Wychwood Community Group

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


Submit your objections to the local plan – The time has come to act!

The public consultation period has now ended, we’ll update you soon on what happens next

We need you, and everyone within your household to submit objections to the inclusion of the Gorsyhill/Wychwood development in the local plan. You have until Thursday 30th May and that will soon come around. Please submit your objections early, and then encourage your friends, family and colleagues within the local area to do the same and help put a stop to this madness! Let us submit so many valid objections that the council simple cannot ignore.

Don’t forget this is not a planning application, but a submission of land to the local plan, so the objections you raise are more to do with why this isn’t an appropriate location to build more houses in line with the councils strategy. We appreciate that deciphering the difference between the two can be difficult, but if you use our example objections and those already published, it might give you a better idea of the approach to take.

You must submit your objections via the local plan website, this will require you to quickly register an account, validate it (via email), then add your comments, ensuring you tick the “object” box of course.

Please include the objections we have provided below in your submission (ideally changed in to your own words) and then add your own personal views too. It is important that each submission made is unique.

Site J – Gorstyhill Golf Course, Weston (add submission/comment)

Site J – Gorstyhill Golf Course, Weston (general information)
(to view current comments, click tab near top right)

Guide to making comments online (pdf document)

We appreciate that you are busy, but taking a few minutes out of your day to submit your objections may be the best time you ever spend and may help stop this proposal from going any further. You are not only assisting your own cause by objecting, but also that of the entire community, as well as local villages who will also suffer as a result of such a large scale development.

If you have any questions or are struggling to understand the comment submission process, please let us know as there are alternative ways of object (though it is encouraged you use the method above.

Objections you must include:

The section 106 agreement of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 signed/dated 8th October 2003 clearly states that ‘now or hereafter’, Wychwood estate must not exceed 725 dwellings; this includes 326 dwellings on Wychwood Village and 390 on Wychwood Park. The agreement has already been amended by 50% from the original 500 limit and would be unreasonable to make additional variations. The original planning application was approved on the basis of an open space village theme surrounded by country park and golf course; building work continues and therefore the application should still be valid. The road infrastructure within Wychwood Village/Park is already strained and the A531 between Weston and Betley is totally unsuitable for additional traffic this proposed development would cause; the impact on neighbouring villages would also add significant risk.

You will also find some more background information here, should you need further pointers; https://wychwoodvillage.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/objections-to-local-plan.doc.

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Update – 12th May 2013

It has been a busy few weeks for the committee, so firstly let us apologise that the weekly update has slipped, but as you can no doubt imagine, we’ve had to prepare for the local plan public consultation.

We’ve decided to change the format of our update going forward, which will be sent out at the end of each week (or bi-weekly), with more pressing matters in between when needed. The email updates will now include a round-up of each major area of discussion, contributed by our sub-group leaders, as well as a more general update too. Just be aware that at times, there will be information we cannot discuss to avoid it being used by Haddon in any proposed plans; it isn’t a case of keeping you all in the dark. We hope you will find it informative, but as always, we do like to stress that if you have any questions, just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Objections to date: 108
Email database: 1100 +
Petition signatures: 1025

You should hopefully have received a couple of emails from us requesting that you submit your objections to the local plan; it is paramount that you do this before Thursday 30th May for it to be considered and help towards our overall objection to the proposed development of 1000+ dwellings on the Gorstyhill golf course. If you have already done this, apologies in advance for the numerous reminders over the coming weeks, but it is of absolute importance that each and everyone submit their objections to bolster our numbers. If for any reason you haven’t received our email guiding you through this process, let us know.

In other brief news, the parish and ward council continue to support our case, and we are doing likewise with their battle against the 3 speculative developers in the Weston area (Village A, Land South of Weston and of course us). We will be asking you to object against their proposals within the local plan in due course. The police continue to have an active role in monitoring the situation on the golf course, and reporting back instances to the parish and the land owner; they are also engaging with us as a committee as we suggest solutions to help protect the land from unwanted visitors.

We continue to politely ask that you do not trespass on the golf course, especially with dogs as they leave scent marks that will discourage wildlife from the area which is so vitally important to us. We have new signs going up everywhere but clearly some people choose to ignore them. All we are able to do is report such instances to the police and let them deal with it.

Social sub-group (written by Paul Burt):

The inaugural ‘Haddon Bash’ evening was a success and a very enjoyable evening with many making new friends and a community spirit being fostered and developed hopefully. We hope to make them a lot more regular, so please attend the next and support both your community and the local pub. The Family Fun Day (bank holiday Monday 27th May) preparation is going well, we now have a Bouncy Castle organised too. Please ask family and friends to attend, the more that come the better the day. We will advise on timings nearer the day but there will be a lads against dad’s football game or if numbers allow maybe a tournament. There will be golf tuition, fire engine attending, various sports activities organised by residents with Sport England. Cake making competitions and much more. Still looking for children’s entertainment, so if anyone has friends or family who are entertainers of any sort please ask them to help and contact Amanda Towns (pandaincheshire@gmail.com). Anything you feel will add to the success of our Family Fun Day, please come forward and let Amanda know.

Environmental sub-group (written by Andrew Lamb):

The Environment and Legacy sub group has been busy trying to win support in the form of written objections or advice from a number of different organisations including Natural England, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, Sport England, the Woodland Trust, Cheshire East Council Environment Team amongst many others. The feedback received to date has been very much in support of our fight against this proposed development. We have gained some really useful advice, perhaps the most significant thing that we can now confirm is that Wychwood Village and Gorstyhill golf club is rated between 2-3 agricultural grade. This is quite important when it comes down to considering future land use, we are looking into what implication this may have.

In addition to this, we held our first Wychwood wildlife walk and nature assessment in May. A number of local volunteers and environment experts made up the team who was also joined by an ecological expert from Keele University. We are discovering more and more about the ecological value of the Country Park and the Golf Course along with the importance of this area to the wider countryside. We are also aware of a number of very interesting species of animals and birds whose natural habitats will be under threat should this development go ahead. One thing that we must ask again is that we please discourage dogs from walking around the Golf Course as there is a real danger that these dogs will displace native species which will vacate the site!

We are really keen to involve the wider community and our supporters and would like to encourage people to email any useful wildlife sightings or concerns about the environment to us. We will be hosting an event during the family fun day which should help you to further appreciate the ecological value of this unique site whilst meeting the team.

We have been asked if members of our community would sign a petition on the Cheshire East website to create a greenbelt area protecting land between Wychwood and Stapeley (including Chorlton, Hough, Wybunbury & Wistaston). We believe this to be a worthwhile cause so if you get a couple of seconds, please can you sign; it doesn’t require registration, just a straight forward form confirming a few details. Click the ‘Sign ePetition’ option on this page http://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecminutes/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=25&RPID=3703309&HPID=3703309. If we can get 1500 registrations, we can demand an open debate at full Council which would be a phenomenal opportunity. Help support our neighbouring villages in the way they have been supporting us.

The Environment and Legacy sub group will be meeting at 20:30hrs on Thursday 16th May (tbc) at the White Lion in Weston, should anyone wish to join us, please come along.

Legal sub-group (written by Paul Burt):

We are still waiting for a meeting between our resident lawyers and the Cheshire East legal representative but the meeting has been requested. A few new documents have been unearthed that have proved very helpful and a big thank you to residents for their help. Janet Clowes (Ward Councillor) and Sonia Harris-Short (sub-group member) are doing some sterling work on our behalf as well as many others contributing. A few issues concerning the golf course have been discovered and are being investigated; some could be crucial, but we are keeping our powder dry with these, so mum’s the word. The unexpected return to maintenance of the golf course is an excellent occurrence, we are not sure why this has happened, but long may it continue. This action should not, however, lull us into a safe and cosy place, Mr Hunt exists in a dark and cold place, not us!

PR/Media sub-group (written by Alison Tipping):

We have had a great deal of media coverage as you are probably aware. Our local newspaper and radio reporters have been very supportive of us and of the other groups who are fighting proposals in the area and have asked us to keep them up to date as things progress. Our local MP, Edward Timpson, was also sent a copy of the full media pack which the journalists received. He has replied saying that he found the pack very informative and that we have his full support.

The major golf publications in the UK and the R&A have also been sent the media pack, more to make them aware of what is happening in case Gorstyhill is not a “one-off” than in any expectation of coverage from them.

No further specific media action is planned for the time being as we are in a bit of a “lull” period from that point of view but, as and when something arises which may be of interest to the journalists, they will be given the relevant information. At this point the intention is to keep a local focus on what we do send out but this will be revised if circumstances dictate that this may be beneficial.

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Family Fun Day – Monday 27th May – We need your help!

The family fun day is fast approaching (bank holiday Monday 27th May between 11am and 4pm), and we need your help!

We are looking for assistance with the following to make the above a great fund raising day:

– Does anyone have a contact for a bouncy castle or inflatable children’s play equipment either free of charge or nominal fee.
– Anyone that has face/nail painting experience or equipment to offer for the day.
– Anyone that has contacts with Crewe Alex/Stoke City or other football clubs to acquire signed shirts or balls or player/manager appearance on the day.
– Anyone that knows Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in order to get maybe a signed set of darts or appearance on the day.
– Anyone that has contact at Wychwood Park Golf Club to get a free fourball/clothing or similar.
– We are looking for people to come forward to donate cakes/biscuits or similar.
– We are also looking for anything else you would consider suitable as a donation to be raffled, plus anyone that can offer use some time on the day to run one of the many stands or events.

Any help you can give will be much appreciated, to make what is already shaping up to be a fantastic day even better.

Please contact us if you can assist with any of the above and we’ll pass on to our Events Leader, Amanda Towns. Thank you.

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Proposed development put to public consultation

As expected, the proposed development of Gorstyhill Golf Course on Wychwood Village will be put to public consultation from tomorrow for possible inclusion in the ‘local plan’.

We feel this public consultation will actually work in our favour, as we can show officially just how oppose to this development we are, and put a stop to it NOW. Not only that, it gives us some protection should Haddon/Hunt decide to launch a separate planning application in the future.

The consultation is from Friday 3rd May 2013 until Thursday 30th May 2013 so we must act fast!

Details of the consultation are already available to view.

All comments (objections) will need to be published on the Cheshire East local plan website, so we will provide you all with a step by step guide plus other relevant information over the next few days. This will include key objections we’d ask that you include, plus then add your own personal ones to ensure no two comments are the same.

It is imperative that each and every one of you object to this, which means everyone within your household.

We will be in touch very soon with all the details, so please be ready to react within the next 28 days, as this might be the only opportunity for us to voice our opinion and put a stop to this development proposal being approved.

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Follow up to Strategic Planning Meeting

Today was the strategic planning meeting in Crewe (Wednesday 1st May 2013) to discuss the additional sites brought forward for consideration within the local plan, which includes Wychwood Village/Gorstyhill.

Whilst the meeting wasn’t to discuss the merits of each proposal, it was to hear the thoughts of the ward and parish councillors, as well as allowing those community groups and residents who wished to speak, the opportunity to have a say, positive or negative.

The meeting was attended by three members of our committee, and a number of residents/locals, of which we are hugely grateful for them attending.

Our observation of the meeting was that only a few key sites were represented, of which we were the largest group.

Individuals willing to speak had 3 minutes each, so we had a lot of air time, with confident performances from all. We must say the passionate speeches by our ward councillor Janet Clowes and Parish vice-chairman John Cornell were simply stunning, and had the entire room totally engaged. Combine that with the very factual follow-up by Andy Bailey (our chair), Sonia Harris-Short and Jeremy Edwards, plus the well thought out personal views of Jenny Moran, we certainly covered all bases.

Michael Jones also attended as leader of the council, and with other councillors, referenced Wychwood Village/Park a number of times in objection.

We do believe that Haddon/Hunt had representation from John Church, their developers, but whilst they had the opportunity to speak, they didn’t! We hope their journey home is full of reflection and acknowledgement of what they are up against.

The question is what happens next, as the afternoon session to decide was behind closed doors. The committee have a view that it is likely all proposed sites will go to public consultation, starting from Friday 3rd May 2013 for 28 days. This could actually work very much in our favour, because it will allow every single one of you to voice your objections/opinion officially, and display how little demand there is for further development here, and in neighbouring villages. The council have made it very clear that if residents don’t want it, it won’t happen, but we cannot rely on this alone.

If our development goes to public consultation, which we should find out in the next day or two, we’ll be in touch to explain exactly what you need to do next. This will most likely be to log on to the Cheshire East local plan website and submit your objections, of which some will be formal objections we’ll supply, and the rest your personal views.

It is absolutely key that every single one of you object to the proposal for 1000+ homes (a revised estimate with the assumption that they have removed the ‘commercial’ allocation), and this is the time when we will need the support of everyone to bring this community together; helping with leaflet-drops, asking your neighbours to object, talking to us and one another, and attending our community evening and fun-day this month.

We’ll be in touch very soon, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please let us know by reply.