Welcome to our second update – a little later (and longer) than planned due to the recent events!
Firstly, what a great community we have – it was true Dunkirk spirit shown on Tuesday night in the face of adversity (travellers arriving on-site) and we really have pulled together again as a community. Lovely to meet even more residents and even better to be able to celebrate a positive outcome…
We have lots of exciting things going on, the lull is officially over!
The first of which is a meeting with Edward Timpson MP on the 9th August, which was requested by the committee. This is in light of a recent commons debate (link below) involving many MPs (unfortunately not ours), requesting changes to the national planning legislation, felt by many across the country to be failing. We note that Fiona Bruce MP for Congleton has taken a very proactive role in fighting the proposed developments within her constituency, and although Mr Timpson supports us and has links to our webpage on his, we hope he may also be able to take a more active role.
Councils such as Cheshire East are constantly being challenged by developers who appeal adverse planning decisions; these decisions are increasingly overturned by remote Government inspectors. We want to see our MPs standing up for, and supporting local people and councils.
Over the last few weeks we have begun talking to other local groups involved in the fight against speculative local developments. Although we are all in slightly different circumstances, we are all Cheshire East voters and residents, and should make our voice heard at both a local and national level – strength in numbers!!
An outside broadcast is arranged for the morning of 14th August by BBC Radio Stoke, who have done a great job highlighting the amount of proposed building in Cheshire East and the work of groups such as ours fighting it. Two members of the committee, Paul Burt and Andy Bailey our Chair, will be interviewed with as many residents as possible welcomed along – taking place at our very own Village Hall between 7am and 10am.
Our legal team have prepared an official constitution for the Wychwood Village CW2 Community Group and this will be emailed to each of you when it is finalised. One change necessary is that we are no longer residents etc. but “members” of the group – so from now onwards we will refer to everyone as that! Part of the constitution will be to formally set aims and objectives for the group – for this purpose we have set up a survey on our website to assess members’ wishes for the future use of the golf course, please complete ASAP, it will take seconds.
The meeting with Mr Hunt (Haddon) and his representative John Church is still on the cards but has been difficult to arrange due to holiday commitments on both sides. We are in regular contact (more so since Tuesday night) and it should still happen towards the end of August.
Our environmental group have started work on a film and are collecting clips and photos, whilst continuing to survey the surrounding area. Please do get involved over the summer if you can – it is an exciting project and something the kids will really enjoy too. A drop box has been set up for photos and film clips – at the moment we have to email the link individually so please contact us for details and we will send an invite! The film idea has really taken off – we have offers of aerial photos, skydives, a film company and soundtrack, as well as offers to launch it on YouTube as a campaign video and music video – we will have a launch night in the Village Hall with the completed version. These films will convey how beautiful the environment is here in a way that written reports and photographs are unable to.
We also have two guided walks prepared and both a butterfly and bat survey that can be completed, as well as the wildlife survey forms supplied at the family fun day. Local bat and barn owl groups have been contacted and we are trying to also arrange a bat walk / talk. More news to follow…
Last but not least from the Committee is our Bond Night – poor Paul Burt has been running around like a headless chicken trying to pull this all together. Our legal team have told us that we need £4-6000 set aside for when a planning application is submitted – hence our biggest fund-raising push so far. This is the big one and we need you all behind it to ensure success!! The night will involve a Black Tie Bond themed night with casino tables, licensed bar and dance floor. It will be on either Friday 13th or 20th September dependent on the venue, but probably the Village Hall or across at DeVere. We want to maximise profit whilst keeping it within walking distance.
As an addition to the above we also discussed the parking situation on the Village – a long held bone of contention amongst many, and due at least in part to the poor planning on parts of the estate, compounded by a lack of driveways to the front of properties. Whilst we have sympathy for those affected by these problems, the situation changed on one evening last week when a young boy was knocked down by a car on the ring road. He was lucky to escape with a large scrape to his back and severe bruising to his arm, and was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution. It was distressing not only for him and his family/friends but also to everyone that heard the impact and went to assist. Had the driver not been travelling so slowly this could have been dreadfully worse.
His mother has given us permission to highlight his accident, as cars parked on the road, blocking visibility to both drivers and small children, played a part. It is not our job as a committee to nag about this (perhaps a future residents association?) but we would just like to ask car owners to both drive slowly and park responsibly on the Village, and parents to encourage their children to play carefully especially on bikes and scooters. Nag over!!
Good to see the travellers gone and efforts are continuing to ensure no re-occurrence – we are investigating security options at the moment whilst also liaising with Haddon. Perhaps a residents group could be formed to take over these investigations and also consider setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme? (Although we do seem to have the start of a pretty effective one following Tuesday night’s gathering!) We are happy to help coordinate any volunteers.
Thanks for all of your support!