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 – 20th February 2014

Quick update, you may have seen on the news that Cheshire East Council have now published their Local Plan. This still has to pass through full council (next week, 26th February) before being presented to the inspectorate for approval, which is likely to take around 6-10 months providing all goes well. We won’t be safe until this time, so the fight is likely to continue throughout 2014. If you wish to read the local plan, you can do so here:

http://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecminutes/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=279&MId=5188&Ver=4

The highlights for us are that we remain a non-preferred site, but the landscape around us will change massively over 15 years as Basford West, Basford East and Village A (around Crewe Hall) are all developed. It makes it even more important that we protect our site, to retain some kind of open countryside in South East Cheshire. The ‘Green Belt’ extension is expected to be considered as part of the Local Plan; the document states that the council wish to ensure that Crewe cannot merge with Nantwich and neighbouring villages/counties, and that it must link up with the existing Green Belt which surrounds us, which is promising.

As soon as the Local Plan is given the green light to be presented to the inspectorate, we’ll let you know; then we can focus on next steps.

PS – don’t forget that both council meetings to discuss the Local Plan can be attended by the public and if you wish to speak, you can do so by prior arrangement with the council. The dates are 26th Feb in Macclesfield and 28th Feb in Crewe.


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Wychwood Update – 5th February 2014

We have some good news, Cheshire East Council through tireless work have announced that they have now achieved the 5 year supply requirement. You may recall that CEC were found to be short on housing supply due to operating to the wrong methodology (Liverpool, not Sedgefield) and as a result, led to hundreds of developers re-submitting or appealing decisions to get their plans passed. CEC now have 9,757 homes allocated which is a 5.87 year supply. Whilst this does of course mean hard decisions have had to be made by the council on sites they normally wouldn’t have approved, and the further loss of countryside throughout Cheshire East, it does at least cross out another possible objection Haddon may use.

More information… (Council Secures Five-year Housing Supply to Protect Against Speculative Developers)

The local plan consultation is moving forward, delayed in part by thousands of pages submitted by developers, often duplicated in many areas, in the final two hours of the consultation , all of which had to be reviewed. The plan is scheduled to be submitted to full council in a meeting on 5th February. It will then be publically reviewed at a meeting on the 28th February. The meeting is open to the general public at Crewe Alex for anyone who wishes to attend (we’ll be there). Further confirmation on the details of this will follow.

The council are also looking to interact with villages on the local plan to ensure we can have a say on businesses, recreation and community facilities, plus find ways to further protect the countryside. We already have dialog with the council, but will of course get involved with this too.

More information… (Cheshire East to work with villages on details of Local Plan)

We have consulted with members of the council on Haddon’s objections to our sites non-inclusion, and the general opinion is that there comments are weak at best and highlight the negatives of other sites more than the positives of their proposal. Also, submitting their comment in duplicate eighteen times is to their discredit and unlikely to be well-received by the Inspector who has to receive ALL registered submissions, even if he has seen them before! Hopefully this is the case.

As you may have noticed, the condition of the golf course is now in a very sorry state and would cost a significant amount to restore; however, don’t be too disheartened, we still have an interested buyer should the opportunity arise, and the infrastructure remains in place, so the majority of cost would be to repair the greens and bunkers.

The Country park itself is also looking a bit beaten, and we have once again contacted Haddon with a list of maintenance jobs required including hedgerows (a very narrow window of time to have this done), plus fences, ponds and much more. Haddon as owners of the land have a legal obligation to maintain and we’ll use every avenue available to get these jobs done. Unfortunately they have as yet not responded to our mails on this matter, so we will be escalating this through the Parish Council.

On a more cheerful note, we believe Wychwood Village has been earmarked for Fibre Broadband from the end of March, with the Park due for upgrade later in the year. Subject to delays of course! An increase in speed from 1-4Mbps to possibly 78Mbps would certainly be welcome!