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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Access now blocked!

Access to the car park of the Gorstyhill golf club has now been blocked, as promised by Mr Hunt/Haddon’s to Cheshire Police.

Access now blocked!

Whilst there are still small access points, they would be too small for most cars, and certainly should stop any attempts to get caravans in there.

Fortunately the fears of using the unsightly metal construction fences has been disproved and boulders certainly don’t look as bad, but is still the nail in the coffin for the club…at this stage!


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Live on BBC Radio Stoke this morning

Alison Tipping, our PR/Media representative did a live interview on BBC Radio Stoke this morning at 08:05. There has also been a summary in each new bulletin too, which is great exposure.

The interview was great with some very good questions, and Alison did an excellent job on behalf of the committee and residents.

You can listen to the interview by following the link

The key times are 1:00.43 for the news summary, and 1:04.50 for the actual ‘live’ interview itself. There is also additional snippets in the news summary at 1:29.45 and 2:00.40.


Reminder: Do not use the golf course

Just a reminder to residents and locals not to use the golf course. It might seem great having a whole new area to explore, but you may be causing more harm than good.

Naturally the course has always had plenty of footfall over it from golfers, but the latest trend seems to be walking dogs on it. The golf course plays an absolutely vital role in providing wildlife corridors to the diverse number of species we have in the area, and dogs not only go into areas disturbing nests/dens, they also leave scent marks that can have a damaging influence.

We have to hope that with the significant reduction in use of the course, that more wildlife will come to the area; this may not only assist us in a planning objection, but also make for a much better surrounding environment for us and our families to enjoy.

There are also surveys in operation, so don’t disturb these or the potential results they may yield.

Posters have been put up at all access points to remind the community not to trespass, but if you do see anyone using the course, try explaining to them the reasons why we need to protect this area.

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Clarification on traps in sink ponds

A large gasp was raised at the meeting yesterday when someone mentioned that they’ve put traps down in the sink ponds. We’ve also had quite a few emails about it.

Please note that as far as we are aware, Haddon are just carrying out the required survey to trap and count the number of newts etc in the sink ponds. This isn’t an attempt to have them removed from the area in some kind of ‘under the radar’ way.

More information can be found in this handy guide

Naturally we would request you remain vigilant to what takes place, but just remember that no harm is caused by trapping if carried out in accordance with the legal requirement.

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Communicating with the media

As mentioned at yesterday’s meeting a media strategy has been put in place. We need to manage the messages which are being put out in the public domain to try and ensure information remains consistent and accurate. Everything we are stating has been checked, double checked and triple checked as far as we are able to do so and, wherever possible, is backed up by documentation.

Alison (Tipping) explained at the meeting that we need to handle this in the same way as would a company facing a crisis management situation.

For that reason we have nominated three people to be our authorised media spokespeople. They are Andy Bailey (chairman), Trevor Sandry (vice chairman) and Alison Tipping. If you are contacted by the media we ask that you refer the journalist to one of us through the main email address or contact details on the media pack. If you happen to count journalists amongst your friends or family it would be appreciated if you didn’t hold unofficial briefings with them. This is not us trying to be dictatorial, but if lots of different people contact the media then, firstly, the journalists get confused about who they should get in touch with when they want to talk to us and, more importantly, messages and information become inaccurate and get lost in translation.

Our first media pack has gone out today to the local newspapers and radio stations. Parish and Cheshire East councillors will also receive it as will our MP. The R&A and England Golf have asked to be kept updated and the top golf magazines will also receive it.


Feedback from Sunday 7 April 2013 meeting

Thank you to all those who attended our meeting today and the continued support of all residents, locals and golf players in our fight against Mr Hunt/Haddon.

The meeting was very well attended, in excess of 300 turned up to receive updates and future actions.

The meeting went well and the feedback from those residents that have got in touch since was that it was a success. In no small part our thanks to Cheshire East leader, Michael Jones, for making some very clear points and answering many questions.

Michael Jones stated “This is not going to happen. If you don’t want it, the Council will back you 100%.” which was incredibly re-assuring, but this does not mean we can sit back and relax; we must continue to research and take actions to prevent the application being submitted or approved. It is of course great to hear we have the support of Cheshire East, but we have to remain focused.

So what can residents do now? Well we will be looking to send letters on mass to selective parties (different from the original) plan; but other than that, keep feeding information back to us, plus be vigilant of what is going on with the golf club and course itself; reporting any suspicious behaviour to ourselves and where required, the police. Also, start using the country park and public footpaths over the course to make records of any unusual wildlife you see or points of interest, as these may be useful at a later stage; this would be a great wildlife exploration to do with your family. Most importantly, keep communicating with us, and each other, but remember, we have to work with facts, so if you need any points clarifying, let us know.

The committee will now focus on the legal aspect, so if you have any documentation you think we might not have seen, please send to us. Pursuing legal action will of course require money, and lots of it, so keep an eye out for fund raising soon.

Thank you again for your support, we shall be in touch very soon.