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.