Saltersford Corner Public Meeting

Save Saltersford Corner

Report for Public Meeting on Wednesday 26th March 2014

6:00 pm at The Victoria Club, Holmes Chapel

 

3 Campaign Progress

3.1 What have we done?

  • Continued to campaign with support of local dignitories
  • Communications through two leaflet drops, Facebook ('Save Saltersford Corner') and twitter (@saltersfordhc)
  • Knutsford Guardian and Sanbach Chronicle have published stories of the campaign's success so far
  • Online petition 516 signatures on Change.org before resubmission
  • Highlighted key issues with infrastructure, personal objections and greenfield site restrictions
  • Reported how the development is not necessary for council plans as it is not needed for the 5 year housing plan

3.2 How have we achieved this?

  • Heavy public backing and support driving the campaign
  • Efficient communications- mainly social media and press attention
  • Support and advice of local dignitories on how to proceed and further the campaign
  • Recruiting more passionate members for the team

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4 Reasons for Opposition

4.1 School Representative - Jeff Sharp on behalf of HCCS

  • Jeff Sharp stated his delight and pride on behalf of the community for students driving the campaign
  • Identified the demongraphic dip in year 7 where there are only 180 students and that the planned admission for 2014 is far greater
  • Next year will see 210 students accepted and a further 30+ students waiting list which are likely to gain places after they appeal
  • Reinforces the idea that this is before the additional residents
  • Developer's software states that from 230 properties (approx) their computer modelling suggests that there will only be 28 students of school age. Sharp suggests that this is unrealistic and again reinforces that this is only from the Manor Lane development and not a substantial representation of the growing community
  • Key Quote: "We have no- or very little- capacity without any significant investment... Where will they be educated?"
  • Identifies that numbers are expected to grow with post-16 education becoming compulsory
  • Promised guarentee of place for local area from feeder primary schools as HCCS is not selective- despite being an Academy.

 

4.2 Public Opposition

Abbie little- Local resident (16 years old)

  • Brief history of why the campaign is important to her- local resident since the age of 5 months old
  • Young representative of village- believes the "next generation" should have a say in proposed development
  • "Unsuitable development" and homes will appeal to young families who are keen to move into the area- however identifies lack of local facilities within the Village (including healthcare and schools which would be necessary in educating the new young residents)
  • Reaccessed access point to Saltersford Corner is still dangerous and will not be fit for children walking to school
  • Reports that according to Cheshire East's website, due to availablility guidelines, the site isn't developable and that Saltersford Corner is outside of Holmes Chapel's development zone

 

4.3 Local Groups - Les Gilbert on behalf of the Parish Council

  • Praises campaign team and says it is "encouraging" that young people are taking an interest in the village
  • Parish are opposed to application
  • Technical services oppose on a number of grounds as it is contrary to already sufficient housing needs
  • Identifies the "negative impact" on local infrastructure
  • "If you're against this development, the Parish Council is right with you!!"

 

4.4 Elected Representative- Dean Grice- Holmes Chapel Health Centre

  • Reports problem of the health centre being already "busy and over subscribed"
  • A number of patients have raised concerns to the practise already and regarding the impact of the proposed developments in the village
  • Funding for GP practices is due to number of patients - could expand however the funding is very low for primary care
  • Identifies the pressure on GPs will increase, that there will be a longer waiting list and that there will not be the choice to see a GP of your choice
  • Population increase without funding runs the risk of additional stress for GPs and "burning out"
  • Other concern is premises reaching the end of its useful age and being of an inadequate size. If the village sees a significant increase, the site would need be redeveloped which is funded by NHS england which have currently frozen funds for GP practises
  • Emphasises the need for Council, MP and public awareness - encourages public to fight for infrastructure
  • Feedback from GPs: they're happy to see who needs to be seen, but concern to does lie with the lack of funding for the practise and commissioning body
  • Promotes action of public to write to MPs, Parish Council and Cheshire East Council to fight for funding

 

4.5 Fiona bruce- Abbie Little quoting a statement quoting from BBC stoke

  • Fiona has been fighting since 2010
  • Declared support for campaign and has also been fighting development on greenfield- farmland, like Saltersford Corner
  • Identifies problem with additional pressure on local infrastructure, as well as the extra pressure on jobs for people in the local area

 

4.6 Michael Jones- Head of Council

  • "I'm totally against it and I'm backing it* 100%" (Save Saltersford Corner Campaign)
  • Believes it is in a bad area that is not safe for development
  • "Bring it on- we'll protect you and we'll support you!"
  • States that the public is in a position to fight against it and that the public should definitely have some influence on the issue

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5 Future Campaign Progress

What is happening and what can we do? -Advice from Les Gilbert and Michael Kolker (Cheshire East)

  • The process of the local plan for Cheshire East sets out high level policies and establishes a job led growth strategy- Crewe and Macclesfield
  • The plan identifies key infrastructure projects and shows where jobs and houses will go
  • Settlement heirarchy: Holmes Chapel is one of thirteen places for 2500 houses to go. However, as Holmes Chapel is already doing this with the development in progress, we are less of a prospect as we* are well in credit already (*Holmes Chapel)
  • Core strategy needs to be approved by secretary of state
  • Later in the year a document will be produced with a site specific strategy
  • "Unplanned Unneccessary and unsustainable" - Michael Kolker
  • Now have 5 year housing land supply so the council can now defend against developers on greenfield site therefore the council are actively refusing applications on greenfield because they are not included in 5 year land supply and they're not included
  • Optimistic about defence
  • The development decision will go to a planning committee including councillors, professionals, solicitors and democratic services-the decision of councillors
  • Public have right to speak- 3 mins to fight their case (suggestion that Bill speaks on behalf of the public)
  • Encouraged to "Show your support. Bring your kids- bring everyone!" to make an impression on planning committee. Strength in numbers
  • Agenda will be published a week before
  • Suggests public write to the council and object on Cheshire East's website (Search "Saltersford Farm")

 

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Any Other Business

Questions from the floor:

  • "Are you confident this will happen?" (Reference to Brereton case which fell through a few years ago) "YES!" -Michael Jones
  • Concerns were expressed that there were no legal reasons to refuse the planning applications currently, so what basis would we have to form the campaign's argument and objection? Michael Jones replies stating that we have material evidence now (five year plan under new MPG guidelines) and that his backing will ensure that he does whatever he can to prevent this development from going through
    "We will do what we need to do to defend you"
  • "Does it carry weight to object on planning website?"
    Michael Jones: "Yes. Give us as much information as you can."
    eg, Highlight flooding or drainage issues (on fields on SCorner)
    and relevant material issues such as footpaths and traffic flow
    "Write different letters"
  • "Who decides and who can refuse the plans?"
    Michael Jones: Strategic planning board will decide- which is made up of impartial councillors with no predetermined position to consider application -including public opinion
  • "What is the time scale on opposing now they've reapplied?"
    Bill: 10th april and an expected decision on 2nd June
  • "If we originally objected, do we need to resubmit objections?"
    Michael Jones: Yes- before the 10th of April

 

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Close of Meeting

Thanks for support and dignitories

 

"We will continue to fight and I will continue to fight on behalf of our Community" - Bill Armstrong

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