News from Sandbach



At the Sandbach Town Council meeting on 9th February 2017, Cllr Martin
Forster, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Elworth, proposed that the Air
Quality Working Group should present views to Cheshire East Council and
explore ways to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion in
Sandbach. However, Conservative Councillor Gill Merry proposed amending this
proposal to remove the reference to traffic congestion. Despite support from
her Conservative colleagues, Cllr Merry's amendment was narrowly defeated
and the working group will look into ways of reducing traffic congestion.
This marks a change from a year ago when Cllr Merry was mayor and used her
second casting vote to defeat a proposal to have a Sandbach Cycling
Champion.

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, "Traffic is
an increasing problem in Sandbach and we should be looking at ways to reduce
congestion - including promoting cycling. It is a shame that my proposal for
a cycling champion for Sandbach was defeated last year on Cllr Gill Merry's
second vote as Mayor. I believe that establishing safe cycle routes,
especially to the 2 secondary schools in Sandbach, could make a significant
difference to traffic congestion in Sandbach."


Martin Forster, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Elworth, said, "The
Conservatives don't want to talk about traffic congestion, because it is
their laissez-faire approach to speculative housing developments that has
caused much of the problem in Sandbach. But we have to face up to the
reality that planning permission has already been granted for 3,200 new
houses in Sandbach. We need to plan ahead to make sure that all the new
houses do not lead to traffic gridlock and further air quality problems in
Sandbach."

Sandbach Council to look at Traffic & Air Quality

At the Sandbach Town Council meeting on 9th February 2017, Cllr MartinForster, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Elworth, proposed that the AirQuality Working Group should present views to Cheshire East Council...

In the by-election held on November 24th 2016 for the Town Ward of Sandbach Town Council, the Labour Party candidate, Karen Ratcliffe, came second. The seat was held by the Conservatives.

Sandbach Town Ward Result

In the by-election held on November 24th 2016 for the Town Ward of Sandbach Town Council, the Labour Party candidate, Karen Ratcliffe, came second. The seat was held by the...

A planning application to build 12 dwellings on a field on Church Lane close
to the M6 has been approved on appeal.

The government inspector said, "I appreciate that such a conclusion is
disheartening for the local community who put considerable time and effort
into the production of the Neighbourhood Plan, especially when the plan
received overwhelming support from local people. I also accept the matter of
the 5 year housing land supply in the borough is not one that they have any
control over, and that a significant number of permissions for new housing
in Sandbach have already been approved. Nevertheless, the government's aim
is to significantly boost the supply of housing, and at present the borough
is not delivering that aim."

One of the main grounds for objecting to the application had been the level
of noise from the motorway at the site, but Cheshire East Council withdrew
this grounds for refusal, without consulting with the local councillor, Sam
Corcoran.

To rub salt into the wounds caused by this absurd planning decision,
Cheshire East Council didn't ask for any contributions towards primary
school provision from the developers. So council tax payers will have to
foot the bill for any necessary primary school expansion in Sandbach.

There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more houses.
Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government
planning determine where the houses should be built (such as brownfield
sites close to employment areas). The Conservatives have let loose private
developers, allowing them to build on sites where they can make the greatest
profit (greenfield sites in Cheshire). The result of this laissez-faire
capitalism can be seen in Sandbach where permission has already been granted
to build over 3,000 new homes - an increase of 40% in the size of the town!

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, "I am
grateful to all those who attended the planning appeal hearing with me and
for the fantastic community-led effort that resulted in the Sandbach
Neighbourhood Plan. However, the simple truth is that while the
Conservatives continue to win elections, speculative developers will
continue to get their housing applications approved.
"This decision to allow more houses to be built on a green field on the
outskirts of Sandbach is a direct result of deliberate Conservative
government policy and incompetence at Conservative-led Cheshire East
Council."

Cllr Price Jones, Chair of the Sandbach Town Council Planning Committee
comments "It is undoubtedly the withdrawal of the noise grounds for refusal
by Cheshire East Council, combined with government policy, which has left
the inspector with little option but to allow this application to be built.
This application will provide housing that is not fit for habitation and it
is the people who buy these houses who will lose the most."

Government Inspector Overrules Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan

A planning application to build 12 dwellings on a field on Church Lane closeto the M6 has been approved on appeal.The government inspector said, "I appreciate that such a conclusion...

The Sandbach Peace pole was unveiled at a ceremony in Sandbach on Saturday, attended by Fiona Bruce MP, Keith Haines (Mayor of Sandbach), Rev Jeremy Tresise (Churches Together in Sandbach), Councillor Sam Corcoran and Bob Mynett and Val Atkinson who initiated the Sandbach Peace Pole project 3 years ago. Over 50 people attended the ceremony during which packets of jelly babies were handed out by Churches Together in Sandbach.

 

A Peace Pole is a monument that displays the message ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’. The Sandbach Peace Pole will display this message in English, German, Japanese and Arabic. The languages were chosen to reflect the former adversaries in world wars and the current troubles in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

 

Sam Corcoran, the lead councillor on the project, said, “Thank you all for coming here today for the unveiling of the Sandbach Peace Pole. I am grateful to Sandbach Town Council, Cheshire East Council and Churches Together in Sandbach for helping to make this happen.

This Peace Pole is currently covered by a red cloth. 20 years ago I spent 2 years in Kenya with the Volunteer Missionary Movement in an area close to Maasai country and that is a Maasai warrior cloak. Maasai warriors have a fearsome reputation, but they were the friendliest, smiliest people I know. Times change - fights between tribes in Kenya are now rare and Kenya is a relatively peaceful country. Most of the people here today have never experienced war. That is worth celebrating, BUT peace is something that must be continually supported. We must strive to settle arguments peacefully. We need only look to Syria to see what happens when things go wrong – to see the devastation that war causes. I am delighted that Cheshire East Council has agreed to welcome 3-5 Syrian refugee families.

The writing on the Peace Pole says May Peace Prevail on Earth in English, German and Japanese to remind us of countries who were our enemies in the First and Second World Wars and in Arabic to remind us of current conflicts in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

It is important to remember the horror of war and how important it is to promote peace. I would now like to hand over to Bob Mynett who, with Val Atkinson, instigated the Sandbach Peace Pole project..”

 

Rev Jeremy Tresise spoke about Jelly Babies which were marketed as Peace Babies in 1919 to celebrate the end of the First World War.

 

Councillor Keith Haines, Mayor of Sandbach, said, “I’m honoured to be here on behalf of Sandbach Town Council to mark the establishment of Sandbach’s Peace Pole. Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to bring this about and in particular, I want to thank Bob Mynett and Cllr. Sam Corcoran.

Earlier this year, on 1st July, I attended a ceremony at the War Memorial in the Market Square to mark the exact centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. To our generation, that battle, perhaps more than any other, defines the bloody, attritional nature of warfare. In five months of combat from July to November, an estimated one million men from all sides were killed, wounded or went missing.

Despite that carnage, humanity hasn’t learned the lessons of history. The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history, with the total number of deaths from wars estimated at 187m. Taking 1914 as a start point, it was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organised armed conflict somewhere. Since the end of the cold war, it’s a matter of debate how far actions around the globe constitute a continuation of the era of world war. There’s no doubt that the 1990s were filled with formal and informal military conflict in Europe, Africa and western and central Asia, with the first 16 years of this century continuing the bloodshed. The world as a whole has not been at peace since 1914, and is certainly not at peace now.

On behalf of Sandbach Town Council, I’m proud to see this permanent reminder of the need to work for a civilised free society, liberated from the need for yet more slaughter.

Finally, I’d like to thank the fair organizers Joe White and his team for providing us with a p.a. system and delaying the start of the fair for us. Thank-you to everyone for coming along – the weather’s fine, so let’s all enjoy the delights of the funfair.

Sandbach Peace Pole

The Sandbach Peace pole was unveiled at a ceremony in Sandbach on Saturday, attended by Fiona Bruce MP, Keith Haines (Mayor of Sandbach), Rev Jeremy Tresise (Churches Together in Sandbach),...

Witters Field

The Secretary of State has granted permission to Gladman Developments Ltd to build up to 300 dwellings on Witters Field in Wistaston.

The ruling is bad news for the people of Wistaston village who have been campaigning against this development. The ruling is also bad news for Cheshire East as it raises technical issues about which of their planning policies can be considered up to date in the absence of a 5-year housing land supply. Yet again, Conservative-controlled Cheshire East Council has been criticised for not having a 5-year housing land supply and for not having an approved Local Plan. The deputy leader of the Council recently admitted that the Council might never have a 5-year housing land supply. It is unlikely that the Cheshire East Local Plan will be approved before 2017.

 

The ruling suggests that the ‘green gaps’ between towns and villages in south Cheshire are of little significance in determining planning appeals.

 

Dorothy Flude, Labour Councillor for Crewe South, said, “I am bitterly disappointed for the people of Wistaston village that planning permission has been granted to build houses on Witters Field. It concerns me that, with all the talk of a High Growth City for Crewe, we are not looking at the prospect of a garden city with plenty of green spaces between our small towns and villages. We need to acknowledge the historic nature of some of our towns and villages and work together to retain that historic settlement.”

 

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more houses. Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government planning determine where the houses should be built (such as brownfield sites in Stoke). The Conservatives have let loose private developers, allowing them to build on sites where they can make the greatest profit (greenfield sites in Cheshire).

Tories let private developers pick and choose the sites that make them most money.

Labour would have plan-led development. The Tories rely on the free market and are allowing developer-led planning.

The Witters Field is just the latest in a long line of green fields in Cheshire that are being lost as a result of Tory policy to let private developers have more power in deciding where to build houses.”

 

Brian Roberts, Labour Councillor for Crewe West, said, “At the planning committees we are trying to refuse applications which are detrimental to the rural aspect of villages. But our hands are tied by this constant referral to the lack of a 5-year housing land supply. We know the planning applications need to be refused but we are constantly advised by the planning officers of the developer’s high success potential at appeal and its subsequent cost to the Council. As a Councillor who represents a dense built up urban ward I am concerned at this further expansion of urban sprawl closing the green gaps.”

300 new houses in Wistaston

Witters Field The Secretary of State has granted permission to Gladman Developments Ltd to build up to 300 dwellings on Witters Field in Wistaston. The ruling is bad news for...

There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more houses. Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government planning determine where the houses should be built (such as brownfield sites in Stoke). The Conservatives have let loose private developers, allowing them to build on sites where they can make the greatest profit (greenfield sites in Cheshire). The result of this laissez-faire capitalism can be seen in Sandbach where permission has already been granted to build nearly 3,000 new homes – an increase of 37% in the size of the town!

On 24th March the people of Sandbach voted by 96% to support the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan. There is a great expectation that the fantastic community-led effort to produce a Neighbourhood Plan will bring to an end the flood of speculative housing applications that is engulfing Sandbach. However, Conservative-controlled Cheshire East Council has other ideas. In a report that was due to be presented at a Cheshire East planning committee meeting on 30th March a planning officer argued that an application for 12 more houses should be approved because Cheshire East does not have a 5-year supply of housing land and “the  housing  land  supply  policies  of  the  Sandbach  Neighbourhood  Plan  are  not  up  to date”. So within a week of the referendum, Cheshire East Council were arguing that the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan housing policies were out of date!

When I read this report, I contacted the planning officers and asked them to reconsider. When they wouldn’t budge, I took the unusual step of asking the department of the Secretary of State to ‘call-in’ the planning application for 12 homes off Church Lane by the M6. The day after I contacted the Secretary of State, Cheshire East Council announced that they were deferring the planning application affected by the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan. This delay provides a breathing space. Any campaigners against further housing in Sandbach must now join the campaign to get Cheshire East Council to accept that the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan policies are NOT out of date. Please contact your local councillor and MP and urge them to campaign that the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan policies relating to the supply of housing are NOT out of date even though Cheshire East Council does not have a 5-year housing land supply.

Labour seeks Secretary of State review on housing plans

There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more houses. Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government planning determine where the houses...

Last week George Osborne visited Sandbach to laud the amount of new housing being built. When queried over the lack of a Local Plan giving developers too much power over where to build houses, George Osborne said “we’ve got to make sure those homes are being built”. Just one of the problems being caused by the speculative house building allowed and encouraged by government policy is traffic congestion. Sandbach has seen a big rise in traffic delays recently. As a local councillor I will be talking with other Sandbach councillors to see what can be done about lorries parking up on local roads near to housing sites at 7.50am, about refuse collections going on in roadworks during rush hour and other issues that could help traffic flow.

However, as yet more houses are built, traffic problems are likely to get worse. This week the closure of the Crewe-Wilmslow rail line will add to the commuter misery. In January local Labour councillors suggested several contingency measures during the rail closure. Sadly the suggestions that involved privatised rail companies working together in a coherent way have not been adopted. Even the simple suggestion of a fast bus to Manchester Airport (for onward trains to Manchester) has not been implemented.

If we are to tackle traffic congestion (and climate change) then public transport has an important role to play. Can we have back the early service Crewe-Sandbach-Holmes Chapel-Manchester Airport to serve the European business flights which generally need you at check-in around 0600? An additional fast train into Manchester for commuters would also be welcome and would reduce overcrowding.

Such problems can be addressed by proper local and national government planning. However, if we rely on market forces and profit motive, then traffic chaos is inevitable.

Traffic congestion in Sandbach

Last week George Osborne visited Sandbach to laud the amount of new housing being built. When queried over the lack of a Local Plan giving developers too much power over...

OFFICIAL OPENING OF MORTIMER DRIVE PLAY AREA

The newly refurbished Mortimer Drive play area in Sandbach was officially opened on Saturday 1st November, by Sandbach councillor Sam Corcoran.  Sandbach Town Mayor, Cllr. Elsie Alcock, attended and thanked everyone who had contributed to the project and made it possible.

The completion of the play area, once described as probably the worst play area in Cheshire East, had been eagerly anticipated by the local community and in the week since it became ready for use, it was proving to be hugely popular with children, parents and grandparents.

The refurbishment project was spearheaded by a small number of local residents who, together with Cllr Corcoran, formed the Friends of Mortimer Drive Play Area and then set about the task of securing the substantial funding required to complete the project.   

A very generous £50,000 grant was awarded by WREN, a not for profit business that awards grants to community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund.

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said “WREN is committed to funding projects that make a real difference to local communities, children and families. The Mortimer Drive Play Area will make a fantastic space for local families to get outdoors and have some fun.  We are delighted to support the Friends of Mortimer Drive Play Area in making this project happen for the benefit of the local community.”

Additional substantial funding was welcomed from Cheshire East Council, Morris Homes S106 funds (£32,000), Sandbach Town Council (£15,000) and Dane Plus Housing (£500).  All funding partners were warmly thanked by the Friends of Mortimer Drive Group for their generous contributions to the play area project.

Commenting on the opening, Cllr Corcoran said “I am delighted to see this new playground opened. I would like to thank all the Friends of Mortimer Drive Play Area who have worked so hard for over a year to make this happen.  This has been a really good community project and I hope that all the local community will support and enhance the play area in the future.”

New Play Area opens

OFFICIAL OPENING OF MORTIMER DRIVE PLAY AREA The newly refurbished Mortimer Drive play area in Sandbach was officially opened on Saturday 1st November, by Sandbach councillor Sam Corcoran.  Sandbach Town...

J17 Improvements Saved

Local campaigners are breathing a sigh of relief after Cheshire East Council withdrew proposed changes to the Capricorn Business Park planning application from the agenda of a meeting on Wednesday. The proposals recommended by Cheshire East Council planning officers envisaged cancelling government funded plans to build a roundabout on the northbound slip road and instead Cheshire East Council receiving money from the Highways Agency and developers to build an enhanced roundabout in 2015/16. When the plans were examined by local councillor Sam Corcoran it became clear that that cost of the enhanced roundabout was not known, the amount to be received from the Highways Agency was not known and there were no enforceable guarantees that the whole cost of the roundabout would be covered.

The government funded ‘pinch point’ scheme involving traffic lights at the end of the southbound slip road (on the Holmes Chapel side of the motorway) and a roundabout at the end of the northbound slip road (on the Sandbach side of the motorway) should now go ahead as planned later this year.

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “I have been working with officers of the Highways Agency and Cheshire East Council for years to get improvements to junction 17. I am greatly relieved that this last minute obstruction to the plans has been removed and I thank Cllr Michael Jones for his intervention.

“I will continue to campaign for a world class science and business park on the Capricorn site. Sadly, Cheshire East Council have already granted outline approval for housing on part of the site and were proposing dropping the condition for any business park at all on the site, but I have not given up yet.

“I am pleased that junction 17 improvements are going ahead, but after all the twists and turns of this saga I will not be celebrating until the highways works are completed.”

Junction 17 Improvements back on course

J17 Improvements Saved Local campaigners are breathing a sigh of relief after Cheshire East Council withdrew proposed changes to the Capricorn Business Park planning application from the agenda of a...

At the Sandbach Town Council meeting on Thursday 5/12/13, a letter from Fiona Bruce MP concerning planning applications in Cheshire was discussed. Attached to the letter was an extract from Hansard of a speech made by Fiona Bruce on 24 October in which she said that we “have developer-led development in our area and unsustainable, unplanned development” and that this “makes a mockery of localism”.

 

Labour councillor Sam Corcoran proposed that the Council should reply to the letter asking Fiona Bruce to pursue her request that the Minister provide whatever assistance is required for Cheshire East Council to get its Local Plan through.

 

The motion was not supported by any of the local Conservatives, but was voted through by independent councillors.

 

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Sam Corcoran said, “I can understand that the local Conservatives would find it embarrassing to admit that they have messed up on the Local Plan, but they need to swallow their pride and accept help. We desperately need a good Local Plan to stop speculative housing developments being approved. I welcome the intervention of Fiona Bruce MP and am willing to work across party political boundaries for the good of the people of Sandbach. The internal battle between a Conservative-led government and a Conservative controlled council has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees and resulted in planning chaos around towns in Cheshire.

If we had a good Local Plan setting out where houses and the infrastructure required to support those houses could be built, then this would give us plan-led development. What we have now is developer-led planning.”

 

Labour seek Fiona Bruce's help with Sandbach plan

At the Sandbach Town Council meeting on Thursday 5/12/13, a letter from Fiona Bruce MP concerning planning applications in Cheshire was discussed. Attached to the letter was an extract from Hansard of...

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