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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Freeths Letter – 8th July 2016

URGENT NOTICE – For all residents on Wychwood Village and Wychwood Park. You will see in the letter below from Freeths (Haddon’s solicitor) that it states North and South side, this is Wychwood Village (North side) and Wychwood Park (South side). Both are under the same 106 agreement that they are looking to remove restrictions on house building, currently at 725 maximum and remove access points around the sites that will allow greater opportunity to build. Let this be a message to all residents on the PARK and the VILLAGE that it does affect you and if you want to keep this legal protection in place, you MUST object. Be under no illusion that this application won’t affect you. Tell your neighbours and on the PARK spread the word – we are one community bound by one agreement…Act now!!!


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Submit your OBJECTION to Haddon’s Variation of S106 agreement NOW

This is your immediate CALL TO ACTION!!

Yes, the time to act is here again, and this one is absolutely critical!

Haddon Property Developments Ltd have submitted a separate planning application for the variation of the Section 106. The Section 106 agreement is the legally binding contract signed for as part of your house purchase which offered protection against further development, through a limitation on the number of dwellings that could be built, and prevention of any development at all on the Country Park.

The S106 is as important a legal document to your home as the title deed, and must be defended against variation.

In requesting a variation, they are trying to remove the restriction on the maximum of 725 dwellings that can be built; as well as allow the development of a link-road across the Country Park and additional access points around the boundary; critical to the success of their application for 900 homes and services/facilities.

Without this variation they are applying for, they cannot build, it’s as simple as that.

Background information

The Section 106 as it stands states that no more than 725 dwellings can be built across both sites (Village and Park). We currently have 326 on Wychwood Village and 390 on Wychwood Park and both are linked under one section 106 agreement. It also states that no development on the Country Park is allowed, for a period of 80 years and no access points other than the current access points are permissible due to safety constraints.

We’ve made it clear that any variation would potentially result in a class action suit against Cheshire East Council, Countryside Properties, Bovis Homes and Taylor Wimpey (previously Brant Homes), so please in your own words ensure you get this point across in your objection.

To clarify this particular point – The 106 agreement signed in October 2003 covers both Wychwood Park and Wychwood Village and any variation would open the door for developers to propose building not just on the Village, but the Park too. Would you be confident that the owners of the hotel / golf course on the Park wouldn’t consider profiting from a similar development?

OBJECT by following the simple steps we have provided – deadline is the 15th July 2016 (please do it whilst fresh in your mind).

When should I object?

You should OBJECT NOW, don’t delay as CEC have only given us until the 15th July 2016 to respond; and Haddon have clearly chosen the holiday season as the time to strike! As this application is to overturn a legal document that we all signed as owners (and even bought our houses on the basis of), it is vitally important that all residents OBJECT, putting the strongest possible case forward.

How do I object?

Visit the planning application page and documentation here, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=16/3092N

Simply click ‘Comment on this application’ (on the right hand side) and fill in the required boxes. Don’t forget to type ‘object to the proposal’ in the box (default is ‘no selection made’). You can put your objections in the ‘Any general comments’ box.

The deadline is Friday 15th July 2016 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 considerations you may wish to raise as part of your submission, as well as the group objection we’ve submitted. Remember to pick out key points, ensuring your objection is unique so it counts as an individual objection. You may also wish to read through your legal pack when buying your home for anything that relates to limitations on numbers and development; as well as legal documents/confirmations from the seller or your solicitor confirming no further development. You can attach them to your objection as supporting documents and we’d strongly recommend this where possible.

Who can object?

Everyone who receives this notice should OBJECT, especially those that own property and/or live on Wychwood Village/Wychwood Park. Don’t just submit a single objection, submit for all members of your household. Our members in neighbouring towns and ex-Gorsty golfers should also OBJECT, as this still links back to the application for 900 homes. Quality is most important, but quantity certainly makes them sit up and take notice!

Need further help?

You can email us at any time for assistance completing your objections. Please don’t leave it until the last minute, the committee have a significant volume of work to do on this application so it would be great to know the residents are keeping pace.


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Community Right to Bid Appeal Granted

I have mentioned a couple of times to you about the Community Right to Bid, which basically allows communities to have first opportunity to buy any land that is granted community status, and that the Community Group had been granted this right by Cheshire East Council. I have further mentioned that this was being challenged by Haddon and that it was going to an independent judicial tribunal.

The result of that tribunal is now in and unfortunately, and to my utter dismay, Haddon have successfully won the appeal.

So what does this mean to us? In terms of the fight against the development of 900 houses, it actually means very little (we are still pushing to get a decision to be made at Strategic Planning) although of the plans we as a Group had to utilise the area for further community based activities are now unlikely to come to fruition. Much of the Judge’s decision was based around the status of the disused, and out of planning permission, clubhouse. It is now being addressed with Cheshire East as to what we can do about that, whilst ensuring that the site does not become even more of an eyesore.

This is a blow to our plans to own the site and to forever protect it from get rich quick developers, but is certainly NOT a go ahead for Haddon to build.

I am discussing with Cheshire East what options we have, but I fear these may be very limited.

There is a press statement circulating on this topic, which may or may not come to the local press, so I wanted to inform you all directly.

This is most certainly not the end of the fight and makes me even more determined to stop the building of any further dwellings on this site.

Let us all continue to “SAY NO TO 900……”

If I hear any further news I will be sure to let you all know first.

Kind Regards,

Trevor Sandry
Chairman – Wychwood Community Group


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Wychwood Community Group Annual General Meeting (AGM) – 24th April 2016

This is formal notification of the AGM for the Wychwood Community Group, which will take place on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 4pm in the Wychwood Village Hall. The agenda of the meeting can be found here.

If there are any other nominations for the Officers or anyone would be prepared to join the Committee then please respond to the mail address agm [at] wychwoodvillage.co.uk.

All proposals / nominations will be voted upon at the AGM in line with the content of our constitution.

Following the formal part of the meeting, the new Committee will take part in an open forum to discuss matters relating to the proposed development of 900 homes and services.

I look forward to seeing you all there to endorse a new Committee and continue the fight to stop any development in our wonderful neighbourhood into 2016 and beyond.


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Chairman’s Statement – 3rd April 2016

Dear Community Members,

I hope you have all had a good Easter and are looking forward to the Spring and Summer and enjoying the beautiful countryside around us. Firstly my apologies that I have not written to you recently, but I have been awaiting further information from Cheshire East on the Local Plan and the Planning Application. Some of which has now been provided. I am also able to announce the date of this year’s AGM.

Local Plan

Cheshire East Council have recently published their Local Plan for another consultation which finishes on 19th April 2016; allowing members of the public and interested Groups the opportunity to comment on the proposed plan the council are looking to adopt through until 2030.

Fortunately, the site of Gorstyhill has again been confirmed by the council as “not appropriate” for development and is noted in the Local Plan as a “non-preferred site”. This is great news, but isn’t where the battle ends for us, and your support is still needed to oppose this threat to our Community.

Having noted that there is no way to officially support the local plan through the consultation we have spoken to Cheshire East and they have suggested a way for us as a Group to add our support to the Local Plan.

A single Wychwood Community Group comment is all that is required at the moment so there is no need for any of you to add any comments as the Committee will be doing this on your behalf, in consultation with the Weston and Basford Parish Council. By taking this approach, based upon guidance given, it will allow the Group a stronger possibility for a seat at the table with the Government inspector and planners to discuss the local plan and on particular sites. When this opportunity is made available to us, we can reinforce our message in front of the Government Inspector not to include our site in any ongoing housing planning.

The information regarding the Gorsty Hill “non-preferred site” can be found here:

http://cheshireeast-consult.limehouse.co.uk/file/3481226

In addition, through the tireless work of Cllr Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council are also going to continue to review the ‘green gap’ allocation to the south of the borough, ensuring no further urban sprawl and avoiding any further developments bordering the neighbouring counties.

Planning Application for Gorstyhill Golf Course

Remember that the owner of the golf course submitted the planning application late in 2014, and although we are hoping to soon formally review this at a forthcoming Strategic Planning Board, the continued adoption of the Local Plan could be a major additional protection and is why we are lending our “support” to it at this stage through the consultation process. We are continuing to urge Cheshire East to bring this before Strategic Planning, but a date for this is still not as yet forthcoming.

AGM

We will be further discussing these matters at the Community Group AGM on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 4:00pm in the Wychwood Village Hall. A further notice on the precise details of this will be sent out in the next couple of weeks, where as well as the formal AGM we will also look to have a Q & A session, hopefully with other interested parties that can add some further detail.

Remember, we’ve only got this far through the continued support of residents, locals and ex-golf club members, so please continue to help us fight off this unwanted development and continue to support the Community Group Committee that has now been working on this for over 3 years.

Trevor Sandry
Chairman


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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.

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