4 July 2017

Please note that views expressed here are not necessarily those of Acton Bridge Parish Council.

Station Road Nursery Site - new Planning Application
A Planning Application (ref 17/01729/FUL) was submitted to Cheshire West & Chester Council for 17 dwellings of various sizes on the plot which used to be the Nursery / Garden Centre, and was discussed during the Parish Council Meeting and its AGM on 16. May. About 17 members of the public were in attendance to voice their opinions about the proposed development.
This Application was withdrawn on 20. June, but a new Planning Statement appeared on the CWAC website on the same day. This Statement makes some startling assertions about the Parish Council's role in the matter, and refers to discussions taking place (which didn't) and opinions being expressed (which weren't) before the Application was submitted. It's the Parish Council's

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long-standing principle not to enter into pre-Application discussions with, or express opinions to, developers, for precisely the reason that any such remarks could be taken out of context. The Parish Council's formal responses to CWAC on this and other Applications are the only documents having any legal standing.

Although the "Hazlehurst" name does not appear in the formal application, we'll keep the information on this page for the sake of continuity.

This page of the Acton Bridge website hosted discussion of the "Hazlehurst Close" proposal to build 29 houses on the land that was previously the garden centre and the adjacent field, in Station Road, Acton Bridge. At the time of writing, no Planning Application has been lodged with Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Update 23. November 2016 - the Parish Council has published some notes from the public meeting on 3. November, which you can read here. We shall be updating this page from time to time, so please call back.

These maps are reproduced from the brochure and questionnaire distributed by the Agents for the developer, Messrs Fifield Glyn, for identification purposes only.

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This image shows the field at the south-eastern end of the proposed development site, washed over by the Green Belt and currently a paddock, looking north-west from the public footpath. The West Coast Main Line Railway and Acton Bridge Station are to the left, and the nursery / garden centre lies behind the trees, beyond the stable block. The gable of the Hazel Pear Inn is just visible through the trees.

The Google Earth image (© Google 2016) below shows the site as it is now.

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Acton Bridge Parish Council has distributed a flyer, as follows:-

"You will be aware, from the information leaflet delivered to all properties in the Village, of the proposal to build 29 houses on the land that was previously the garden centre and the adjacent field.
"No formal Planning Application has been submitted as yet to CW&C. To assist in making their response when the Application is received, the Parish Council will hold a meeting to hear the views and opinions of the residents so that the Council can respond accordingly.
"The meeting will be held in the Parish Rooms on Thursday 3. November 2016 at 7:30pm. All residents are invited to attend."

The Parish Council has published some notes from the meeting, which you can read by clicking here. We shall be updating this page from time to time, so please call back.

Here are a couple of photos from the meeting, which was attended by about 70 residents, plus the Parish Council and one of our Borough Councillors, an excellent turnout on a dark and wet November evening.

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ACTON BRIDGE PARISH COUNCIL

Notes of the Special Meeting held on Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 7-30pm in the Parish Rooms.

 

 Present: R Holt – Chairman
S Pardoe
H Bayley
R Forbes
D Hall
J Oliver
Clr H Tonge CW&C

 

Apologies: Clr P Williams CW&C

Clr C Fifield had declared an interest and did not attend.

There were seventy four members of the public present.

 

Background
An agent acting for the owner has distributed leaflets, to most properties in the Village, regarding proposed development of land on Station Road. The land consists of the old garden centre and the adjoining field behind the Station Road houses. The leaflet described the development of 29 houses of various sizes and the build of a community shop.

No formal planning application has been submitted to CW&C as yet. The Parish Council had invited all residents of the Village (via a 'flyer' delivered to all properties) to discuss the proposals and to hear the views and opinions of residents so that the Parish Council can respond accordingly when an application is received.

Meeting Notes
To assist residents in the understanding of the planning process the Chairman gave brief descriptions of;

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), is the definitive document to all planning in England. Covers building in the Green Belt which includes all Acton Bridge.
Local Plans and Policies - as prepared and applied by CW&C

Planning Procedures and Applications - All applications are made to CW&C who are responsible for and make the decisions. The Parish Council are consulted and send their views to CW&C. When necessary, applications can be 'called in' by an appropriate CW&C Councillor for decision by the full Planning Committee not just the delegated officer. If an applicant is not satisfied with a planning decision it can be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol.

The Station Road location - Outline of the site and the previous applications for development / use of the Site.

The meeting was opened for views and debate. The following items and topics were raised;

  • Who owns the land?

  • What is the designation of the land, green belt or brownfield?

  • Some green belt land in Norley has been built on.

  • CW&C Local Plan states Acton Bridge is not justified for building.

  • Speeding and safety on Station Road.

  • Large number of cars would be added to the roads.

  • Community shop not a viable operation, would have to be run by volunteers.

  • Poor questions have been posed in leaflet.

  • Increase in properties would give 10% increase of properties in the Village.

  • Proposals for 10 affordable houses in Strawberry Lane has been thoroughly examined and has failed to make a case.

  • It was believed many of the proposed properties would be bought by companies (landlords) for sub-letting.

  • The land on Station Road is subject to flooding. Gardens don't drain

  • If not built on can the owner be forced to keep the site tidy.

  • Low cost / social housing has been tried in Little Leigh and many have not been sold.

  • Builder / developer will get permission for one arrangement and then change plans.

  • Is there a minimum gap for buildings near the railway.

  • Plans submitted by British Rail (circa 1987) for development were refused and further refused on appeal.

  • CW&C have the required reserve of land for the 5 year plan.

  • If one green belt site developed others will follow.

One resident raised several issues on need for house building and affordability, locally and Nationally, throughout the meeting.

In conclusion, the meeting was asked for a show of hands to indicate for or against the proposed scheme. There was one in favour and the remainder were all against the proposed development.