It has been a while since our last update, but rest assured that the Wychwood Community Group Committee that I Chair have continued to work behind the scenes with the Cheshire East and Weston and Basford Parish Councils on matters arising from the planning application.
As some of you may have noticed, a letter from the council was sent out a few days ago advising you of a revision to the planning application for the proposed development of 900 homes on the ex-Gorstyhill Golf Course.
The revision is to satisfy the council on a number of issues raised both by them, and by the committee on many aspects of their application; mostly focused around infrastructure and environmental, although it still fails to answer many key points.
Having looked through the revised documentation, very little of any substance has changed, aside from more social housing and a completely new environmental report, which is now showing significantly more evidence of species living around us; something Jenny and Evie have worked incredibly hard with local experts on to disprove the initial reports findings.
The basic premise is that it still proposes 900 New Dwellings on the old Gorsty Hill Golf Course, engulfing Wychwood Village, and overdeveloping Wychwood/Weston as a whole.
I urge all residents to review the new documents (dated 17/11/2015 onwards) on the planning portal, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=14/5671N, and where required, submit a further objection to the plan on any specifics you find. Extra points that we would suggest you reiterate are that this proposed development is NOT a part of the emerging Local Plan and, from initial data provided as part of the Weston and Basford Neighbourhood Plan, is NOT seen as a need or requirement of the vast majority of the residents of the Parish.
Please note that all previous objections you submitted still count – this is not a new application, only a variation. Please ensure though that you mark any new comments as an Objection.
Having spent the last few months back and forth with the Council, the Committee expect this latest revision is nothing more than a stalling tactic, should the Council need to bolster their projected 36,000 new homes within the emerging Local Plan, which is expected to be submitted in early 2016. Without inclusion within the local plan, we cannot believe this application would be passed based on its own merit, but only in order to satisfy the needs of the Inspectorate on new homes for the Cheshire East region. Cheshire East are confident that this is not the case.
I will report back soon once I have any further pertinent information.
Rest assured the Committee and I are using all means available to engage with the Parish, Cheshire East and our local MP, Edward Timpson, to continue the fight against this speculative development, and we hope that this latest set of documents will be the last and that we can get to properly debate the proposal in front of a Strategic Planning Board meeting. A debate that we expect to win.