Wychwood Community Group

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

Wychwood Update – 17th April 2014

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You may spotted in the papers that the Planning Inspector have approved an appealed development in Sandbach on the basis that Cheshire East Council cannot prove they have a 5 year supply of housing, as they had previously announced. It would seem that the Inspectorate believe that not enough of the proposed developments have planning approval, therefore the chances of new homes being built within 5 years is unlikely. The council have come out fighting, immediately issuing a press statement denying this, and stating that the Inspectorate has got it wrong, and they want a full review. Whilst this could be potentially damaging short-term, providing the council provide sufficient supporting evidence to the Planning Inspector which they then agree upon, it should further protect sites like ourselves from unsustainable, opportunist development. We’ll keep you updated on this matter.

Following a number of responses from our Members, we wanted to clarify the situation with regards to the maintenance of the Country Park and Golf Course. As it stands, we must commend the Gorsty maintenance guys on-site for the exceptional work they are doing. The fields of the Country Park are regularly cut and look very smart (we love the stripe effect), the trees have all been pruned allowing them to flourish, the entrance to the village is looking much more presentable, and the Golf Course itself still resembles a Golf Course. The issues we have relate to jobs that should be done in accordance with Haddon’s legal obligations set out in the transfer of ownership documents. Such examples include hedge trimming (now the wrong season), path repairs, pond clearing/cleaning and fence repairs/painting. We believe these important jobs are being neglected and as a community, we all bought into this asset and won’t tolerate attempts to damage it. These are specialist jobs requiring specific kit, and judging by what was taken away from the maintenance hut early last year, we suspect external contractors will be needed to carry out these important tasks. Our position is that the maintenance guys are doing an exceptional job of maintaining the site with the resources they have (it is a huge site and there appears to only be 2 of them!), but we won’t allow the land owner to negate their responsibility for other key jobs, nor telling the Parish council that “any programme of works relating to the site are private and not for open discussion or disclosure. We trust this clarifies our position” when they approached the subject on our behalf.

These matters and others will be open for discussion at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday 27th April; please attend if you can.

Don’t forget the Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday, organised by the Wychwood Wildlife Watch. It is a great opportunity for everyone to take to the Country Park footpaths and enjoy the beauty of the area surrounding us. If you’d like to join the Wildlife Group, or see anything interesting, please let us know. Happy hunting!

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