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HPC Notes: Consultation on the Draft Cheshire East Local Plan

Consultation on the Draft Cheshire East Local Plan

There are 40 draft policies that Cheshire East Council have published for consultation as part of the new Local Plan process, residents have until 26th February to record their views.  These policies will help control where new development should take place and how to minimise their impact on the environment, promote employment etc.  The documents also contain certain strategic sites i.e. large development sites such as the villages on the Duchy of Lancaster Estate that could provide 1000’s of new homes in the open countryside.

The proposals that appear to impact Haslington Parish most are as follows (this is what the Parish Council have used in their response to the consultation ……)

Replacement of the Green Gap Policy by Strategic Open Gaps
Haslington Parish Council welcomes the expansion in the area covered by the new Strategic Open Gaps policy continuing on from the Crewe & Nantwich Green Gaps.  However it is most concerned at the narrowing that appears to have occurred on certain maps in the draft documentation.  Specifically it is requested that the Gap policy area is extended eastwards to run alongside the western edge of the existing Haslington settlement boundary including the area around Clay Lane and the Haslington Cricket Club and municipal playing fields, and westwards towards Sydney Road to run alongside the existing settlement boundary of Crewe between Sydney Bridge and Crewe Green roundabout.  Further that the new area be extended eastwards around Winterley to run alongside the existing settlement boundary, to include a finger to divide Winterley from Haslington.  It is also suggested that the new Gap area between Wheelock and Elworth be extended to incorporate the Hind Heath road and Abbeyfields area to ensure Winterley, Wheelock, Ettiley Heath and Elworth do not merge.  Consideration should also be given to extending the Strategic Open Gap between Crewe Golf Course and the M6 to give protection to the rural area of Oakhanger.
[Shown cross hatched on the submitted map derived from page 31]

Support Draft Policy
CS5, SE5

Consideration should be given to upgrading the whole area covered by the Strategic Open Gap to Green Belt.  The proposed Strategic Open Gap is intended to check the unrestricted sprawl of built up areas and prevent neighbouring towns from merging this is compatible with the aims of Green Belt.  It would also help offset the loss of Green Belt in the North of Cheshire East and potentially around J16.

Comment
CS5, SE5, CS3

Haslington Parish Council is most concerned at the designation of Winterley as a sustainable village.  The community of Winterley has very few services, residents like to live in the village because it has so few facilities, they do not want more introducing.  Winterley has two pubs, two centres of worship, two bus stops and a post box;  it has no shops, no primary or secondary education, no medical facilities, no bank or cash machine, no park or sports facilities within the community or within the required distances.
There is a danger that if additional facilities were added into Winterley then the neighbouring communities of Haslington and Wheelock could lose custom and become less viable.
A rural community having a settlement boundary defined in a previous local plan should not equate to a community being designated a Sustainable Village.
Winterley needs to be removed from the list of communities designated as sustainable villages, it needs to be classed as a rural village.
The New Homes and Employment Land targets given in Table 5.2 need to be reduced for Sustainable Villages if Winterley and other settlements are removed from the Sustainable Villages designation.

Object

CS2, CS8, CS9

Haslington Parish Council support the proposed policy protecting Open Countryside and the expectation that all land outside defined settlement boundaries should be included.

CS6 Support

Whilst accepting that Haslington can be classed as a Local Service Centre based on its current facilities it does not have access to suitable areas of land to provide new employment sites or residential development without encroaching on productive farmland.  Virtually all employment sites, large gardens and brownfield land within the village have been redeveloped for residential use over the past 20 years.  Haslington is not a centre for employment, residents look to Crewe and beyond for employment.  Haslington is primarily a dormitory and retirement community.  Haslington should not and cannot be expected to accommodate the levels of new employment or residential development envisaged for Local Service Centres in the draft plan, Table 5.2.

 Object  CS2

Do not consider it acceptable or appropriate to enforce a mix of size, tenure etc on all new developments.  This is forcing social engineering onto an existing stable community and is not acceptable within a democracy.

Object SC3 (part1)

Haslington Parish Council are most concerned at the potential damage to existing communities and the local environment if Village A or B is given approval.  The Area of Search for Village B encroaches into Haslington Parish, in the southern part of the rural community of Oakhanger.  Existing residents of Oakhanger already suffer from the impact of high levels of traffic along the Crewe Green to Alsager road, the 30 mile per hour limit being ignored and historically the road had been widened by taking front garden land bringing the traffic closer to the houses.  No development should be allowed to make this situation worse for the existing residents on the main road, nor should the communities in Crewe Green and Alsager be forced to suffer increased road traffic from the potential village B.  If Village B is to be imposed, then residents would prefer it to be located to the south of the area of search, with no vehicle access to any of the existing local minor road network, access being via a single point onto a widened A500 – in a similar manner to the nearby Wychwood Park development.

Strategic Sites New Settlement 2 SE Crewe

Cheshire East have also published an updated review of sites that have been considered for development known as the SHLAA.  There are three new ones in Winterley and Haslington.  This is not part of the current consultation.

SHLAA Sites Reference

Kents Green Lane site, potential 87 houses.  Concerned that any development in this area must not damage the existing tree lined Kents Green Road, the existing farmhouse or the area of pasture land that includes mature trees at the junction of Kents Green Lane and Crewe Road that form an area parkland that would not be out of place adjoining a grand stately home.

4028

Printworks.  Most concerned at the consideration of including 19 houses around the Printworks Site.  This is a very contentious site in the open countryside between the settlement boundaries of Winterley and Haslington.  The Printworks lost and then regained its residential permission after a lengthy battle, it was not the intention that this should open up the neighbouring open countryside to further development – its status should be changed to undeliverable as against policy CS6

4247

Winterley – Land between Elton Lane and Newtons Lane, potential capacity of 468 houses.  This area of potential development is not well integrated with the rest of Winterley.  Winterley scores very badly on sustainability criteria and this development could change the character of the whole rural community.

4232

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