To enable them to move forward with their proposals to address the car parking problem in the village Alderley Edge Parish Council has agreed to formally express an interest in taking over the management of South Street car park, Ryleys Lane car park and part of Chorley Hall playing field from Cheshire East Council.
They also voted unanimously at their meeting on Monday, 11th April, to prepare and submit outline planning applications for Heyes Lane allotments, Ryleys Lane car park and Chorley Hall playing field.
In January the Parish Council revealed their proposals, which they feel will provide the most cost‐ effective solutions to the parking problem.
Their recommended solution includes providing 44 car parking spaces at the Heyes Lane allotment site along with an access road to the Festival Hall, to relieve traffic pressures on Stamford and Talbot Roads. This will provide additional car parking space for the Festival Hall and Medical Centre and result in the loss of about 25% of the allotment space.
They also propose to create 100 parking spaces on the lower end of Chorley Hall Lane playing field for long stay car parking spaces which would take up 25% of the site. At South Street they have already changed it to short term parking only but plan to amend the charges so they match those in the neighbouring Parade car park, remove the 'Free After Three' scheme and introduce no returning within two hours.
At Ryleys Lane, which is currently free to use and does not have any formal parking spaces, the Parish Council propose to reconfigure it for short term parking creating 33-35 spaces and possibly another 16 if a second tier was added.
Councillor Craig Browne "Following the parking survey and review, which found in favour of the three locations, in order to move things forward the next stage in the process is to formally respond to Cheshire East expressing our interest, in principle at least in, in progressing the asset transfer of each of those sites.
"An expression of interest does not formally commit us to going ahead at this stage it just means that each of the three sites can be placed on Cheshire East's asset register in order that they can be considered in due course or as requested.Therefore I would like to propose that we do formally express an interest in those sites."
The next step in the process would be that the assets be added to a list and at some point come up for consideration by the Cabinet member and then the full Cabinet.
Councillor Geoff Hall commented "Any asset transfers have to be very carefully thought through with a plan as to how they will be managed, what the potential risks are and how we would manage those risks because I think that didn't happen with the transfer of the festival hall and the planning for the medical centre. This is obviously on a much smaller scale but none-the-less we are still nine unpaid part-timers."
He added "There is still further work to be done to make this asset work for us (festival hall) so we need to be clear but for myself I am quite happy to support the proposal."
Speaking about submitting outline planning applications, Councillor Craig Browne said "Following the parking survey and review which found in favour of the three locations, and in order to start to move things forward with the car parks we really need to be in a position where we can prepare and submit outline applications for each of the three sites so that Cheshire East planning has something concrete to work with us on and they have said that they will do that.
"On the strength of an outline application they will help us to get that to a point that it addresses any issues that it would need to address before we went all the way to a full application."
He added "It is likely that, as all three options contravene the National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 74, as well Cheshire East's policy on public open space we will need to consider appropriate litigation measures which effectively means we will need to look at how and where we can provide better quality open space to mitigate what will be taken away. This is why I think it's important we go through the outline process first instead of spending larger sums of money.
"The cost of each outline application will be £192.50, it's normally £385 but as a parish council we get a 50% reduction."