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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Summer 2016 Chairman’s Statement

Dear Members,

Since I last wrote to you last, an awful lot has happened with the development and planning and as usual YOU the community have responded in force to show Haddon that we will not roll over and allow him to build on our site.

Haddon applied to vary our current legal protection in a section 106 that covers both the Wychwood sites and well over 900 objections to this have been lodged, and I believe there are more stuck in the Cheshire East system. This is a fantastic response and shows the depth of feeling from the Community and our friends and families. The Committee has been working closely with our Councillors and we are quietly confident that Cheshire East will refuse this application, which without it Haddon would NOT be able to be able to build ANY new housing.

We are unsure of the next steps from the Council, although I hope to have news shortly about this application, and subsequent actions.

The second major news has been that Haddon have requested that the application for the 900 dwellings is sent direct to Inspector and to bypass the Council. This has been agreed and the planning inspector has contacted all residents and we have until 16th August to make any further objections. The details on how to do this are below. ALL previous objections will be passed to the Inspector so unless you have not previously objected there is no need to object further at this stage. The Committee is collating all of our previous objections and will be presenting these to the Inspector.

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/guidance/guidancecontent

The appeal reference is APP/R0660/W/16/3150968. Comments have to be sent by letter in triplicate to the Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN

We are still hopeful that Cheshire East will take the application to Strategic Planning and formally refuse it, which will add further weight to the argument at the Inspection. Once again I hope to hear more on this shortly.

You can be assured that your Committee will be represented at these forums alongside our Parish Council and Local Ward Councillor, who are working with us to defeat this greedy, self centred and arrogant land owner, Mr Peter Hunt, a man with no connection to the area and whose only motive is making money, at our expense.

Lastly the Cheshire East Local Plan, of which our site is not a part of, is being reviewed again by the Inspectorate starting in September. The Committee has secured a seat at the table at this event and will again be looking to counter any arguments that Haddon and their Legal Team look to raise to get our site included.

I once again profusely thank you all for your ongoing support and for responding to the various calls from the Committee to object to any proposals from Haddon that aim to spoil the neighbourhood we live in.

As soon as I hear any further news on planning meetings, decisions or actions I will let you know.

I also again raise the question of fundraising, as we are looking to organise another event shortly, although as you can imagine the above has been taking up much of the committee’s time and efforts. In the meantime though if you would like to donate to the fighting fund, please contact me and I will forward on the bank details, and a massive thank you to those of you that have already donated.

Finally for those of you on Facebook can I point you to a new site we have that is looking purely at the development and planning issues.

Against Wychwood Development and Planning Issues
https://www.facebook.com/groups/487057101499894/

The existing Facebook site will continue and will focus on the day to day aspects of Wychwood life, please feel free to join both Groups.


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Freeths Letter – 8th July 2016

URGENT NOTICE – For all residents on Wychwood Village and Wychwood Park. You will see in the letter below from Freeths (Haddon’s solicitor) that it states North and South side, this is Wychwood Village (North side) and Wychwood Park (South side). Both are under the same 106 agreement that they are looking to remove restrictions on house building, currently at 725 maximum and remove access points around the sites that will allow greater opportunity to build. Let this be a message to all residents on the PARK and the VILLAGE that it does affect you and if you want to keep this legal protection in place, you MUST object. Be under no illusion that this application won’t affect you. Tell your neighbours and on the PARK spread the word – we are one community bound by one agreement…Act now!!!


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Submit your OBJECTION to Haddon’s Variation of S106 agreement NOW

This is your immediate CALL TO ACTION!!

Yes, the time to act is here again, and this one is absolutely critical!

Haddon Property Developments Ltd have submitted a separate planning application for the variation of the Section 106. The Section 106 agreement is the legally binding contract signed for as part of your house purchase which offered protection against further development, through a limitation on the number of dwellings that could be built, and prevention of any development at all on the Country Park.

The S106 is as important a legal document to your home as the title deed, and must be defended against variation.

In requesting a variation, they are trying to remove the restriction on the maximum of 725 dwellings that can be built; as well as allow the development of a link-road across the Country Park and additional access points around the boundary; critical to the success of their application for 900 homes and services/facilities.

Without this variation they are applying for, they cannot build, it’s as simple as that.

Background information

The Section 106 as it stands states that no more than 725 dwellings can be built across both sites (Village and Park). We currently have 326 on Wychwood Village and 390 on Wychwood Park and both are linked under one section 106 agreement. It also states that no development on the Country Park is allowed, for a period of 80 years and no access points other than the current access points are permissible due to safety constraints.

We’ve made it clear that any variation would potentially result in a class action suit against Cheshire East Council, Countryside Properties, Bovis Homes and Taylor Wimpey (previously Brant Homes), so please in your own words ensure you get this point across in your objection.

To clarify this particular point – The 106 agreement signed in October 2003 covers both Wychwood Park and Wychwood Village and any variation would open the door for developers to propose building not just on the Village, but the Park too. Would you be confident that the owners of the hotel / golf course on the Park wouldn’t consider profiting from a similar development?

OBJECT by following the simple steps we have provided – deadline is the 15th July 2016 (please do it whilst fresh in your mind).

When should I object?

You should OBJECT NOW, don’t delay as CEC have only given us until the 15th July 2016 to respond; and Haddon have clearly chosen the holiday season as the time to strike! As this application is to overturn a legal document that we all signed as owners (and even bought our houses on the basis of), it is vitally important that all residents OBJECT, putting the strongest possible case forward.

How do I object?

Visit the planning application page and documentation here, http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ApplicationDetails.aspx?pr=16/3092N

Simply click ‘Comment on this application’ (on the right hand side) and fill in the required boxes. Don’t forget to type ‘object to the proposal’ in the box (default is ‘no selection made’). You can put your objections in the ‘Any general comments’ box.

The deadline is Friday 15th July 2016 at noon. Don’t delay.

Objecting is simple, it takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any complicated login process.

Here are some key planning considerations you may wish to raise as part of your submission, as well as the group objection we’ve submitted. Remember to pick out key points, ensuring your objection is unique so it counts as an individual objection. You may also wish to read through your legal pack when buying your home for anything that relates to limitations on numbers and development; as well as legal documents/confirmations from the seller or your solicitor confirming no further development. You can attach them to your objection as supporting documents and we’d strongly recommend this where possible.

Who can object?

Everyone who receives this notice should OBJECT, especially those that own property and/or live on Wychwood Village/Wychwood Park. Don’t just submit a single objection, submit for all members of your household. Our members in neighbouring towns and ex-Gorsty golfers should also OBJECT, as this still links back to the application for 900 homes. Quality is most important, but quantity certainly makes them sit up and take notice!

Need further help?

You can email us at any time for assistance completing your objections. Please don’t leave it until the last minute, the committee have a significant volume of work to do on this application so it would be great to know the residents are keeping pace.


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Community Right to Bid Appeal Granted

I have mentioned a couple of times to you about the Community Right to Bid, which basically allows communities to have first opportunity to buy any land that is granted community status, and that the Community Group had been granted this right by Cheshire East Council. I have further mentioned that this was being challenged by Haddon and that it was going to an independent judicial tribunal.

The result of that tribunal is now in and unfortunately, and to my utter dismay, Haddon have successfully won the appeal.

So what does this mean to us? In terms of the fight against the development of 900 houses, it actually means very little (we are still pushing to get a decision to be made at Strategic Planning) although of the plans we as a Group had to utilise the area for further community based activities are now unlikely to come to fruition. Much of the Judge’s decision was based around the status of the disused, and out of planning permission, clubhouse. It is now being addressed with Cheshire East as to what we can do about that, whilst ensuring that the site does not become even more of an eyesore.

This is a blow to our plans to own the site and to forever protect it from get rich quick developers, but is certainly NOT a go ahead for Haddon to build.

I am discussing with Cheshire East what options we have, but I fear these may be very limited.

There is a press statement circulating on this topic, which may or may not come to the local press, so I wanted to inform you all directly.

This is most certainly not the end of the fight and makes me even more determined to stop the building of any further dwellings on this site.

Let us all continue to “SAY NO TO 900……”

If I hear any further news I will be sure to let you all know first.

Kind Regards,

Trevor Sandry
Chairman – Wychwood Community Group


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Wychwood Community Group Annual General Meeting (AGM) – 24th April 2016

This is formal notification of the AGM for the Wychwood Community Group, which will take place on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 4pm in the Wychwood Village Hall. The agenda of the meeting can be found here.

If there are any other nominations for the Officers or anyone would be prepared to join the Committee then please respond to the mail address agm [at] wychwoodvillage.co.uk.

All proposals / nominations will be voted upon at the AGM in line with the content of our constitution.

Following the formal part of the meeting, the new Committee will take part in an open forum to discuss matters relating to the proposed development of 900 homes and services.

I look forward to seeing you all there to endorse a new Committee and continue the fight to stop any development in our wonderful neighbourhood into 2016 and beyond.


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Chairman’s Statement – 3rd April 2016

Dear Community Members,

I hope you have all had a good Easter and are looking forward to the Spring and Summer and enjoying the beautiful countryside around us. Firstly my apologies that I have not written to you recently, but I have been awaiting further information from Cheshire East on the Local Plan and the Planning Application. Some of which has now been provided. I am also able to announce the date of this year’s AGM.

Local Plan

Cheshire East Council have recently published their Local Plan for another consultation which finishes on 19th April 2016; allowing members of the public and interested Groups the opportunity to comment on the proposed plan the council are looking to adopt through until 2030.

Fortunately, the site of Gorstyhill has again been confirmed by the council as “not appropriate” for development and is noted in the Local Plan as a “non-preferred site”. This is great news, but isn’t where the battle ends for us, and your support is still needed to oppose this threat to our Community.

Having noted that there is no way to officially support the local plan through the consultation we have spoken to Cheshire East and they have suggested a way for us as a Group to add our support to the Local Plan.

A single Wychwood Community Group comment is all that is required at the moment so there is no need for any of you to add any comments as the Committee will be doing this on your behalf, in consultation with the Weston and Basford Parish Council. By taking this approach, based upon guidance given, it will allow the Group a stronger possibility for a seat at the table with the Government inspector and planners to discuss the local plan and on particular sites. When this opportunity is made available to us, we can reinforce our message in front of the Government Inspector not to include our site in any ongoing housing planning.

The information regarding the Gorsty Hill “non-preferred site” can be found here:

http://cheshireeast-consult.limehouse.co.uk/file/3481226

In addition, through the tireless work of Cllr Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council are also going to continue to review the ‘green gap’ allocation to the south of the borough, ensuring no further urban sprawl and avoiding any further developments bordering the neighbouring counties.

Planning Application for Gorstyhill Golf Course

Remember that the owner of the golf course submitted the planning application late in 2014, and although we are hoping to soon formally review this at a forthcoming Strategic Planning Board, the continued adoption of the Local Plan could be a major additional protection and is why we are lending our “support” to it at this stage through the consultation process. We are continuing to urge Cheshire East to bring this before Strategic Planning, but a date for this is still not as yet forthcoming.

AGM

We will be further discussing these matters at the Community Group AGM on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 4:00pm in the Wychwood Village Hall. A further notice on the precise details of this will be sent out in the next couple of weeks, where as well as the formal AGM we will also look to have a Q & A session, hopefully with other interested parties that can add some further detail.

Remember, we’ve only got this far through the continued support of residents, locals and ex-golf club members, so please continue to help us fight off this unwanted development and continue to support the Community Group Committee that has now been working on this for over 3 years.

Trevor Sandry
Chairman