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 – 16th March 2014

You may have received an email from the council advising that the Local Plan has now been approved by full council ready for formal submission to the Planning Inspectorate for ratification. Before this takes place, there is a final 6 week representation period whereby objections can be raised to specific points within the plan. At this stage we are seeking clarification on whether we as members need to act and will advise if any steps are required to be taken.

Other news: In the interests of Wychwood, our wildlife, and our fight against development, could we please ask that should you see any strange going’s on (on the Village side), you report them to us immediately. Many of you work from home, and walk around the Village/Country Park, making you the perfect individuals for keeping an eye on changes taking place. No matter how small the changes are, we want to know. Examples such as fallen trees, cabins being removed and banners being installed (all have happened in the last few weeks); or poachers on-site, unusual wildlife spotted, site assessments being carried out, signage changes, unexpected maintenance, owners/developers on-site etc. It may sound trivial, reporting minor changes, but this can make a big difference to us and the wildlife group, allowing us to react quickly.

Did you see the new banner on the side of the clubhouse? “Short-term let available”! This is for the clubhouse only, on an initial 12 month lease. It isn’t clear why the land owner would resort to this, and we’ll avoid speculations, but rest assured we are in discussion with the Parish Council on how to act. Remember we have a fully functional village hall available for bookings, don’t line the pockets of the land owner!

As you know, the diverse wildlife we have on the site is incredible, and none more so than our resident badgers population. Many of the badgers have been here for longer than us, and in parts, are responsible for the layout of the golf course, to avoid disturbance to active setts. We feel strongly that the badgers, not just here but throughout the country should be saved from culling, which has so far proven ineffective, unscientific, inhumane and costly; culling could also worsen the problem of bovine TB instead of tackling it! Please take 1 minute out to sign the petition on the Cheshire East website so culling of badgers can be prohibited on council-owned land and invest in vaccination programmes instead. Can we also remind you not to go looking for our badger setts, as you may cause irreparable damage; especially those looking with dogs!

Finally, we’ve sent you email regarding this year’s Family Fun Day; to get the community together and raise further funds should we need them to fight off further housing. A meeting to discuss the event is taking place in the Claret Jug (on Wychwood Park) at 8pm on Monday 24th March 2014. We require volunteers to help plan the day and make it a success, as we as a committee cannot organise this alone. Please come forward, even if you can only spare a small amount of time; it would help hugely.

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Short term let available!!!

The latest club house decoration? “Short-Term Let Available”, “Tel: 01246 858251”, “Email: info@coverlanduk.com”.

The owner is letting out the clubhouse only, for an initial 12 month period, though any renters would need to seek their own ‘change of use’ approval from the council.

We won’t speculate on why the owner feels the need to take this approach, but rest assured, we are dealing with it and have notified those that need to be aware.

Golf club house for let

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Wychwood Update – 7th March 2014

Battle won, war goes on…

As you may well have seen in the Local Press the Cheshire East Local Plan has now been approved by full council and is in the process of being submitted to the Central Government Inspectorate for approval. Most importantly the Gorstyhill site is a Non-Preferred Site, which essentially means we have been assessed and not included as a site for approved development in this plan, which covers the period up to 2030.

Whilst this is great news it is not the end as Haddon are still able, and likely, to apply for planning permission on the site. Cheshire East would undoubtedly refuse this and it would then go to a Government inquiry (on appeal) to make a judgement. The Local plan does offer us protection, even in the non-inspectorate approved state, but this is not a guarantee. The planned creation of an enhanced Green Belt to cover our site is also very much still part of the Local Plan, which would further protect us once approved.

Our local area is still going to change dramatically as Basford East and West and the area around Crewe Hall will all experience massive development over the next 15 years, as well as the provision of new link roads, and the planned regeneration of Crewe itself, as well as the HS2 rail link.

As a committee we will continue to act on your behalf to protect our interests; working closely with the Weston and Basford Parish Council, our local Cheshire East councillors and MP, to ensure we ward off any unscrupulous and greedy developers looking to further develop housing in our area. We MUST stand side by side with our local representatives to say “enough is enough in our Parish”.

We are now almost a year on from the initial furore that erupted when Haddon advised residents of their plans and as such it is our intention to give notice of the Wychwood Community Group Annual General Meeting, as per our constitutional rules.

The AGM is planned for Sunday 27th April, and all members of the Group are welcome to attend.

It is with regret that I have to announce that our Chairman is planning to stand down from his role, due to other commitments. The committee will propose a new structure of officers which will be announced more formally closer to the AGM date, which you will be asked to vote on. Volunteers are always welcome. We are particularly looking for volunteers to help with the proposed Fun Day, and perhaps take on the role of Social Secretary.

Please rest assured that the committee is still very active and is looking at all ways to protect the site, as well as the wildlife and environment, and is making every effort to try and reintroduce a fully operating Golf Club, as well as ensuring that the Country Park is well maintained and fit for purpose as Spring draws closer. We have been asking Haddon for maintenance updates for some time and have escalated through the Parish Council as Haddon are responsible for the Country Park and we intend to make sure they comply with this.

We continue to maintain a dialogue with all stakeholders to the site and will persist in doing so.

As always, if you have any questions, or spot any unusual activity on the site, no matter how small, please let us know by reply.

Thank you all for your unceasing support and commitment to preserving our neighbourhood and keeping it a great place to live.