Village at 'threat of over-development'

AE1 Call for Sites Map

Cheshire East Council (CEC) has published the list sites in Alderley Edge which have been put forward for development in the period up until 2030.

Cheshire East Council adopted Part One of the Local Plan in July, which allocates sites for development and employment land in the Key Service Centres (i.e. the main towns). The focus has now moved onto Part Two of the Local Plan which deals with the Local Service Centres (of which Alderley Edge is one).

Earlier this year, CEC carried out a "Call for Sites" consultation which invited developers and landowners to identify sites that they wanted to develop as part of the Local Plan. CEC has now issued the results of that consultation to Town & Parish Councils.

The sites, as identified on the map above, are as follows:

  • CFS130 - Land North of Beech Road - 3.80 hectares
  • CFS132 - Land at Horseshoe Farm - 0.75 hectares
  • CFS350 Land at Chorley Hall Lane - 1.41 hectares
, proposed for employment use.
  • CFS359/400 - Land South of Lydiat Lane - 2.43 hectares
  • CFS370 - Land West of Heyes Lane - 4.87 hectares - proposed for a mix of employment and residential use
  • CFS394- Land South of Netherfields - 2.23 hectares
  • CFS404 - Land North & South of Chelford Road) - 47.81 hectares
  • CFS405 - Land at Whitehall Meadow - 3.27 hectares
  • CFS620 - Land to the rear of 40 Congleton Road - 14.01 hectares

A spokesperson for the Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan steering group, said "We wanted to share this information with residents of Alderley Edge without delay. Please bear in mind that this is just a list of sites identified by developers and landowners. CEC is not recommending them for development at this stage; however, we are very concerned about the potential impact these sites could have if they were included in the CE Local Plan."

They continued "
We have previously shared the known proposals submitted by Story Homes (CFS404, CFS359, CFS400, CFS394), David Wilson Homes (CFS405) and the Sims Family (CFS130), but it is clear from the list that other developers and landowners have put forward additional sites of which we were previously unaware.

The Steering Group commented "The total land mass of the additional sites alone is 20.29 hectares. In a medium density housing area, this would accommodate as many as 1,000 new homes, over and above those already made public. The only means that we as a community have to manage the threat of overdevelopment is to create a sound Neighbourhood Plan - endorsed by the community."

The Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan steering group have called a public meeting to discuss the potential implications of these additional sites, to share the information they have to date, inform residents how they can help the community avoid the threat of over-development, and discuss what is needed to take the Neighbourhood Plan forward.

The spokesperson added "If you have an interest in the future of our village - and particularly if you have experience of the planning process - then please attend the public meeting at Alderley Edge School for Girls, on Thursday 16th November, at 7.30pm, or contact the steering group.

"We would appreciate it if you could register your interest in attending, by emailing the Neighbourhood Plan group in advance at AlderleyNP@gmail.com."

Tags:
Cheshire East Council, Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plan
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Melanie Connor
Wednesday 11th October 2017 at 5:59 pm
Far too much - will ruin the village but have no confidence in those in charge locally to have any influence.
We should be concentrating gettigbthe riafs in better order and parking sorted, before adding to a problem.
Plus without an increased infrastructure it is pointless
Elizabeth Mooney
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 3:48 am
Melanie, very well said. Our excellent local schools are already at full capacity. Wilmslow High school (I believe) has for the last 2 years seen a huge spike in applications. Our local hospital is under enormous pressure. Roads and pavements around the village are left unrepaired and neglected and parking is tight as we all know. Some of that development proposed is on a well known marshy area which floods regularly so increased tarmac/concrete will merely displace the water and causing flooding elsewhere. The amount of affordable housing built in a prime location such as Alderley Edge will no doubt be negligble and air pollution will increase.
This is short term gain to line the pockets of a few developers which will destroy this village an affect the quality of life detrimentally. Infrastrucure is given zero consideration (unlike the housebuilding boom in the 50"s which coincided with schools, hospital and road building). This is NOT progress and to oppose blanket ill though out mass re-development of this lovely village is not "nimbyism"
Richard Downs
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 7:14 am
Can someone please point me to the document on Cheshire East which has more information on the Local Service Centres?
Jackie Pass
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 8:27 am
Is it me or do two of these proposals actually fall within Wilmslow? If so this would mean that the Council has put in for Stanneylands Road under its Handforth applications (yet it is in Wilmslow - Styal Ward) and two of these applications would also technically fall within the boundaries of Wilmslow. Fill in the gap with the proposals for Royal London and you have effectively built continuously from Handforth through to the southern parts of Alderley Edge. What's next to fall- Nether Alderley - on the next Local Plan? Craig can you help please?
Craig Browne
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 8:39 am
Hi Richard,

You may find the following web page a useful starting point, particularly the "Report of Consultation on the SADPD Issues Paper"

http://bit.ly/2wQXeCF

Kind regards,
Craig
Fenton Simpson
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 11:43 am
So Chorley Hall Lane allotments and the playing field is proposed for employment use ?

"CFS350 Land at Chorley Hall Lane - 1.41 hectares, proposed for employment use."

What possible use could it be used for sandwiched in between the housing estate and the railway with an already difficult access road.
Craig Browne
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 3:25 pm
Hi Jackie,

Yes, you are right - two (technically three) of the sites that have been suggested, fall within the Wilmslow East Ward. There is a danger that these could end up being developed as "windfall" sites (if at any point between now and 2030, Cheshire East is not able to demonstrate a 5-year housing supply).

The most effective way for us as a community to guard against this, is to create a robust Neighbourhood Plan, with strongly evidenced housing policies; hence the reason for the proposed public meeting. Fortunately, we are able to add sites that lie outside our own Parish Boundary to our Neighbourhood Plan Area.

Kind regards,
Craig
Alan Brough
Thursday 12th October 2017 at 9:33 pm
Craig,

Are you saying that you can add sites in Wilmslow East Ward to an AEPC Neighbourhood Plan?
Craig Browne
Friday 13th October 2017 at 11:23 am
Hi Alan,

Yes, that is correct.

A Neighbourhood Area can include parts of an adjoining parish (with the latter's agreement); conversely, it need not cover the whole if its own parish, but could focus on certain key areas within that parish, e.g. a Conservation Area.

Kind regards,
Craig
Mike Dudley-Jones
Tuesday 17th October 2017 at 7:36 am
Melanie Connor,

You will of course be aware that the only way the residents of Alderley Edge can influence the development of our Village for the future is by creating a robust Neighbourhood Plan.

This is being addressed by a number of volunteers and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group's contact and future meetings details are available within Lisa Reeves' article. The Parish Council's role is to advise and assist in the process.

So what do you know about the Neighbourhood Plan and the members of the Steering Group that causes you to say 'you have no confidence in those in charge locally to have any influence'? Do you know that they have somehow forgotten about 'infrastructure' - because I can assure you they have not!


I should remind you, although I should not need to, that the Villagers are in charge in this Village and we as Parish Councillors or Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group members will put together a carefully researched Plan to present to our residents so that they can see we have done everything we can to protect the Village from rampant development.

Perhaps, though, you just want a return to those days where 'being in charge' was the way forward although I seem to recall that didn't quite work!

Did it?
Claire MacLeod
Tuesday 17th October 2017 at 5:39 pm
Good evening, Melanie

I refer, too, to the opening comment in your post: "will ruin the village but have no confidence in those in charge locally to have any influence". It is difficult to see this remark as anything other than continued sour grapes, as you as a former Parish Councillor were soundly ousted from your position, along with your fellow Parish Councillors at the last Parish Council elections. Whilst, naturally, you are entitled to an opinion and entitled to voice that opinion in this forum, your comment (from what I can understand) does not offer any compelling evidence to support your criticism. From where I sit, it appears that the local Parish Council are doing a great deal for this local community under very challenging circumstances. The absence of negative comments on this site is the evidence I offer for this observation. When you and 'your lot' were holding the reins, this site was awash with comments from a large number of disgruntled parishioners who felt that they were being ridden rough shod over, being kept in the dark, and not being consulted. The results of the election reflected this, too.

In stark contrast, it would be difficult to deny that with Cllr Browne's regular blog, and social media activity, along with his widely publicised regular clinics to talk with Alderley Edge residents, along with the wider Parish Council's strategy of consultation and regular updates, we can no longer claim to be left in the dark.

As a former Parish Councillor, I'm certain you have first hand experience of how apparently simple solutions to challenges can evolve into much more complex ones, particularly when dealing with both national and regional politicians, each with their own priorities and agendas.

If I understand the article above correctly, it is up to us, the residents of the local community to step up and get involved, if we wish to have an influence on the outcome of this village's future. And that's exactly how it should be. I agree with your comments that the map outlining proposed development is 'far too much'. So I look forward to seeing you at the meeting on 16 November so you can contribute in a positive way, along with other residents, to prevent unwanted and excessive development in this lovely village of ours.
Mark Hillyard
Tuesday 17th October 2017 at 7:02 pm
Craig,

You produced a questionnaire for public consultation which the number 1 choice was apparently Harden Park. My understanding is that this site should not have actually been on the questionnaire because it is being built on already - is this correct?. Now it appears that there are in fact more sites being contemplated (above) which were not even part of the questionnaire and also it seems now we can consider sites from neighbouring parishes.

So... what was the point of the questionnaire? will you be issuing a revised questionnaire? Has the call for sites ended now or will others be added? Do you feel that you will be able to have a full and complete list of sites in order to satisfy the allocation of new homes or will just more and more sites come into contention.
Claire MacLeod
Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 8:54 am
Hi Mark

I think it might be worth reading the article again. The site locations marked on the map have only just been released by Cheshire East Council. This is why the Parish Council is making the residents aware of them. As far as I can tell, the article represents a 'call to arms', as I'm sure the Parish Council are as taken aback as we are at the extent of the potential development. 'Call to arms' seems like an appropriate phrase, given that the map resembles a battle plan, from which Alderley Edge is apparently being invaded from all fronts.

Best wishes
Jackie Pass
Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 12:47 pm
Craig - more questions. This map is the result of a call for sites. Was that call for sites a general one or was it just for the parish of Alderley? I suspect it was the latter - if so - when was the last call for sites? You see I am amazed that some of these sites have only now appeared when the Local Plan has been 5 years in the making. Is it that they are now beginning to "bank" sites ready for the next Local Plan?
Craig Browne
Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 7:44 pm
Hi Mark,

Thanks for your questions; however, Claire is right in that the article is principally a call to action. A Neighbourhood Plan is supposed to be led by the community, rather than the Parish Council (although the PC of course have a role to play in facilitating the process); hence it is the Neighbourhood Plan, not the Parish Council Plan.

There has been some confusion and I think this is understandable, given the complexity of the issues we are all grappling with. The Local Service Centres (Alderley Edge is one of thirteen) are expected to take their share of 3,500 homes as part of Part Two of the Local Plan; however, permissions already granted (e.g. Harden Park) can be taken away from this figure.

The original questionnaire was sent out before the results of the Call for Sites (a Cheshire East wide consultation) were known. It addressed many other issues (e.g. amenities, parking, village character etc), so although we may need to re-consult on the potential sites that have now come forward, there is no need to repeat the whole questionnaire.

The Call for Sites was carried out as part of the Cheshire East Local Plan, for a six week period between 21st February and 10th April this year.

Kind regards,
Craig
Kathryn Blackburn
Saturday 21st October 2017 at 8:56 am
Sadly to a degree Melanie is correct. Unless North Cheshire does a Catalonia. Local parish councillors will hold little sway over the planning decisions made in our towns and villages.
Jackie I too am concerned that land purchases in the Green Belt are being banked ahead of the next Local Plan period and that this land grab will for ever change the pretty face of not only Alderley Edge but also that of Nether Alderley. Sad times.
Claire MacLeod
Saturday 21st October 2017 at 11:32 am
Hi Kathryn

May I encourage you to read the speech that our Ward Councillor, Craig Browne gave at CEC a couple of days ago? Here's the link. http://bit.ly/2l5DHg1

It is widely acknowledged that CEC are in a state of disarray and their Planning Department is clear evidence of that. Whilst the motion for a 'Council of Unity' was defeated by the Tory majority (which begs the question; Why?); my understanding is that Craig's speech was extremely well received, both from the audience in the public gallery and from follow councillors of all parties. I believe that Cllr Browne is admired and respected not only by the residents of Alderley Edge, whom he does an excellent job representing but also, and very importantly, by his peers and colleagues at CEC. Who better to represent the interests of Alderley Edge, WITHOUT the encumbrance of party politics to get in his way?
Jackie Pass
Saturday 21st October 2017 at 6:11 pm
Craig is a respected and talented Councillor, as is Councillor Toni Fox in Wilmslow (Dean Row). There are also very able and responsive Conservative Councillors -but sadly these are not members of the Cabinet. Locally a "ministry of all the talents" is needed.
Roger Birch
Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 2:00 am
Claire
In reality, Mark’s comments re the questionnaire are valid.

Whereas the questionnaire does contain some other valid information, the choices put to the community regarding the sites for development were, at best, misleading. Furthermore, it has been reported on this site that the PC has already selected its preferred sites based on that survey (despite the flaws therein) and Craig has stated to me that the questionnaire is part of an “evidence based” plan and the Community Plan should respect the community’s wishes. If there are now further options, how can it be considered relevant as to the sites for development?

After volunteering to work on the Neighbourhood Plan, I withdrew when I felt the Committee was committed to developing specific sites – all on the northern boundary of Alderley - which put at major risk one of the other main desires expressed in the questionnaire, i.e. that the green belt between Alderley and Wilmslow be retained. A concern I expressed prior to withdrawing about the pressure on the southern edge of Wilmslow with the Royal London proposal has also now been confirmed.

What I now find intriguing is that I withdrew from working on the Committee in late June and yet the call for sites had, according to Craig’s comments above, already closed on 10 April. I accept that the information flow between CEC and the PC may not be good, but surely Craig in his role at CEC was at least aware of the call. This makes it all the more disturbing why Craig was still insisting in June that the 13-year Plan could only consider sites about which the Committee already knew, i.e. those in the original questionnaire.

I totally agree there is a need to stop development on the scale shown in the map, but I hope the Committee also recognise this is a 13-year Plan and do not simply opt for the extremely limited options put to the community in the original questionnaire, especially when those options were made public prior to any other studies (e.g. traffic issues) being done.
Kathryn Blackburn
Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 7:58 am
Ms Macleod that the motion was defeated so soundly only serves to underpin my point.
It would require 300 Craig Browns to make and break Cabinet decision.
Craig Browne
Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 12:34 pm
Dear Roger,

If I could invite you to re-read my comment of 18th October (8.44pm) on this thread, you will see that we acknowledge there is now a need to repeat part of the questionnaire relating to potential sites.

The Call for Sites was a Borough-wide consultation exercise, carried out by CEC. It was promoted via this website at the time (http://bit.ly/2yGAE2K) and it was discussed in at least one Parish Council meeting. I am therefore surprised that you appear to question the Parish Council’s awareness of it.

The actual results of the Call for Sites were published only very recently, by CEC. As soon as this happened, I shared them with the other members of the Parish Council, the Neighbourhood Plan Group and the wider community, via my blog and via this website. This is the kind of openness and transparency we promised and committed ourselves to when we were elected.

Whilst you left the Neighbourhood Plan group of your own volition, it had already become clear to fellow members of the group that you were unable to countenance any consideration of a potential site (land North of Beech Road) which would affect you personally, as a resident of Beech Road.

Kind regards,
Craig
Geoff Hall
Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 2:53 pm
Roger,

I can only reinforce what Craig has written. The Neighbourhood Plan is a process, with additional information coming along all the time.

The NP group put out the first questionnaire based on the information available to it at that time. It now that it has further information in the form of the call for sites, as so it will in due course need to prepare a further questionnaire, as well as seeking independent advice regarding the sites proposed.

You mistakenly believed that the Parish Council was taking a fixed position regarding the site of most interest to you (Beech Road) and you made that persistently clear. The group felt that you could not provide the impartiality that the Neighbourhood Plan requires if it is to succeed and so it accepted your resignation when you tendered it.

It is also why the Neighbourhood Plan group is now calling a meeting - to get the support of further residents who are willing to bring real practical concern for the future of the whole village - not just one part of it - and the Parish Council will give every support it can to them.

Kind Regards
Geoff
Roger Birch
Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 11:56 pm
Craig and Geoff
I'm disappointed with both your comments although not entirely surprised.

I was prepared to devote time to the development of the Neighbourhood Plan and was led to believe my input would be welcomed. I'm not surprised that I am now being attacked in the way I am, but, as I tried to make it clear to the Committee, I was opposed to all developments on the northern boundary of Alderley which was actually a position consistent with a main desire coming from the questionnaire to retain that green belt.

I find Craig's comment that I was unable to countenance the development of one site as it affected me personally somewhat ironic because the specific reason I gave - in writing - when resigning was Craig's insistence that 'only' that site plus a couple of others from the original questionnaire be included in the Plan!

For what it's worth, I hope I was 'mistaken' regarding the Committee's position, but what I heard and saw in the meetings I attended most certainly led me to that position.
Mark Hillyard
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 12:51 pm
Craig,

Thank you for the acknowledgement that you will need to resurvey residents on the new sites - that seems only reasonable and fair. The SADPD plan (this is the plan detailing the smaller sites for potential development in the village) as I am sure you know is now closed officially to site suggestions however, it will not be until Spring 2018 that a draft is produced giving the CEC's opinion on the sites. I would suggest that you cannot resurvey until that SADPD plan has been produced and we can then we can take CEC considerations into objective account. Although, this should not impact other aspects of the plan which can be formulated during that period.

Can I ask what is the agenda for the meeting of 16th November at the girls school? and how it will be run. My concern was that the last council meeting I went to there was regards the bypass and it turned into a free for all. How are you intending to structure the event?

Roger.. as a resident I would like to thank you for you efforts in volunteering to work on the local plan .. it is a shame and quite petty frankly that it could not be acknowledged by the Parish council who are a byword for impartiality and objectivity particularly when it come to Hayes Lane allotments :)

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