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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Wychwood Update – 27th January 2014

We trust you had a nice Christmas and New Year and are ready to fight once more!

This is just a brief update to let you know we haven’t deserted you and we continue to work hard on behalf of everyone to prevent further development of the Wychwood area.

As things stand, Cheshire East Council are finalising the Local Plan for submission, with our site still deemed “non-preferred” which is good news.

However, the threat from Haddon Property Developments Ltd hasn’t gone away. They submitted a rather extensive legal response to the Local Plan, not once, but eighteen times!

The report is available to read here (you may need a few cups of coffee!), but the key points we’ve picked out are highlighted in yellow. Essentially Haddon are trying to discredit the work of Cheshire East Council and that of their leader by suggesting a pre-conceived objection to our site, even before a proposal was made.

They have decided to take the approach of comparing our site to the contentious area of Crewe Hall, known as ‘Village A’ (including in the plan), rather than promoting the individual merits of this site (probably because there aren’t any!). A risky strategy given that The Duchy (Duchy of Lancaster) own the area surrounding Crewe Hall and will expect some allocation within the plan.

Whilst their response has clearly been written by Haddon’s legal team, it is weak at best and most points made can be disputed. We have to be very careful though, if they throw enough weight behind this (and money!), they may try to have this decision reversed. Developers challenging decisions at the moment are having some success in overturning decisions (albeit from direct applications, not the local plan); it will therefore be crucial the council continue to protect our site and support the wishes of the residents and locals of Wychwood. We still expect to see a direct planning application in the coming months.

We will continue to update you of next steps with the Local Plan and any further moves Haddon make. In the meantime, we are working on our next night out to raise funds, as well as applying pressure on Haddon to maintain the site in accordance with their legal obligations. Please continue to support the work of the committee and be ready…