Concern that signs appear to set new boundaries

The Parish Council's project to install new boundary signs is now complete with the seven signs now installed to mark the road boundaries and welcome people to our village.

The new boundary signs have been erected on Congleton Road, Macclesfield Road, Mottram Road, Heyes Lane, Chelford Road, Brook Lane and Wilmslow Road.

However some residents are very unhappy with the positioning of the new signs as they are not located on the parish boundary, particularly those on Wilmslow Road and Brook Lane - where the boundaries (with Wilmslow and Chorley) are on Knutsford Road.

As a result some residents are concerned that their properties, and places such as Alderley Edge Golf Club, now appear to be located outside of the village.

Emma Ferguson-White said "The new village sign which has been placed on Brook lane just after the Oakwood pub is nowhere near the boarder and now implies that even the Alderley Edge Golf Club is now no longer in Alderley Edge.

"The purpose of the signs are to show the Alderley border, surely, and they have just been randomly placed which is incredibly infuriating for those residents it affects whose homes are now in no mans land."

Councillor Mike Dudley Jones, who led the Alderley Edge Boundary Signs Project, said "Our signs are Welcome to signs so could technically be positioned anywhere.

"Some new signs have replaced the old border signs but we knew we needed to have more flexibility with some of the old sites.

"We needed this flexibility as the design and nature of our signs made it difficult to replace some of the very small 'Alderley Edge' border signs some of which were placed rather awkwardly on the back of lampposts. I refer particularly to the signs on the bypass roundabout on the Wilmslow Road and the sign beyond the mini roundabout at Chorley next to Jackson's car showroom at the bottom of Brook Lane.

"In both these cases we chose to position the Welcome to Alderley Edge signs alongside the Ryleys School playing field and past the Alderley Edge Golf Club respectively.

"Some have commented that their houses now appear to fall outside the 'new' boundary and so feel that they are no longer in Alderley Edge and one comment has been made that this will affect their house value. Their post code has not been affected by the erection of the new signs.

"In each of these two cases above my team have left the original boundary sign in position both on the bypass roundabout and on the Chorley lamppost so the boundary is not affected in any way.

"To illustrate this further we could have left all the boundary signs in position and just placed one or two signs, 'welcoming' visitors, in the middle of the Village say by the old Royal Bank if Scotland and one near the old NatWest Bank.
Would that mean that suddenly everyone in the Village no longer lives in Alderley Edge.?

"I do not know whether the rules have changed over the past few years but the Cheshire East Highways directive on the siting of signs is that 'they must be inside the boundary not on it'. That was a consideration too.

"I hope that this explanation is helpful and that residents are pleased with the way the new Welcome to Alderley Edge signs look. The reaction I have heard has been overwhelmingly positive which is excellent."

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Boundary Signs
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Comments

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

Sarah Dalton
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 5:10 pm
I like the new signs, and think they look very stylish . They are welcome signs but it appears some locals might be making a mountain out of a molehill! Surely we have more important issues to debate.
Brian Hamilton
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 5:11 pm
The sign on Heyes Lane looks very close to the road edge. Might not be too long before it takes a swipe from a truck or white van man.
Joan Wright
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 5:49 pm
As a sign maker I am very impressed. Well done Mike and the team, just ignore the petty comments on position, they look great just where they are. Derek and Joan
Roy Sower
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 6:02 pm
Sarah,
If you live in the now slightly smaller AE, then your comments are at the very least fatuous!

As I wrote to Mike D-J I found the comments by Frank Keegan about the ‘visible boundary of AE’ wrt the planned development next to the bypass to be just as bland.

Can I assume that if we sell our house next year that you or our local councillors will make up any loss in market value?

Inclusivity matters.
Jonathan Lloyd
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 7:52 pm
The ‘Welcome to our Village’ sentiment is an admirable one.
Once in the centre, a simple map could be displayed on the notice boards to provide our lucky visitors with a suggested route to take in the highlights.
Using the road to avoid the cigarette ends, litter and broken concrete paving slabs that constitute the Alderley Edge pavements, they could head straight up to Martins Newsagency and study the railings.
The flaking paint and rotten windows provide an appropriate backdrop - but actually fit in with the other shop fronts quite well.
Erected without planning permission, Martins’ railings are an outstanding demonstration of our level of civic pride.
Cheshire East and the Parish Council have a duty to maintain and improve our local infrastructure.
They should hold their heads in shame.
Jon Williams
Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 8:33 pm
Signs look great, location all wrong (not the best time to make a mistake), they should be just inside the village boundary.
Kiki Tsoulouhopoulos
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 9:37 pm
Most people (rightly or wrongly) believe a village starts where there is a sign - and are naturally unaware of the subtle difference between a welcome and boundary sign. So the first thing I thought was ‘I’m no longer in the village’.

How ironic that something designed as a welcome to visitors has resulted in feelings of exclusion to those who actually live here.

Was it not possible for the original brief to consider this and allow for smaller versions? And why do councillors dismiss the feelings of those they are elected to represent so unsympathetically ?
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 10:06 pm
Kiki,

Thank you for your post.

The original Boundary Sign on both the Wilmslow Road and Brook Lane remain in position to mark the border as we felt it was not possible to position a sign of the style we wanted in these two locations.

I am sorry that, despite this, you feel excluded by the new 'Welcome to Alderley Edge' signs, when you have not felt excluded before.

Do you want the Welcome to Alderley Edge signs removed?

Would you prefer that we design an 'Alderley Edge' sign and replace the one (poorly) attached to the back of the Chorley sign and a similar one attached high up on the lamppost on the bypass roundabout, which most people never see?

Tell me what you would like us to do as all this criticism has come as a disappointing surprise as it never was the intention to offend or treat anyone in our Village unsympathetically. We spend all of our time trying hard to do the opposite.

Mike Dudley-Jones
Alderley Edge Parish Council
Kelvin Briggs
Thursday 18th April 2019 at 4:47 pm
Are there still plans for self watering planters to be positioned by any of the signs?
Kate Merica
Monday 22nd April 2019 at 11:50 pm
Dear Mr Dudley-Jones,
I have lived in Alderley Edge for 45 years and on Brook Lane for 35 years. I now feel, as many residents do, that my house will be perceived as not being in Alderley Edge. The signs are lovely, but they should be placed at the boundary points of the village. It is very misleading. For example when you drive down the M56 and join the A55, at the border you see a ‘Welcome to Wales’ sign & the same ’Welcome to England’ sign when you are returning. Those signs aren’t placed 10 miles inside Wales as this would be totally misleading as to where the border was, the signs are placed on the border. I do feel strongly that in people’s minds the new signs in Alderley will now be the new borders and we will be having to prove as a resident on Brook Lane that we do actually live in Alderley Edge. I was really shocked when I saw where it had been put. Please could the signs be moved to more appropriate locations on the border. Many thanks in advance. Kate
Simon Cartlidge
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 2:56 pm
I wholeheartedly agree with Kiki and Kate. The positioning is misleading. The signs should be placed at the border.
Roy Sower
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 8:51 pm
Mike D-J,

As I wrote to you in an email about how the wealthy residents on the Macclesfield Road
up to the the Edge might react if you were to site the AE Welcome sign halfway down the hill, I could not fail to notice when I came back from walking our dog on Sunday morning that you have put the sign ON THE BOUNDARY at the top of the hill! So much for your weak arguments about Brook Lane...

Visitors to AE from the Knutsford direction can only assume that AE starts just past the Oakwood, I hope that you and your fellow councillors can understand this. You said to me that it never occurred to you that some of us might feel upset over where you have put the sign on Brook Lane - come on!

Are we to be treated differently from other AE residents?

Can you and your fellow councillors please put the sign at our end of AE where it should be!

Craig Browne, this really isn't good enough.
Mike Dudley-Jones
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 9:06 pm
I have become aware of a growing number of posts on alderleyedge.com about the positioning of the new Welcome to Alderley Edge signs. As the Parish Councillor responsible for this entire project I can clearly see that I have upset some people without realising it and the number of posts shows there is really only a very fine line between the arguments I have set out in defence of the siting - and the ones put back to me in return explaining why people are upset.

There are two problem access points. By far the most complex is the Brook Lane/ Chorley/Wilmslow border.

With all of this in mind I went to visit Kate Marica this evening (she posted on alderleyedge.com) and she was kind, welcoming and open minded. I explained to her that her post, when added to others who had expressed similar sentiments, made me realise that there is this very fine line between the arguments I have set out and her own feelings.

I told her that whatever we, as the Parish Council, have said in defence of the new signs siting the fact remained that too many people felt unsettled and miserable with the positioning of the signs - and it was my job to ensure that everyone was happy - and that a solution must be found. It may not necessarily be overnight!

This is how Kate and I discussed it. As far as Brook Lane (Chorley) is concerned the existing Alderley Edge boundary sign is on the back of a speed sign just beyond Jackson's car showroom. However, there is also a boundary (into Wilmslow) at the corner of the Lindow Cricket Ground - but this has no Alderley Edge Sign added to it. Both these roads feed into the mini roundabout, like a funnel.

I suggested to Kate that we will ask our sign supplier to design and manufacture another Welcome to Alderley Edge sign, in the same colour style, but perhaps on a more linear basis to conform to the wide post configuration of the Wilmslow sign. We have two spare posts so we can replace the rotting posts when the new sign arrives and set the new Welcome to Alderley Edge Sign there with the Wilmslow sign behind it. I will talk to Wilmslow Town Council in the next week or two and ask if they would like to renew their sign, as it does look a little shoddy.

Once this new sign is in position we will remove the sign by the Oakwood pub and find a way of elegantly fixing it to the same sign post that currently defines the border into Chorley, replacing the existing old border sign, currently totally obscured by a tree! Both Kate Marica and I agreed that people would be pleased with this solution.

I hope those that read this post, who have been unhappy, will be pleased with this outcome. It has never been my intention to upset people, indeed we go out of our way to do the opposite when we can.

I am happy to apologise to all those who have been upset in all of this. I did not expect this outcome, I can assure you, and I will work hard to make it right.

Hopefully, everyone will be happy with the way the new signs look very shortly. That was always my intention!
Kate Merica
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 9:57 pm
Thank you so much Mike for taking the time to come and see me and it was lovely to meet you.

It is such a relief that you have listened to all of our views and are prepared to move the signs to the official boundaries of Alderley.

Thanks again & best regards to you. Kate
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 7:45 am
Kate,

Thank you for your gracious reply here - and thank you again for being so helpful and understanding when I visited yesterday. May I apologise also for placing a 'typo' into your name!

My best wishes

Mike DJ
Kiki Tsoulouhopoulos
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 10:29 am
Hello Mike

Thank you for your response and suggested action. I think it sounds a wonderful idea and I appreciate the time you have spent both in designing the original boundary signs (which are very attractive) and subsequently noting and taking action in their re-siting.


Kiki
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 1:03 pm
Kiki,

Thank you too for your post - and for bringing the whole matter to the fore. All will be well.

I have already been in touch with our suppliers/designers and they have responded to my request for a new sign designed specially to suit the Wilmslow/Lindow border but in the same colours, font and style as the other signs in the Village.

We will be looking at the relocation of the Oakwood sign over the next few days.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 1:48 pm
Mike DJ

I know you'll have a lot on your plate at the moment but as the positioning of the Knutsford Road / Brook Lane boundary sign is something of a hot topic, can I throw in my two penneth worth and ask that it be relocated a couple of hundred yards back towards Wilmslow? This way I can also sneak under the wire and benefit from the excellent work done by you and the other Alderley Edge Parish Councillors.

I wish you all every success on May 2nd.
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 3:29 pm
Alan,

As always your support for us has been excellent and we thank you as a born and bred resident of Alderley Edge, currently living 'overseas'!

The Alderley Visa Office confirms that, as a Citizen of Special Status, you have 'open' and lifelong access to cross the border - in both directions - at any time!!

Mike DJ
Kelvin Briggs
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 7:13 pm
Mike,
So pleased you have committed to keeping boundary signs erected at boundaries rather than convenient installation points ‘inside’ well inside the village.

The Wilmslow Road boundary sign entering Alderley Edge is a considerable distance to the Whitehall Bridge roundabout and needs to be concreted in beneath tarmac.

The good news is that today, Cheshire East had a guy measuring up a post accident requirement for new railings at the roundabout that will involve drilling in to the tarmac. Perhaps the contractor can help with the installation of the boundary sign ?
Mike Dudley-Jones
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 10:32 pm
Kelvin

There will be an additional 'Welcome to Alderley Edge' sign placed as near to the boundary as is possible without being a motorist distraction. The existing sign on Wilmslow Road will stay.

You will have noticed that the white Wilmslow town sign is some 200 metres inside the boundary as clearly Wilmslow Town Council too will have found it difficult to find a safe site on the border.

You may leave this to me and my team to solve.
Richard Davies
Thursday 25th April 2019 at 8:41 am
Mike

I live a few hundred yards beyond the Jackson showroom just inside Chorley.

My house was sold and advertised to me by the estate agent as being in Alderley Edge.

The current sign by the car showroom near Lavinia court is obscured by a tree and the tree was hiding this sign when I purchased my house so I did feel a little hoodwinked by the estate agent as an Alderley Edge address does put a premium on a house price.

The quirk is that my council tax bill and land register do state my location as Alderley Edge so it is a slightly grey area in some ways.

Therefore please do progress with your revised plans for a more prominent sign by Lindow cricket club by the Wilmslow border as the border sign there has always been in full view BUT myself and my neighbours do not want a more prominent sign just around the corner by the border with Chorley as this will affect our house prices by many thousands.

I certainly will be very open with potential buyers of my house should I sell in the future but a new sign by the Chorley border will hurt us as potential buyers drive around the area window shopping.

I also think you will struggle to locate a new sign by the Chorley border due to the narrow pavement and there is already a sign there so a new one is not required.

I have spoken with my neighbours who have expressed the same concerns - please do take these into account.
Richard Davies
Thursday 25th April 2019 at 10:35 am
I have never spoken to Mike Dudley-Jones before but I am extremely impressed as he has already contacted me within an hour of me posting on here.

A very polite and understanding gentleman who listens to residents' opinions and concerns.

It is a tricky issue as many houses are recorded officially as being Alderley Edge on the official land register despite what some signs seem to say.

I will leave the matter in his capable hands

Good luck in the elections Mike
Kim Maxwell
Thursday 25th April 2019 at 11:58 am
Hi Richard,

As Vice-Chair of Chorley Parish Council I thought it worth responding to your comments about lower house prices outside of Alderley Edge. Chorley residents all carry the SK9 7 postcode, which is the general Alderley Edge area. The house values for this area do not separate out Chorley from Alderley Edge, and should not cause any concern for any of us. In fact, we all have Alderley Edge within our addresses, although some of us also carry Row of Trees in addition.

Chorley Parish Council work hard to ensure that the needs of our residents are met, and we hope that you will feel that living within our Parish will not disadvantage you when you come to sell your home. Those of us who have sold recently have achieved sound market prices in alignment with the SK9 7 area.

We too would be delighted to meet with you if you have any further concerns about living in Chorley Parish. You may contact us via our clerk at:
Anna Baker
Friday 26th April 2019 at 7:18 pm
Hi Mike,

We appreciate that a lot of work has gone into these new signs and are grateful that they are to be relocated to the boundary lines.

As residents living close to the Knutsford Road, Alderley Edge / Wilmslow boundary, we agree with our fellow residents’ comments on feeling excluded, albeit unintentionally, and the concerns with regards to property prices but also we would like to make you aware of the problems we constantly have with delivery drivers / taxis etc not being able to find us as they do not realise that this part of the road is in fact in Alderley Edge not Wilmslow (unfortunately SatNavs do not always recognise this either!) So If the new sign was to remain on Brook Lane it would just exacerbate this problem for us.

Thank you for listening to our concerns and taking positive action.

Anna
Mike Dudley-Jones
Friday 26th April 2019 at 11:02 pm
Anna,

Thank you for your helpful post and I do appreciate the delivery problems you sometimes face.

I have already received the re-designed image of the sign to sit on the corner of Lindow Cricket Club which will sit behind the current, rather run down 'Wilmslow' sign that sits on the boundary. We will refurbish the Wilmslow sign and then use new posts.

Not aware precisely where you live, I believe this new location, where no sign for Alderley Edge has ever existed, will take care of the problems you often face. If not, perhaps you could drop the Parish Clerk a note with your details and I can visit. Thanks again.

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