I am writing to you as a resident of Greenlands Walk, off Chorley Hall Lane, Alderley Edge, and a father of two young children, to object as strongly as possible to any proposal to put parking in or around the playing fields on Chorley Hall Lane. I would go as far as say any plan to do so is totally ill conceived, bias, even dangerous and will result in both a tragic loss of a valuable space within the community as well as create a long list of worrying problems.
To begin with I am concerned about my personal use of the playing field being completely compromised and made very dangerous by 100 cars coming in and out of the car park on a daily basis:
• Taking my daughters (both under three years old) to play with a kite, football, frisbee or any other game so that they can run around in a safe environment away from the cars. Their favourite play spot is the tree area right where the car park is proposed.
• Watching the Alderley United junior football teams just as part of the community and being a football fan.
• Please see photograph above of my daughter playing exactly where there could be a car park, or at least dangers from moving cars.
Moving on from that are the much more worrying concerns on the proposal that I have outlined below:
Increase of Traffic
• Chorley Hall Lane is already a dangerous road where cars cut through and often speed.
• Since moving into Greenlands walk 6 months ago, I have encountered countless near misses with cars coming over the bridge and down the hill at excessive speed. My next door neighbour has already had one family car written off on the road pulling out and being hit by someone coming over the blind hill.
• The parking along Chorley Hall Lane already causes a majority of it to be like a one carriageway road with parked cars. This has been proven to be very dangerous for children stepping out from between parked cars and with more traffic on the Lane it will increase the dangers to everyone
• Alderley Edge traffic is like no other in the area, with more 4x4s and SUVs per car than I would say anywhere else in the country that take up a lot higher percentage of the road.
• 100 spaces with each space being used on average by 5 different cars per day is an extra 1000 car journeys per day along an already dangerous road. That's just the successful parkers, you cannot count the cars who fail in their attempt to park.
• More traffic on that road will increase the chances of cars meeting on the bridge which is a death trap with that footpath. See next point.
Rail Bridge not fit for purpose
• The bridge is a blind bridge where a driver cannot see over the top.
• Please see the attached photograph of my partner, struggling with a pram along the pathway that goes over the bridge. Notice how little room for error there is from her part or the driver of the Range Rover. One slip from her or incorrect manoeuvre from the driver and they are all dead. Imagine the danger when cars are passing each other as shown in another attached photograph.
• The pathway is not wide enough for two people to pass without someone stepping onto a very thin road, not wide enough for two cars to pass.
• The pathway measures as little as 63cm in places.
• Any car park down Chorley Hall Lane will increase the traffic going over that bridge, as well as the number of pedestrians walking across the bridge causing people to have to cross each other and walk into the middle of the road.
Position of Proposed Car Park Entrance
• If you stand where the entrance of the car park will be, to your left is the blind hill which already causes a lot of problems that you do not get long to see cars coming.
• To your right is a blind turn down Chorley Hall Lane and an entrance to a substantial housing area via Blackshaw Lane, made worse by parked vehicles obscuring the view.
• It will be a very dangerous manoeuvre to pull out into that road.
• Alderley Edge and cocaine use go hand in hand. Where you find wealthy people on nights out you will find a strong cocaine trade. Since being a resident here 3 years, I have witnessed drug deals taking place in Waitrose Car Park and come across countless users in the various bars along London Road.
• The Car Park away from the high street, provides a perfect area for drug dealers to sell to the public and therefore putting very dangerous individuals very close to where families live.
• Range Rover's are one of the most stolen cars to order according to my insurance broker. A car park off the main street in winter will be an easy target for car crime as well as drug crime.
Cost Comparisons with Heyes Lane
• From the little information made available so far, I have seen it put forward that it is cheaper per space to put 100 cars in CHL than it is to put 44 in Heyes Lane.
• Of course it is. That's simple economy of scale and an unfair comparison to make. I would imagine putting 100 spaces in Heyes Lane will be a comparable cost.
• I note from brief research on the comments section of the story on Alderley Edge.com that a former counsellor raises the issue that drains were dug into the playing fields that would have to be tarmac'd over for the car park.
• Has the cost of removing, altering or putting in new drains been factored into the cost analysis of the Chorley Hall Lane site?
• If flooding is problem on the field, has an environmental study been done to investigate how the car park will change the flooding problem? Will it cause problems for local residents? Will the car park flood.
Preferences of the Parish Council
• I note that both the Parish Council Chairman and Vice-Chairman live on Heyes Lane and would be only human if they too don't want these above problems on their back door.
• How many of the Parish Council or Alderley Edge First members have allotments of Heyes Lane or are in some way linked to it?
These are only a few points that spring to mind as soon you mention putting a car park on Chorley Hall Lane and how worrying it is. I am sure the more information given about it the more problems there will be. When you start looking at the comparison between the two sites as a wider debate then you cannot compare the two. It seems the welfare of a handful of allotment holders on Heyes Lane has been put above the recreational space and safety of children in Chorley Hall Lane. For the sake of my children alone I for one will do everything in my power to make sure such a terrible decision isn't made and am confident that there will be a very strong opposition to this proposal from the wider community.
Editor's Note: Alderley Edge Parish Council are holding a parking review meeting at the Methodist Church on Chapel Road at 7pm on Thursday, 14th January.
There will then be a follow-up meeting. also at the Methodist Church, on Thursday, 11th February (time to be confirmed) when the Parish Council will present the feedback they have received.