Wychwood Community Group

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

Community Update – July 2013

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Wychwood Village CW2 Community GroupWelcome to the first of more regular updates of the situation and progress so far, and also the launch of our new logo! The left hand leaf highlights the diverse environment surrounding us and the right hand flag representing the golf club.

We are in a period of limbo at the moment – Haddon/Hunt have applied to Cheshire East for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and have carried out sound checks in support of this – we do not know if any other environmental surveys have been undertaken by them. The EIA is a requirement of any planning proposals on a site of our size. We are therefore still expecting a planning application to be submitted to Cheshire East at some point.

Currently Cheshire East are defending their ability to show a rolling 5yr housing supply at an inquiry which started 16th July, initiated by developers. All appeals to planning decisions are currently on hold until the outcome of this inquiry is known. The new draft SHLAA (Local Plan) is expected mid to end Sept 2013, it will then be presented to Government, followed by a period of public consultation and the final document is likely to be completed and published early spring 2014.

Although all seems quiet, as a Committee we have been working very hard on your behalf behind the scenes. We now have a highly skilled and impressive legal team in place made up of residents, who have called in many favours to secure professional advice and support from experts in the field. Our legal team have drawn up a constitution for the Community Group and are advising us on several key areas to direct our fight. Although we have been offered much of our legal support free of charge, there are still expenses to cover and they initially look to be in the region of £4-6K, which needs to be raised urgently.

In view of this, our next fundraising event is in preparation – a Bond themed casino night, probably at the end of September – details to be confirmed soon. Please come and support this event – it is essential we raise the legal funds required and are ready to take on the planning application when it comes in – as we fully expect it will! If you have any other fund raising ideas please let us know.

We’d also like to welcome Jenny Moran to the Committee, as our official Secretary. Jenny is a great addition to the team and has been involved since the start with the environmental sub group and more recently taking minutes for our committee meetings. If there are others that have time available and would like to be more involved as a committee member, please let us know!

We are currently surveying the wildlife and environment, the more we understand our park and golf course, the better we can protect it. Survey forms are available for you and your family to complete if you want to become more involved – please request a copy. Two guided walks are also being finalised and the details will also be sent soon! We have many other exciting plans in the pipeline and will include them over the next few weeks.

You will soon receive 2 surveys for completion, one initiated by our legal team seeking confirmation of the community’s wishes for use of the golf course land and the second from the Parish Council, also seeking information on the residents’ views re development proposals within the Parish. It is essential that you complete and return both surveys when they arrive, as it will give both the Parish Council and ourselves, a mandate from which to fight these developments at a different level.

Lastly – please feedback on how much communication you would like and how often you would like to receive it, as we wish to keep you informed without bombarding you with mails. We are organising an open afternoon soon at the Village Hall for everyone to come along; meet the committee members and catch up with what is going on in an informal setting, but we will also send out regular emails, when possible, taking into account the holiday season.

Unfortunately until the Golf Course reopens and we know the land will not be included in any future planning proposal the fight still goes on, so we need to stick together as residents, locals and ex-golf club members and fight this to the end!

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