especially John Cornell, have supported the Committee in every step as has our Ward Councillor Janet Clowes, as well as members of the Planning Team at Cheshire East.

So what next?

Haddon does have the right to appeal, within the next 6 weeks, on a point of law only, and that would be very expensive for them and would only get them back to square one of having to repeat the planning process.

For the Committee and members we have to organise an AGM, decide what to do about ourselves constitutionally and think about the funds we have in our account.

First though lets congratulate ourselves, thank ourselves and plan a celebration party….we ALL deserve it.

Planning Inspectorate Decision

Some remarks from committee members:

Trevor Sandry said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that all the hard work, by so many people has finally paid off and that we have won this massive battle against Haddon and their plan’s to destroy our Community and everything we bought into. Many residents and fellow members deserve special thanks, as well as the long serving committee and their long suffering partners…. We need to properly mark this event with a celebratory party, Claret Jug are you listening, where we can properly thank everyone and to congratulate ourselves. Haddon does have a right to appeal, although only on a point of law, and have 6 weeks to do so, however this is a hammer blow to them.”

Andy Bailey added:
“I cannot express enough how pleased I am that the application to refuse Haddon Property Developments Ltd application to build up to 900 houses on a golf course he purchased and then manufactured its closure. The Inspector and the Secretary of State have listened to sound arguments from Cheshire East Council, the Parish Council, Wychwood Village Community Group and of course the massive swell of objection from local residents. This is obviously a fantastic win for common sense and where the planning system has not failed to protect the very people it is designed for. But feel a lot of this would have been lost without the unwavering support from the Borough Council (Janet Clowes), Parish Council (in particular John Cornnel), Officers of the Borough Council. But most of all the unwavering pressure and support to defeating this application from the Wychwood Village Committee (Trevor Sandry, Ian Dews, Jenny Moran, Paul Burt, David Deacon and past members such as Andy Lamb) But all this hard work would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the residents from the Village. Park and surrounding areas – you have ALL been amazing and might have a drink now!!”

Paul Burt mentioned:
“This is fantastic news and I’m elated all our hard work came to something and was done by proper team work from all concerned including residents, the council and of course my committee friends – well done again a great result.”

Jenny Moran commented:
“I am chuffed that all the hard work over the last 5 years by a great team of people, including those in addition to our core committee (with a special mention of Evie) has resulted in the protection of our beautiful environment and safeguarded a unique and valuable habitat for many years to come. This has been an amazing journey with so many ups and downs, but in the end all that hard work paid off. So happy right now!”

Ian Dews said:”
“Through hard work and unwavering dedication, we as a collective community of residents, locals and ex-gorsty golf club members have beaten this speculative attempt to destroy the amazing environment in which we live. It goes to show that with strength and support in numbers, the right decisions can be made, and this WAS the right decision for Wychwood and the wider area. Thank you so much everyone that objected, helped out, raised money, contributed funds, and those that simply followed our lead, it has paid off. Time to breathe a sigh of relief, but remain mindful of what happens next.”

Andy Lamb added:
“That’s great news, well done to all of you! I look forward to popping over to help you celebrate, what a great achievement!”

As soon as I hear any further information I will let you know via email and through our social media outlets.

Trevor Sandry – Chairman


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Summer Statement 2017

As we head into the second half of 2017 and over 4 years on from the closure of Gortsyhill golf course, we are finally getting close to a decision on the proposed ‘up to 900 homes’, that Haddon wish to build on the site.

In my last mail I suggested that a decision would be reached in June, however that was delayed by the General Election and the Inspectors report is scheduled to be delivered to the Secretary of State on 7th July, a formal decision is then expected within a few weeks. During this delay there has been some very good news in that the Cheshire East Local Plan has now received further approval from the Inspector, and that we continue to be excluded from it.

We have also had another unwelcome visit from a family of travellers onto the Country Park who stayed for just over a week and caused lots of consternation and dismay as well as leaving a mess in the area, which has now thankfully been cleared, and many thanks to the residents who helped with that clear up. The area where they entered the site has now been secured and thankfully the whole site is now relatively safe from further intrusion, although we still need to be very vigilant, as clearly we are not the only ones who think this is a great place to live.

The Community rallied together and despite some very heated debates worked as a unit to help protect the site. Legally the hands of the Police, Cheshire East Council and the Parish Council were somewhat restricted, which was very frustrating all round, and does raise some serious questions.

On the topic of travellers I would also like to draw you attention to another planning application 17/2879N which has been lodged for “stationing caravans for residential purposes for one gypsy family pitch….” in Weston village; I would ask that you all look to object to this through the Cheshire East website.

An outcome of the General Election was that our local MP has now changed and Edward Timpson, who was a great help and supporter of our cause, and we would like to thank him for that publically, has now been replaced by Laura Smith MP. We have yet to formally meet with Laura re our situation, but hope to do so shortly in the expectation that Laura will be as helpful to us going forward.

We still believe that our case is a very solid one and that we will prevail in this battle, what the future holds though only time will tell.

As soon as we hear any further information we will let you know via email and through our social media outlets.

Trevor Sandry – Chairman


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Easter 2017 Statement

First of all may I wish you all a very Happy Easter, and hope that despite the overcast weather you are still able to get out and about and enjoy the wonderful countryside around us.

The Public Inquiry into the Haddon proposed development for up to 900 houses and application to vary the Section 106 that all Wychwood residents are bought into, has now formally closed and we are now in the hands of the Inspector, and ultimately the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP.

The last few weeks have seen us working hard to ensure that our points of view are firmly at the forefront of the Inspectors mind and that we are treated as an equal party in all of the negotiations. Haddon presented a new Section 106B document and have been trying to get the previous signatories Cheshire East Council and Countryside Properties to sign this new one, but thankfully both have refused and Haddon has now presented a unilateral Section 106 that only they have signed. The refusal to sign is another major blow to Haddon and only goes to strengthen our case.

All documents, from all parties will be made available in due course on the Inquiry site.

https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?caseid=3150968

Our Local MP Edward Timpson is very aware of our case and has been working on our behalf and will continue to do so.

I expect a decision from Westminster by the end of May / early June and as soon as I hear something I will of course pass it on to you.

We are also due to be holding our AGM this month, but given the impending decision I propose to postpone this until after the Inquiry ruling has been made. Once we have this information we will be in a far better position to decide on the future course of the Group.

I hope that you are all agreeable to this proposal and I look forward to seeing you at the AGM in June time, where hopefully we can plan a celebration.

As soon as I hear any further news I will let you all know.

Once again thank you for all your ongoing support and I again wish you all a Happy Easter.

Trevor Sandry, Chairman