Barlow's Beef: What exactly is a 'garden village'?


Macclesfield General Hospital is bursting at the seams. Last week they made an appeal for people to stay away from A&E unless they have a dire emergency. Meanwhile GP's surgeries are struggling to cope and the pharmacies where we were urged to go for medical advice are under threat of closure.

Dental practices are not a whole lot better with many reluctant to take on new NHS patients.

As many parents know places in local schools are increasingly difficult to obtain forcing pupils to travel. Given the congestion on our roads travelling even a few miles can be a long commute.

So here we are with plans approved to create a new 'garden village' of 1500 homes on the eastern edge of Handforth and n'er a word about infrastructure. While plans announced so far are specific on the number of houses they are rather vague on the details of schools and healthcare facilities.

Joined up thinking it isn't.

I'm no expert but would it not be a good idea to start with a plan of the infrastructure before they start throwing up hundreds of new houses or is that too logical? Are we going to wait until the roads are gridlocked and schools are using Portakabins for classrooms?

We already have the sick sleeping in hospital corridors and ambulances unable to offload patients for lack of beds. Cheshire East seem to be hell-bent on closing every facility they can get away with. So what's going on?

How can they plan cut-backs and closures at the same time they are planning thousands of additional houses? It makes no sense whatsoever.

The only logic to be deduced from this is a that projects generating profit will be acted upon with great alacrity while those requiring expenditure will be ignored, avoided and denied until the chaos becomes overwhelming. It's a self-perpetuated crisis.

I don't know what image a 'garden village' is supposed to project but I'm guessing it isn't overcrowded schools, gridlock and an overnight stay in a hospital corridor.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlows Beef, North Cheshire Garden Village, Vic Barlow


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

Harry Martin
Tuesday 10th January 2017 at 4:26 pm
My thoughts mirrored Mr Barlow . You just have to look at Legoland in Woodford where affordable homes in their garden setting start at around £460k . There are no new schools , health centre there and I haven't seen anymore buses on that route either . Closer to the wonderful proposed garden village is the A34 .What lovely clean air the new residents will breathe in their postage stamp gardens . They will then have to join the gridlocked roads if they plan to escape.