Parish Council Monthly Update 2018

Please note that the agenda for each Parish Council can be viewed on the official PC website here  The minutes of each meeting are also available on the same web page. Our service is ‘unofficial’ but much quicker!
From our Parish Council correspondent:

Please note that each month the latest update will appear at the top of this post:

N.B. The parish council does not hold a meeting during August.

Bunbury Parish Council – 12 December 2018

A resident made representations with regard to the recommendations of the Cheshire East Nature Conservation Officer to the Planning Inspectorate to allow a 2 metre undeveloped boundary between the hedgerows and footpath diversion of footpath Bunbury 14 as a result of planning being granted on the land off Oak gardens. This is to allow preservation of hedgerows and provide foraging and habitat for wildlife. The Parish Council later in its meeting agreed to support the request to the Inspectorate to maintain a width of land alongside the hedgerows alongside the footpath.

A second resident raised potential road safety issues in the village and asked the Council to look at parking restrictions and pavement extensions. The Chairman explained that this issue is constantly monitored by the Parish Council (previous minutes would be sent to the resident). A car park for teachers is being addressed which might help with congestions round the school and the Parish Council is working with the School to potentially bid for funding under Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy. Uninterrupted pavements have been considered in the past but would potentially lose the country feel to the village and Highways had recently advised that a pavement on Wyche Lane was not viable. It was agreed that the item would be placed on the January agenda for further discussion.

It was reported that Cheshire East is currently consulting on household waste re-cycling with the potential for introducing collection of food waste and longer hours of collection.

Planning application 18/5857N extension to 15 Sadlers Wells received no objections. Three planning applications had been refused by Cheshire East Council – 18/5193N The Briars, School Lane; 18/5247N Land adjacent Rowton Cottage, Bunbury Lane and 18/4718N Lyndren, Wyche Road. Application 18/4902N was approved with conditions to protect residential amenity of adjoining resident. The Parish Council heard that alterations to the entrance at the proposed development of 8 houses (to include low cost, rental, shared equity) adjacent to Bunbury Medical Practice would constitute a material change and would thus require further planning permission.

The Parish Council reported that Duchy Homes had agreed to fund 22 woodland trees for the land off Wyche Lane owned by the Parish council on behalf of the community.

Preparations for Christmas Eve carols round the tree were discussed with funds raised going to Tarporley Hospital.

Deadlines for submission of projects for the New Homes Bonus Fund close on 31 December 2018. Bunbury has put in a shared application with other parish councils for a project for a disabled toilet in the Pavilion. Further funding will be available in next year’s budget and traffic calming is a potential project for discussion.

The Playing Fields committee had received a request from the Salvation Army to place a clothing re-cycling bin on the new car park. The Parish Council was broadly in favour of allowing this but suggested the Playing Fields Committee ask for further information on size of bin and space required for location before making a final decision.

The Borough Councillor reported that a grant application to the PCC charity had been successful in funding new mats for the jujitsu club in the village hall. The representation from a resident at last month’s Parish Council meeting concerning disabled access along pavements within the village will be considered at the Cheshire East Southern Highways Committee.

Issues still exist with regard to roots growing through pavements around Wyche Lane. Previous representations had been made to Muir Homes but with no success. It is not clear if the pavement was adopted by Cheshire East council. The Borough Councillor agreed to find out.

Budget setting including the amount of precept required by the Parish Council would be discussed at the January 2019 meeting.

Parish Council Meeting 14 November 2018

Representations from an interested party in the adjacent property were made to the Parish Council concerning planning application 18/4902N Greenways, Wyche Road. This was heard at the last meeting and no objections raised. Concerns over issues such as, no Internet access  and lack of notice of the application in time to raise objections were heard. The Chairman advised that unfortunately they were unable to re-visit the application but noted that the Ward Councillor was assisting the resident and advised that representation be made to Cheshire East, Head of Planning.

A disabled resident from Bunbury Lane spoke about the inaccessibility of pavements within the village for wheelchair access because of lack of drop kerbs. The Parish Council agreed to ask the Ward Councillor who was unable to attend the meeting to visit the resident.

Planning application 18/5193N The Briars, School Lane was heard and no objection raised by the Parish Council; although checks would be made on the website to ensure all surrounding properties had been informed.

The Parish Council had now had full sight of the Cheshire East Site Allocation and Development Policies – Bunbury Settlement Report which details the additional houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. The figure has been set at 110 to include all houses built from 2010 onwards. Considering all houses already built and that approved of, Bunbury has 2 dwellings left to find before the end of the Plan period. However, this has yet to go out to consultation and it could be sometime before the figures are ratified.

The Parish Council had met two agents seeking information about the Neighbourhood Plan for potential residential dwellings on a Greenfield site adjacent to the development limits in Lower Bunbury and land north of Oaklands, Bunbury Lane. The Parish Council had listened and advised on the principles contained within the Neighbourhood Plan but at this stage there was no further requirement of the Parish Council.

Planning application 18/5111N a request from Strutt & Parker to vary the route of entrance road into the site, off Vicarage Lane adjacent to the Medical Practice received no objection from the Parish Council.

Footpath orders for land off Oak Gardens were discussed. Developers had asked for the diagonal footpath across the field to be extinguished and this had been granted at appeal. They had also asked for diversion of footpath 14 around the edge of the site and the Cheshire East Principal Nature Conservation Officer recommended that there be an undeveloped strip near the hedgerow thus widening the footpath to allow for biodiversity and wildlife. There is an opportunity to make representations or objections to the amended diversion order between 15 November and 13 December. The Parish Council would seek further information and consider this at its next meeting.

Bonfire night had been a successful evening with good feedback and had raised £717. Preparations were now being made for Christmas with the tree being delivered on 25 November and Crewe Brass Band booked to play at carols round the tree on Christmas Eve.

Under the New Homes Bonus Fund the Parish Council were pursuing a project for disabled toilets in the Pavilion with the associated car parking. Interest in the re-printing of footpath information was still being gauged with other Parish Councils to form a joint project.

The WI has requested permission to plant a tree on the Playing Fields to commemorate 100 years since the First World War. A suitable location has been identified. The Parish Council heard that this year’s village day will be the 50th anniversary of the event and special celebrations are being planned.

At the last Police cluster meeting a presentation was made to parish councils on Operation Shield, a unique DNA marking system on personal goods should they subsequently be stolen from households to trace them back to the owners. Kits can be bought and parish councils were asked to consider buying kits together for residents to use to reduce the price. The Parish Council agreed to look scheme.

Parish Council Meeting 10 October 2018

The meeting heard that the Cheshire Police Alert website which details issues occurring in the area had warned of a cold calling scam relating to HMRC. The Parish Council agreed to put the warning on its website.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman reported that they had received a briefing from Cheshire East Spatial Planning Team regarding the number of additional houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. The figure has been set at 110 to include all houses built from 2010 onwards. The Parish Council calculated that 103 had already been built, were currently under construction or had received planning approval, Cheshire East Council were quoting 60 dwellings completed. The Parish Council would be responding to the consultation quoting their statistics for further clarification with Cheshire East. As part of the same work the settlement boundary around the village has also been slightly amended mostly to rectify minor historical anomalies.

The Parish Council had received requests from two agents wishing to meet the PC at pre-planning stage for development principles for residential dwellings on a Greenfield site adjacent to the development limits in Lower Bunbury and land north of Bunbury Lane. At this stage the Parish Council were unaware of the exact locations but the Chairman and Vice Chairman agreed to meet the representatives.

Planning application 18/4684N The Willows, Whitchurch Road and 18/4902N Greenways, Wyche Road was heard and no objections were raised by the Parish Council.

The take up of land off Wyche Lane is now complete and the Parish Council owns the land. The contractor has been asked to schedule the clearance and preparation of the land for the planting of the community woodland. Duchy Homes has agreed to buy trees and plant them once the ground has been made ready.

Preparation for Bonfire night on Monday 5 November was discussed with the entrance set at £4 for adults, £1 for 5-15 year olds and under 5s free. Burrows Butchers and Tilly’s Coffee shop would provide the catering with Scouts and Brownies selling toffee apples and sweets.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and arrangements were discussed for the Remembrance Sunday Service which would include a large number of uniformed young people parading from the Nags Head and refreshments being served after the Service in the Scout Hut. Correspondence had been received from the WI requesting permission to plant a tree on the playing field to commemorate the anniversary and the Chairman agreed to meet the Chair of the WI to discuss.

The band and Christmas tree have been ordered for the Christmas Eve Carols around the tree event. The Chairman agreed to write to the church choir to ask if they would be able to attend to support the singing. Father Christmas will be at the event.

The Chairman updated the Parish Council with regard to the New Homes Bonus Fund. Bunbury has been included in the Nantwich sub area which has been allocated funding to spend on initiatives to assist areas following the building of new homes. This is funding for capital projects with a lower limit of £10,000 and the Parish Council discussed some initiatives that they would like to put forward that would benefit Bunbury. These included a disabled toilet for the Pavilion, Highways signage for car parking and white lines for the new car park (old playground area), additional planting for the community woodland and re-print of footpath information. The lower spend limit necessitates collaboration with other parish councils to form one contract for works.

Work to convert the old playground into a car park will start on Monday 15 October and will result in some disruption to parking at the Pavilion. Interested parties have been notified.

Representation had been received about the state of the surface of the playing field for football. Work had been agreed to remove the ridge on the playing field to improve the surface for playing football but this would not be undertaken until the current football season ends.

Representation had been made to the Borough Councillor about the current state of Brantwood property in the centre of the village. Cheshire East were looking at enforcement powers to try to improve the current state of the property.

Parish Council Meeting 12 September 2018

The meeting opened with the presentation of the Chairman’s Cup to Amanda Harris, Group Scout Leader in recognition of her services to young people in the community through the scouting organisation.

This was then followed by a presentation by the Vice Chairman on the consultation for Transport Plans for the whole of the North Region. The aim is to set an ambitious Transport Strategy up to 2050 and include all modes of transport from the strategic road network including the A51 as a priority route for review, Rail including HS2 Crewe Hub and the potential for re-opening the station at Beeston, buses and cycling and walking. Parish Councils present at the consultation made strong representation for investment in bus routes in rural areas.

The Police Cluster meeting held over the summer and attended by a Parish Councillor heard of the Cheshire Police Alert website which details issues occurring in the area. Over the summer bicycle thefts and burglaries around the Ridley and Bulkley area had been posted.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman had attended the Site Allocation and Development Policies consultation at Cheshire East Council as part of the on-going work to set the number for houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. One planning application was heard for 3 new detached houses within land adjacent to Clay Farm House (18/4015N). The Parish Council raised no objections but supported the Public Rights of Way Team’s report.

The take up of land off Wyche Lane had been subject to a number of delays but the exchange of contracts is imminent. Duchy Homes has agreed to buy trees and plant them once the ground has been cleared and prepared.

Following representation to Cheshire East Council regarding a local resident’s request to provide a pavement on Wyche Lane, a reply had been received stating that such a scheme is not feasible due to the narrowness of the available land. A letter explaining the logistical restrictions would be sent to the resident. A private resident’s objection to the diversion of Public Footpath 14 on the field behind Oak Gardens had gone to Appeal with an Inspector visiting the site over the summer. No news on the outcome had been heard.

The Chairman had attended the New Homes Bonus Fund meeting and heard that Bunbury had been included in the Nantwich sub area which has been allocated over £150,000 this financial year and the same amount next year to spend on initiatives to assist areas following the building of new homes. This is funding for capital projects with a lower limit of £10,000 and the initial thinking is that the money should be spent on 4 to 5 initiatives for the whole of the Sub-area. The Parish Council will be making representation on behalf of Bunbury. Some early suggestions include car park and changing rooms at the Pavilion.

Work to convert the old playground into a car park will start during the autumn funded from Parish Council funds. A quote for work to remove the ridge on the playing field has been sought to improve the surface for playing football. The finance for this was approved but work would not be undertaken until the football season ends.

The Borough Councillor reported that the Area Local Transport Plan has a £80,000 budget to fund traffic safety issues. The piece of pavement missing on School Lane was raised as a potential project to improve the safety of children walking to school.

The Parish Council are to consider how to update the information and photographs associated with footpaths in and around Bunbury which are now out of date. These are a valuable aid to walkers and visitors to the area.

Parish Council Meeting 11 July 2018 5:30 at the Pavilion.

The council has announced that the Chairman’s Trophy this year is awarded to Amanda Harris, Group Scout Leader.

5. Highway Issues

5.1 Parish Council Highways Review

The review has recommended that the PC should fund the Pavilion car park extension. This involves the conversion of the old playground at a cost of £19,970 + VAT. The PC is able to fund this from its reserves. Income for the year is £68k and expenditure is calculated at £28k leaving a balance of £40k. On the basis of these calculations the PC will go ahead with the conversion.

The PC has made a number of attempts to gain external funding. It may be possible to access a new source via the Cheshire East “New Homes Bonus” initiative. This is available to areas that have seen significant new builds.

Some research need to establish whether the conversion requires Planning permission.

5.2 Dates for training on the Parish Speed Gun will be circulated to volunteers.

6. Consultations:

The PC will not respond to the current consultations on the Cheshire East Website. Individual resident responses are more appropriate.

7. Planning matters:

Application 16/2372N

Originally objection by PC to the plan for 3 houses on the site (garden). Now reduced to 2 houses with a ‘Street View’ that shows the ridge heights are in keeping with the neighbouring properties.

Application 18/2776N

Approved by Cheshire East

Application 18/2303N

Approved with conditions.

No new housing developments in Bunbury.

8. Muir Land Purchase.

Price agreed at £1. Date to meet solicitor to sign contract to be agreed.

Possible source of support for the woodland noted by the Chair.

9. Pedestrian issues within the village.

9.1 Sustainable travel to School initiative is being worked on and an update will be made in September.

9.2 Pavement in Wyche Lane.

Still no response from Cheshire East although they claim to have sent one via email. Clerk to investigate.

10 Cards for residents reaching 100 years.

Possible designs to be shown in September.

11 Playing Fields:

11.1 Conversion of playground (see 5.1 above)

11.2 No playing field report to absence of Councillor due to medical appointment.

12. Borough Councillor’s report:

Road sweeping in village carried out. Pot holes are being worked on with some patching and identification of others. New food waste composting facility soon to be offered. CE recycling rate has now reached 55%. In the last year CE has received 6500 planning applications. Second highest in the UK.

13. Parish Councillor’s reports:

Mrs. Potter reported that the Link Parish Magazine was having considerable problems finding a new editor. If anyone is interested in helping please get in touch.

No other reports from councillors.

14. Correspondence:

Nothing to report.

15. Finance matters:

Funding request from the Bowling Club for £200 agreed. This together with the monies from sponsors and the Clubs reserves will be used to replace the sodium lights with more energy efficient LED units. The PC will not be out of pocket as the VAT return will pay for the amount given.

Apart from items of clerks’ expenses that concluded the meeting.

There is no meeting in August. The next meeting will be the 2nd Wednesday in September.

6. PC Meeting 13th May 2018

The Parish Council met on 13 June 2018, a number of residents were in attendance to express objections to a planning application at 2 Wythin Street. The Parish Council listened to the objections and discussed the application during the main part of the meeting. They agreed to object to the application on the grounds of the proposal being undeliverable because of the lack of vehicular access, lack of parking availability in Wythin Street, elevation of the storeroom causing loss of daylight to the resident opposite and potential damage to the ancient cobbled right of way.

The Council also heard a number of small planning applications received from Cheshire East Council and a re-submission of an outline application (infill) for a new dwelling with access on land adjacent to Holly Mount, Whitchurch Road and raised no objections.

The Chairman reported that he and other members of the Parish Council are due to meet representatives from a company called Step Forward Homes who will be managing the affordable homes on the Duchy housing development on Wyche Lane. Discussion will be centred on helping local people file their applications for the 3 one bedroom and 1 two bedroom properties.

The Parish Council discussed how to recognise the growing number of residents in the village reaching their 100th birthday and agreed to look at designs for a Parish Council card of congratulations.

The Borough Councillor reported that pot hole improvement work in and around the village is now underway and the Council gutter cleaning machine had been to the village.

The Vice Chairman reported that he had attended a meeting of local Parish Councils looking to put together a Transport Plan as part of the wider Transport Plan for the region. The Parish Council agreed to discuss how they could influence the Plan, particularly around the A51 at a future meeting.

The Royal British Legion was granted £200 towards financing World War One commemorations; details of spends was requested. A contribution of £350 towards funding the cost of updating the lighting of the Bowling Club was agreed in principle but more information was requested.

5. PC AGM and Meeting 9th May 2018

The Parish Council met on 9 May 2018, firstly for its AGM followed by its normal monthly meeting. The AGM saw Ron Pulford appointed to continue as Chairman with a new Vice Chairman of Mark Island-Jones.

AGM:

Ron summarised the year of the Parish Council pointing out that there had been no personnel changes in terms of parish councillors during the year but that the previous Ward Councillor had resigned and a recent local election had seen the appointment of Chris Green as the new Ward Councillor for Cheshire East Council. In terms of Planning issues, two Appeals had been lost for developments of 15 houses each but that the refusal of 2 larger applications had been successful in the Appeal process in previous years. House building had now begun in the village. The total number of houses completed, under construction or approved now totals 100 from 2010 to the present day. The bonfire night had been successful and had raised £700 and the carols round the tree had been very enjoyable with the addition of Crewe Brass Band this year. Two other notable issues for the Parish Council had been the take up of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane for conversion to a community woodland and pending is the conversion of the old playground into a car park when funds allow.

Public Meeting:

A resident informed the Parish Council that a Certificate of Lawful Use has been granted to delay the development of the car park for 38 cars and 2 houses in front of the cricket field.  This gives the developer up to 2 years grace before any further building work is required. The Council noted the information.

A concern was raised about the future possible impact of housing development in Alpraham on the Highway infrastructure and traffic management within the village. The Ward Councillor agreed to raise at Cheshire East Council and the Parish Council agreed to hold a meeting of the Highways Sub-committee to discuss the effects of developments outside the village on the village infrastructure and highways and consider possible mitigating measures.

The Chairman reported that he had attended a meeting at Cheshire East on the next stage of the Local Plan which looks at Site Allocations and Development policies. The 13 Local Services centres of which Bunbury is one will be required to accommodate a further 3,500 houses divided by aggregation up to 2030. The exercise will look at Bunbury settlement boundary only and will include a definitive number of additional houses for Bunbury and will adjust the settlement boundary where anomalies occur. Early indications are that the current and proposed number of houses mentioned above (100 since 2010) will meet their anticipated requirement for Bunbury to 2030.

The Vice Chairman had met the Headteacher of Bunbury school to discuss Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy consultation. If the school publishes a travel plan it will be eligible to apply for capital funding for potential projects such as pavement improvements. The Vice Chairman is working with the School to help develop a travel plan.

The Parish Council heard that following representation to Cheshire East the Pubic footpath off Wyche Road (No.11) had been replaced but issues still remained concerning the state of the footpath through the ploughed field in the village; although the Parish Council acknowledged that the minimum requirement had been met. Other issues raised by councillors included the on-going issue of the state of repair of the Old Bakery – another letter would be sent to Cheshire East concerning enforcement and the state of the pavement in front of Tweddle Close; this had been reported.

The Parish Council had received correspondence advising that the residents of Hope Cottage were seeking a diversion of Public Footpath No.12 which currently goes through a piece of land they wish to include as garden. The Parish council agreed to object to the proposal.

The Tennis club has been granted an Alcohol License with terms and the Parish Council agreed to invite a representative from the Tennis Club to the next meeting to hear how they plan to run a bar.

Residents are being advised to lock cars, garages, doors and windows following thefts within the village.

4. PC Meeting 11th April

Parish Council Report Wednesday 11th April 2018

Numbers refer to agenda items:

PC = Parish Council CE= Cheshire East Local Authority

1. Public Session:

Concern was expressed that road sweeping promised for the village had not happened. It was suggested that the new Ward Councillor might follow this up as a number of areas in the village were in need of a visit from the sweeper.

2. Congratulations on behalf of the Parish Council were expressed by the chair on the election of Chris Green as Ward Councillor in the recent by-election. Currently Mr. Green is standing as both a Parish and Ward Councillor as is entitled to remain in those capacities. He will notify the Parish council if he should wish to resign as a PC Councillor.

Councillor Nick Parker has sent his apologies as he is unable to attend due to fracturing a number of ribs while chopping wood.

5. Crewe has now been confirmed as a Hub for HS2. This may have implications for road and infrastructure developments. Councillor Ireland-Jones reported on the possible changes to the A51 either on a new route to Chester or the upgrading of the existing route with bye-passes (around Alpraham?) These changes might also impact on decisions to re-open stations in Beeston and .

6. Cheshire East is currently seeking to consult on:

a) Bin Collections and replacement of ‘missing’ bin. It is suggested that if the bin goes missing more than twice residents may be charged. New bins will have the address stamped on them.

b) Support for Carers. A number of CE respite care centres are not being used to capacity. In Bunbury it was suggested most residents in need of respite look to the Tarporley memorial Hospital. Do residents know of the choice available.

7. Planning matters:

a) No objections to the Chantry House repair and maintenance application.

b) The properties on the site next to the medical Centre will have larger chimneys so that firs and log burning stoves can be fitted.

c) Update: The PC will shortly be informed of any change in the number of new dwellings it is expected to ‘deliver’ during the current housing plans for CE. As a Service Centre the area to be considered is larger than the Parish and includes, for example Alpraham. The Chair pointed out that he had learned from the chair of Alpraham PC that they agreed to 70 new dwellings. Together with the 100+ in Bunbury since 2010 the target of ‘at least 80’ new dwellings by 2030 has been well and truly exceeded.

8. Muir land: No progress

9. GDPT policy. No progress but the clerk said a draft (generic) policy will be available for the next meeting.

11. The Chair said that discussions had been held with the charity responsible for the playground to resolve issue over authorisation of purchases for new items. The PC is the responsible body and must authorise such expenditure for which it has a budget. The situation was now clear to all parties.

The playground charity ‘Anyone can Play’ has a budget which can only be spent on the promotion of the playground, playing fields though such activities as the Fun Run, Walking for Health, Buggy Fitness, etc. Their budget cannot be used to maintain or enhance the playground facilities. The PC has funds for that purpose.

3. PC Meeting 14th March

The meeting began as usual with comments from the public. Firstly a member of the public asked if the PC should not advocate more robustly for a better balance between the demands of road traffic and those of pedestrians and cyclists. It was pointed out that at present there was no safe route for a school age child to walk from Upper Bunbury, Lower Bunbury and the Bunbury Lane end of the village to school. A pavement did not connect these parts of the village and only children from the School Lane end of the village could walk to school on their own.  This encourages more traffic and congestion round the school. The chair respond by linking comments to two items on the agenda and suggesting additional agenda items could be added at subsequent meetings if Councilors were agreeable.

The second comment from the public related to the large driveway work being undertaken on the A49 just north of the village on the left. The chair said he had not  found any  planning application on the Chester and Cheshire West website.

Please note the numbers refer to agenda items. Numbers 1 – 4 are administrative and therefore ignored.

5: Highways:

Plans in the ‘Transport for the North’ were discussed as they related to the A49 and A51. This was a document produced by Highways England and may result in years to come in a major route alteration to the A51. The new route would cross country to Chester to the west of the current road taking much of the heavy traffic away from the villages along the current route.

It was noted that the village school had issued warning to parents about illegal parking when dropping off and picking up children. Residents are being asked to collect car registration numbers of such vehicles. These will then be displayed on the school website and reported to the police.

6. Planning:

Only one small planning application had been received. No objections were raised to application 18/1003N.

It was noted that Brantwood (the old building in the centre of the village) was up for sale now it had planning permission.

The development at Beeston next to the A49 had received permission to build 88 more houses less than the originally planned 104.

The PC was still waiting to hear from all developers for money to help cover the costs of the new car park on the old children’s play area. Members of the PC were hoping to meet with the CEO of Duchy Home soon. Further suggestions were made of other possible sources of finance to help with the scheme.

7. Muir Land:

The exact boundaries have been established . The legal transfer of ownership is continuing.  It is planned to plant the woodlands in the autumn. Plans are being prepared by a local arboreal company.

8. Pedestrian issues with in the village:

Cheshire East has produced a new draft policy for discussion – Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy –  The PC felt that it was the school that would be the appropriate body to respond. It was noted that where a school had an established ‘Travel Plan’ it was possible that additional funds might be available for pavements, etc.

Cheshire East has not yet responded to the request to looking the possibility of a pavement from The Grange along Wyche Lane.

9. General Data Protection Regulation:

The clerk said she will prepare an appropriate questionnaire  for consideration of Councilors.

10. Playing Fields:

The PC is still looking for funds to help with the old playground conversion to a car park. It is a job for the summer so the search for additional finance is becoming urgent if the work is to be undertaken on time.

The Playing Field AGM will be called shortly once dates are agreed.

The Village Hall has suffered serious damage from flooding due to the cold weather. User groups are being reallocated to the Pavilion and Scout Hut.

2. PC Meeting  14th February

The Parish Council met on 14 February 2018. For the first time in a long time there were no Planning Applications on the agenda. The Parish Council noted that clearance of the entrance to Hill Close had begun in readiness for development to commence.

As discussed at the January meeting Solicitors have been instructed to draw up a contract to take up the option of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane and this meeting looked at the detail of the land the Parish Council will be taking up. Following consultation with residents the land will be converted to a community woodland with mixed trees including fruit trees. Representatives of the Parish Council had met with a local Arboriculture company on the site to plan the planting. The aim is to plan for the development of a natural woodland over time with longer undergrowth, woodland flowers and mixed tree planting. The poor state of the footpath outside Muir Homes was raised as a potential trip hazard and it was agreed to raise the issue with Cheshire East Council.

In January the Parish Council considered a request from a resident to look at the feasibility of providing a pavement on Wyche Lane now that Duchy Homes are building on the Grange site. It was reported that the Parish Council had written to Cheshire East Council for a view and had received an acknowledgment but no formal response as yet. A reminder would be sent if no response were received before the next meeting.

Developers have been approached by the Parish Council to fund the conversion of the old playground to car parking. Whilst it is hopeful that some contribution will be forthcoming only two acknowledgments have been received to date. This would continue to be pursued.

Details of the Cheshire East Council Supported Bus Service for Bunbury are about to be published following a review which the Parish Council lobbied hard to retain services for the village. A new No.70 bus will operate three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, although the Council recognised they had only partially been successful in their lobbying as the village has lost its bus connection to Chester.

Residents should have received a leaflet about opportunities to rent or buy homes through shared equity schemes as affordable homes are built within the village.

The Parish Council heard that as part of planning for future transport for the North a number of national consultations are out which include the future of the A51 which is seen as an important part of a major route network and could be eligible for national funding. Parish Councils in and around the A51 have formed a Co-ordination Group to keep up to date with developments and report back to their respective councils.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman had met two contractors; both local companies to pick up the maintenance of the Playground area which forms part of the Playing Fields estate from 1 April 2018. This would be discussed further at the next meeting.

1. PC meeting 10th January 2018

The Parish Council held its first meeting of 2018 on 10 January. Only one Planning Application was on the agenda; a proposal for change of use of two existing barns to form two residential units at Heath Farm, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury. The Parish Council had no objections to the proposal. Solicitors have been instructed to draw up a contract to take up the option of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane. Following consultation with residents the land will be converted to a community woodland with mixed trees including fruit trees.

The Parish Council considered a request from a resident to look at the feasibility of providing a pavement on Wyche Lane now that Duchy Homes are building on the Grange site. Concerns were raised about the narrowness of the road to allow a pavement of regulation width but it was agreed to write to Cheshire East Council for a view as this is a Highways responsibility.

Developers have been approached by the Parish Council to fund the conversion of the old playground to car parking. Two acknowledgments have currently been received and it was agreed to send a reminder to the Developers.

The Cheshire East Council Supported Bus Service proposals were approved by Cabinet and the procurement of services and appointment of bus operators for each route should be complete by Spring 2018. Bunbury has kept its number 56 and 83 bus but without the connection to Chester.

Around 200 people turned out for Carols around the Christmas tree with the excellent Crewe Brass Band and visit by Father Christmas. Sealed collection buckets provided by Tarporley Hospital have been handed back to the hospital and final collection amount will be reported at the next meeting.

Purchase of maintenance equipment for the upkeep of the bowling green (part of the playing fields estate) was agreed with assistance from the Bowling Green Club and a grant from Tesco.

Finally, the Parish Council heard that one resident was soon to celebrate her 100th birthday and one had just been awarded a BEM in the new years honours list and the Parish Council agreed to send cards of congratulations to the individuals.

 

Please note that the agenda for each Parish Council can be viewed on the official PC website here  The minutes of each meeting are also available on the same web page. Our service is ‘unofficial’ but much quicker!
From our Parish Council correspondent:

Please note that each month the latest update will appear at the top of this post:

N.B. The parish council does not hold a meeting during August.

Bunbury Parish Council – 9 January 2019

The President of Bunbury WI attended the meeting to seek confirmation of location on the Playing Fields of a tree to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The Parish Council confirmed that a site had been earmarked and a tree of reasonable size would need planting before the spring.

A representative of a new committee working under the umbrella of St Boniface church to alleviate isolation at home invited the Parish Council to attend an information event on 23 March 2019. A request for a grant to help launch the initiative was also made. Specific amounts for the project were asked to be sent to the Clerk and the item placed on the agenda of the next meeting.

Potential road safety issues in the village, parking restrictions and pavement extensions were raised for a second time by a resident. The Vice Chairman explained that he had had 2 meetings with the Headteacher of the school regarding drawing up a travel plan under Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy. If approved possible funding for pavement improvement could be available. He agreed to contact the Headteacher again to check on progress and offer support. Any forthcoming proposals for footpath extensions would be subject to approval by Cheshire East Highways Department. A Highways Sub-committee of the Parish Council is to be convened to discuss the issues further; to also include speeding information gathered during the 2016 speed monitoring exercise conducted in the village.

It was reported that Cheshire East Council is currently consulting on Police funding and Adult Social Care.

Planning application 18/6026N infill at Ivy House, Whitchurch Road and18/6123N The Briars School Lane (18/5193N previously refused) received no objections. It was reported that the expected completion date for Duchy Homes on Wyche Lane is April 2019 and water infiltration testing on the Oak Gardens site had taken place. The Parish Council had received a letter of thanks from a resident for supporting the retention of a wildlife buffer zone alongside the hedgerows alongside the footpaths on the proposed Oak Gardens development site.

Christmas Eve carols round the tree event had been very well attended with £342 raised for Tarporley Hospital. The Borough Councillor thanked the Parish Council for their hard work in putting up the tree and organising the carol event. It was agreed to buy another sound speaker for next year’s event.

The Playing Fields Committee had organised more bark to be laid in the play area following a report of worn areas. Monthly inspections are in place.

The Borough Councillor reported that Cheshire East is supporting Domestic Abuse survivors in such areas as trauma training and refuge housing. The Local Plan is starting to make its presence felt with 6 out of the 8 last planning appeals being dismissed by the Inspectorate.

Budget setting including the amount of precept required by the Parish Council was discussed. The Parish Council reserves are low and in order to be able to respond to projects that require a budget the precept would have to be raised. A £4,000 rise in the precept to £25,000 was agreed

Bunbury Parish Council – 12 December 2018

A resident made representations with regard to the recommendations of the Cheshire East Nature Conservation Officer to the Planning Inspectorate to allow a 2 metre undeveloped boundary between the hedgerows and footpath diversion of footpath Bunbury 14 as a result of planning being granted on the land off Oak gardens. This is to allow preservation of hedgerows and provide foraging and habitat for wildlife. The Parish Council later in its meeting agreed to support the request to the Inspectorate to maintain a width of land alongside the hedgerows alongside the footpath.

A second resident raised potential road safety issues in the village and asked the Council to look at parking restrictions and pavement extensions. The Chairman explained that this issue is constantly monitored by the Parish Council (previous minutes would be sent to the resident). A car park for teachers is being addressed which might help with congestions round the school and the Parish Council is working with the School to potentially bid for funding under Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy. Uninterrupted pavements have been considered in the past but would potentially lose the country feel to the village and Highways had recently advised that a pavement on Wyche Lane was not viable. It was agreed that the item would be placed on the January agenda for further discussion.

It was reported that Cheshire East is currently consulting on household waste re-cycling with the potential for introducing collection of food waste and longer hours of collection.

Planning application 18/5857N extension to 15 Sadlers Wells received no objections. Three planning applications had been refused by Cheshire East Council – 18/5193N The Briars, School Lane; 18/5247N Land adjacent Rowton Cottage, Bunbury Lane and 18/4718N Lyndren, Wyche Road. Application 18/4902N was approved with conditions to protect residential amenity of adjoining resident. The Parish Council heard that alterations to the entrance at the proposed development of 8 houses (to include low cost, rental, shared equity) adjacent to Bunbury Medical Practice would constitute a material change and would thus require further planning permission.

The Parish Council reported that Duchy Homes had agreed to fund 22 woodland trees for the land off Wyche Lane owned by the Parish council on behalf of the community.

Preparations for Christmas Eve carols round the tree were discussed with funds raised going to Tarporley Hospital.

Deadlines for submission of projects for the New Homes Bonus Fund close on 31 December 2018. Bunbury has put in a shared application with other parish councils for a project for a disabled toilet in the Pavilion. Further funding will be available in next year’s budget and traffic calming is a potential project for discussion.

The Playing Fields committee had received a request from the Salvation Army to place a clothing re-cycling bin on the new car park. The Parish Council was broadly in favour of allowing this but suggested the Playing Fields Committee ask for further information on size of bin and space required for location before making a final decision.

The Borough Councillor reported that a grant application to the PCC charity had been successful in funding new mats for the jujitsu club in the village hall. The representation from a resident at last month’s Parish Council meeting concerning disabled access along pavements within the village will be considered at the Cheshire East Southern Highways Committee.

Issues still exist with regard to roots growing through pavements around Wyche Lane. Previous representations had been made to Muir Homes but with no success. It is not clear if the pavement was adopted by Cheshire East council. The Borough Councillor agreed to find out.

Budget setting including the amount of precept required by the Parish Council would be discussed at the January 2019 meeting.

Parish Council Meeting 14 November 2018

Representations from an interested party in the adjacent property were made to the Parish Council concerning planning application 18/4902N Greenways, Wyche Road. This was heard at the last meeting and no objections raised. Concerns over issues such as, no Internet access  and lack of notice of the application in time to raise objections were heard. The Chairman advised that unfortunately they were unable to re-visit the application but noted that the Ward Councillor was assisting the resident and advised that representation be made to Cheshire East, Head of Planning.

A disabled resident from Bunbury Lane spoke about the inaccessibility of pavements within the village for wheelchair access because of lack of drop kerbs. The Parish Council agreed to ask the Ward Councillor who was unable to attend the meeting to visit the resident.

Planning application 18/5193N The Briars, School Lane was heard and no objection raised by the Parish Council; although checks would be made on the website to ensure all surrounding properties had been informed.

The Parish Council had now had full sight of the Cheshire East Site Allocation and Development Policies – Bunbury Settlement Report which details the additional houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. The figure has been set at 110 to include all houses built from 2010 onwards. Considering all houses already built and that approved of, Bunbury has 2 dwellings left to find before the end of the Plan period. However, this has yet to go out to consultation and it could be sometime before the figures are ratified.

The Parish Council had met two agents seeking information about the Neighbourhood Plan for potential residential dwellings on a Greenfield site adjacent to the development limits in Lower Bunbury and land north of Oaklands, Bunbury Lane. The Parish Council had listened and advised on the principles contained within the Neighbourhood Plan but at this stage there was no further requirement of the Parish Council.

Planning application 18/5111N a request from Strutt & Parker to vary the route of entrance road into the site, off Vicarage Lane adjacent to the Medical Practice received no objection from the Parish Council.

Footpath orders for land off Oak Gardens were discussed. Developers had asked for the diagonal footpath across the field to be extinguished and this had been granted at appeal. They had also asked for diversion of footpath 14 around the edge of the site and the Cheshire East Principal Nature Conservation Officer recommended that there be an undeveloped strip near the hedgerow thus widening the footpath to allow for biodiversity and wildlife. There is an opportunity to make representations or objections to the amended diversion order between 15 November and 13 December. The Parish Council would seek further information and consider this at its next meeting.

Bonfire night had been a successful evening with good feedback and had raised £717. Preparations were now being made for Christmas with the tree being delivered on 25 November and Crewe Brass Band booked to play at carols round the tree on Christmas Eve.

Under the New Homes Bonus Fund the Parish Council were pursuing a project for disabled toilets in the Pavilion with the associated car parking. Interest in the re-printing of footpath information was still being gauged with other Parish Councils to form a joint project.

The WI has requested permission to plant a tree on the Playing Fields to commemorate 100 years since the First World War. A suitable location has been identified. The Parish Council heard that this year’s village day will be the 50th anniversary of the event and special celebrations are being planned.

At the last Police cluster meeting a presentation was made to parish councils on Operation Shield, a unique DNA marking system on personal goods should they subsequently be stolen from households to trace them back to the owners. Kits can be bought and parish councils were asked to consider buying kits together for residents to use to reduce the price. The Parish Council agreed to look scheme.

Parish Council Meeting 10 October 2018

The meeting heard that the Cheshire Police Alert website which details issues occurring in the area had warned of a cold calling scam relating to HMRC. The Parish Council agreed to put the warning on its website.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman reported that they had received a briefing from Cheshire East Spatial Planning Team regarding the number of additional houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. The figure has been set at 110 to include all houses built from 2010 onwards. The Parish Council calculated that 103 had already been built, were currently under construction or had received planning approval, Cheshire East Council were quoting 60 dwellings completed. The Parish Council would be responding to the consultation quoting their statistics for further clarification with Cheshire East. As part of the same work the settlement boundary around the village has also been slightly amended mostly to rectify minor historical anomalies.

The Parish Council had received requests from two agents wishing to meet the PC at pre-planning stage for development principles for residential dwellings on a Greenfield site adjacent to the development limits in Lower Bunbury and land north of Bunbury Lane. At this stage the Parish Council were unaware of the exact locations but the Chairman and Vice Chairman agreed to meet the representatives.

Planning application 18/4684N The Willows, Whitchurch Road and 18/4902N Greenways, Wyche Road was heard and no objections were raised by the Parish Council.

The take up of land off Wyche Lane is now complete and the Parish Council owns the land. The contractor has been asked to schedule the clearance and preparation of the land for the planting of the community woodland. Duchy Homes has agreed to buy trees and plant them once the ground has been made ready.

Preparation for Bonfire night on Monday 5 November was discussed with the entrance set at £4 for adults, £1 for 5-15 year olds and under 5s free. Burrows Butchers and Tilly’s Coffee shop would provide the catering with Scouts and Brownies selling toffee apples and sweets.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and arrangements were discussed for the Remembrance Sunday Service which would include a large number of uniformed young people parading from the Nags Head and refreshments being served after the Service in the Scout Hut. Correspondence had been received from the WI requesting permission to plant a tree on the playing field to commemorate the anniversary and the Chairman agreed to meet the Chair of the WI to discuss.

The band and Christmas tree have been ordered for the Christmas Eve Carols around the tree event. The Chairman agreed to write to the church choir to ask if they would be able to attend to support the singing. Father Christmas will be at the event.

The Chairman updated the Parish Council with regard to the New Homes Bonus Fund. Bunbury has been included in the Nantwich sub area which has been allocated funding to spend on initiatives to assist areas following the building of new homes. This is funding for capital projects with a lower limit of £10,000 and the Parish Council discussed some initiatives that they would like to put forward that would benefit Bunbury. These included a disabled toilet for the Pavilion, Highways signage for car parking and white lines for the new car park (old playground area), additional planting for the community woodland and re-print of footpath information. The lower spend limit necessitates collaboration with other parish councils to form one contract for works.

Work to convert the old playground into a car park will start on Monday 15 October and will result in some disruption to parking at the Pavilion. Interested parties have been notified.

Representation had been received about the state of the surface of the playing field for football. Work had been agreed to remove the ridge on the playing field to improve the surface for playing football but this would not be undertaken until the current football season ends.

Representation had been made to the Borough Councillor about the current state of Brantwood property in the centre of the village. Cheshire East were looking at enforcement powers to try to improve the current state of the property.

Parish Council Meeting 12 September 2018

The meeting opened with the presentation of the Chairman’s Cup to Amanda Harris, Group Scout Leader in recognition of her services to young people in the community through the scouting organisation.

This was then followed by a presentation by the Vice Chairman on the consultation for Transport Plans for the whole of the North Region. The aim is to set an ambitious Transport Strategy up to 2050 and include all modes of transport from the strategic road network including the A51 as a priority route for review, Rail including HS2 Crewe Hub and the potential for re-opening the station at Beeston, buses and cycling and walking. Parish Councils present at the consultation made strong representation for investment in bus routes in rural areas.

The Police Cluster meeting held over the summer and attended by a Parish Councillor heard of the Cheshire Police Alert website which details issues occurring in the area. Over the summer bicycle thefts and burglaries around the Ridley and Bulkley area had been posted.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman had attended the Site Allocation and Development Policies consultation at Cheshire East Council as part of the on-going work to set the number for houses required for Bunbury as part of the adopted Local Plan. One planning application was heard for 3 new detached houses within land adjacent to Clay Farm House (18/4015N). The Parish Council raised no objections but supported the Public Rights of Way Team’s report.

The take up of land off Wyche Lane had been subject to a number of delays but the exchange of contracts is imminent. Duchy Homes has agreed to buy trees and plant them once the ground has been cleared and prepared.

Following representation to Cheshire East Council regarding a local resident’s request to provide a pavement on Wyche Lane, a reply had been received stating that such a scheme is not feasible due to the narrowness of the available land. A letter explaining the logistical restrictions would be sent to the resident. A private resident’s objection to the diversion of Public Footpath 14 on the field behind Oak Gardens had gone to Appeal with an Inspector visiting the site over the summer. No news on the outcome had been heard.

The Chairman had attended the New Homes Bonus Fund meeting and heard that Bunbury had been included in the Nantwich sub area which has been allocated over £150,000 this financial year and the same amount next year to spend on initiatives to assist areas following the building of new homes. This is funding for capital projects with a lower limit of £10,000 and the initial thinking is that the money should be spent on 4 to 5 initiatives for the whole of the Sub-area. The Parish Council will be making representation on behalf of Bunbury. Some early suggestions include car park and changing rooms at the Pavilion.

Work to convert the old playground into a car park will start during the autumn funded from Parish Council funds. A quote for work to remove the ridge on the playing field has been sought to improve the surface for playing football. The finance for this was approved but work would not be undertaken until the football season ends.

The Borough Councillor reported that the Area Local Transport Plan has a £80,000 budget to fund traffic safety issues. The piece of pavement missing on School Lane was raised as a potential project to improve the safety of children walking to school.

The Parish Council are to consider how to update the information and photographs associated with footpaths in and around Bunbury which are now out of date. These are a valuable aid to walkers and visitors to the area.

Parish Council Meeting 11 July 2018 5:30 at the Pavilion.

The council has announced that the Chairman’s Trophy this year is awarded to Amanda Harris, Group Scout Leader.

5. Highway Issues

5.1 Parish Council Highways Review

The review has recommended that the PC should fund the Pavilion car park extension. This involves the conversion of the old playground at a cost of £19,970 + VAT. The PC is able to fund this from its reserves. Income for the year is £68k and expenditure is calculated at £28k leaving a balance of £40k. On the basis of these calculations the PC will go ahead with the conversion.

The PC has made a number of attempts to gain external funding. It may be possible to access a new source via the Cheshire East “New Homes Bonus” initiative. This is available to areas that have seen significant new builds.

Some research need to establish whether the conversion requires Planning permission.

5.2 Dates for training on the Parish Speed Gun will be circulated to volunteers.

6. Consultations:

The PC will not respond to the current consultations on the Cheshire East Website. Individual resident responses are more appropriate.

7. Planning matters:

Application 16/2372N

Originally objection by PC to the plan for 3 houses on the site (garden). Now reduced to 2 houses with a ‘Street View’ that shows the ridge heights are in keeping with the neighbouring properties.

Application 18/2776N

Approved by Cheshire East

Application 18/2303N

Approved with conditions.

No new housing developments in Bunbury.

8. Muir Land Purchase.

Price agreed at £1. Date to meet solicitor to sign contract to be agreed.

Possible source of support for the woodland noted by the Chair.

9. Pedestrian issues within the village.

9.1 Sustainable travel to School initiative is being worked on and an update will be made in September.

9.2 Pavement in Wyche Lane.

Still no response from Cheshire East although they claim to have sent one via email. Clerk to investigate.

10 Cards for residents reaching 100 years.

Possible designs to be shown in September.

11 Playing Fields:

11.1 Conversion of playground (see 5.1 above)

11.2 No playing field report to absence of Councillor due to medical appointment.

12. Borough Councillor’s report:

Road sweeping in village carried out. Pot holes are being worked on with some patching and identification of others. New food waste composting facility soon to be offered. CE recycling rate has now reached 55%. In the last year CE has received 6500 planning applications. Second highest in the UK.

13. Parish Councillor’s reports:

Mrs. Potter reported that the Link Parish Magazine was having considerable problems finding a new editor. If anyone is interested in helping please get in touch.

No other reports from councillors.

14. Correspondence:

Nothing to report.

15. Finance matters:

Funding request from the Bowling Club for £200 agreed. This together with the monies from sponsors and the Clubs reserves will be used to replace the sodium lights with more energy efficient LED units. The PC will not be out of pocket as the VAT return will pay for the amount given.

Apart from items of clerks’ expenses that concluded the meeting.

There is no meeting in August. The next meeting will be the 2nd Wednesday in September.

6. PC Meeting 13th May 2018

The Parish Council met on 13 June 2018, a number of residents were in attendance to express objections to a planning application at 2 Wythin Street. The Parish Council listened to the objections and discussed the application during the main part of the meeting. They agreed to object to the application on the grounds of the proposal being undeliverable because of the lack of vehicular access, lack of parking availability in Wythin Street, elevation of the storeroom causing loss of daylight to the resident opposite and potential damage to the ancient cobbled right of way.

The Council also heard a number of small planning applications received from Cheshire East Council and a re-submission of an outline application (infill) for a new dwelling with access on land adjacent to Holly Mount, Whitchurch Road and raised no objections.

The Chairman reported that he and other members of the Parish Council are due to meet representatives from a company called Step Forward Homes who will be managing the affordable homes on the Duchy housing development on Wyche Lane. Discussion will be centred on helping local people file their applications for the 3 one bedroom and 1 two bedroom properties.

The Parish Council discussed how to recognise the growing number of residents in the village reaching their 100th birthday and agreed to look at designs for a Parish Council card of congratulations.

The Borough Councillor reported that pot hole improvement work in and around the village is now underway and the Council gutter cleaning machine had been to the village.

The Vice Chairman reported that he had attended a meeting of local Parish Councils looking to put together a Transport Plan as part of the wider Transport Plan for the region. The Parish Council agreed to discuss how they could influence the Plan, particularly around the A51 at a future meeting.

The Royal British Legion was granted £200 towards financing World War One commemorations; details of spends was requested. A contribution of £350 towards funding the cost of updating the lighting of the Bowling Club was agreed in principle but more information was requested.

5. PC AGM and Meeting 9th May 2018

The Parish Council met on 9 May 2018, firstly for its AGM followed by its normal monthly meeting. The AGM saw Ron Pulford appointed to continue as Chairman with a new Vice Chairman of Mark Island-Jones.

AGM:

Ron summarised the year of the Parish Council pointing out that there had been no personnel changes in terms of parish councillors during the year but that the previous Ward Councillor had resigned and a recent local election had seen the appointment of Chris Green as the new Ward Councillor for Cheshire East Council. In terms of Planning issues, two Appeals had been lost for developments of 15 houses each but that the refusal of 2 larger applications had been successful in the Appeal process in previous years. House building had now begun in the village. The total number of houses completed, under construction or approved now totals 100 from 2010 to the present day. The bonfire night had been successful and had raised £700 and the carols round the tree had been very enjoyable with the addition of Crewe Brass Band this year. Two other notable issues for the Parish Council had been the take up of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane for conversion to a community woodland and pending is the conversion of the old playground into a car park when funds allow.

Public Meeting:

A resident informed the Parish Council that a Certificate of Lawful Use has been granted to delay the development of the car park for 38 cars and 2 houses in front of the cricket field.  This gives the developer up to 2 years grace before any further building work is required. The Council noted the information.

A concern was raised about the future possible impact of housing development in Alpraham on the Highway infrastructure and traffic management within the village. The Ward Councillor agreed to raise at Cheshire East Council and the Parish Council agreed to hold a meeting of the Highways Sub-committee to discuss the effects of developments outside the village on the village infrastructure and highways and consider possible mitigating measures.

The Chairman reported that he had attended a meeting at Cheshire East on the next stage of the Local Plan which looks at Site Allocations and Development policies. The 13 Local Services centres of which Bunbury is one will be required to accommodate a further 3,500 houses divided by aggregation up to 2030. The exercise will look at Bunbury settlement boundary only and will include a definitive number of additional houses for Bunbury and will adjust the settlement boundary where anomalies occur. Early indications are that the current and proposed number of houses mentioned above (100 since 2010) will meet their anticipated requirement for Bunbury to 2030.

The Vice Chairman had met the Headteacher of Bunbury school to discuss Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy consultation. If the school publishes a travel plan it will be eligible to apply for capital funding for potential projects such as pavement improvements. The Vice Chairman is working with the School to help develop a travel plan.

The Parish Council heard that following representation to Cheshire East the Pubic footpath off Wyche Road (No.11) had been replaced but issues still remained concerning the state of the footpath through the ploughed field in the village; although the Parish Council acknowledged that the minimum requirement had been met. Other issues raised by councillors included the on-going issue of the state of repair of the Old Bakery – another letter would be sent to Cheshire East concerning enforcement and the state of the pavement in front of Tweddle Close; this had been reported.

The Parish Council had received correspondence advising that the residents of Hope Cottage were seeking a diversion of Public Footpath No.12 which currently goes through a piece of land they wish to include as garden. The Parish council agreed to object to the proposal.

The Tennis club has been granted an Alcohol License with terms and the Parish Council agreed to invite a representative from the Tennis Club to the next meeting to hear how they plan to run a bar.

Residents are being advised to lock cars, garages, doors and windows following thefts within the village.

4. PC Meeting 11th April

Parish Council Report Wednesday 11th April 2018

Numbers refer to agenda items:

PC = Parish Council CE= Cheshire East Local Authority

1. Public Session:

Concern was expressed that road sweeping promised for the village had not happened. It was suggested that the new Ward Councillor might follow this up as a number of areas in the village were in need of a visit from the sweeper.

2. Congratulations on behalf of the Parish Council were expressed by the chair on the election of Chris Green as Ward Councillor in the recent by-election. Currently Mr. Green is standing as both a Parish and Ward Councillor as is entitled to remain in those capacities. He will notify the Parish council if he should wish to resign as a PC Councillor.

Councillor Nick Parker has sent his apologies as he is unable to attend due to fracturing a number of ribs while chopping wood.

5. Crewe has now been confirmed as a Hub for HS2. This may have implications for road and infrastructure developments. Councillor Ireland-Jones reported on the possible changes to the A51 either on a new route to Chester or the upgrading of the existing route with bye-passes (around Alpraham?) These changes might also impact on decisions to re-open stations in Beeston and .

6. Cheshire East is currently seeking to consult on:

a) Bin Collections and replacement of ‘missing’ bin. It is suggested that if the bin goes missing more than twice residents may be charged. New bins will have the address stamped on them.

b) Support for Carers. A number of CE respite care centres are not being used to capacity. In Bunbury it was suggested most residents in need of respite look to the Tarporley memorial Hospital. Do residents know of the choice available.

7. Planning matters:

a) No objections to the Chantry House repair and maintenance application.

b) The properties on the site next to the medical Centre will have larger chimneys so that firs and log burning stoves can be fitted.

c) Update: The PC will shortly be informed of any change in the number of new dwellings it is expected to ‘deliver’ during the current housing plans for CE. As a Service Centre the area to be considered is larger than the Parish and includes, for example Alpraham. The Chair pointed out that he had learned from the chair of Alpraham PC that they agreed to 70 new dwellings. Together with the 100+ in Bunbury since 2010 the target of ‘at least 80’ new dwellings by 2030 has been well and truly exceeded.

8. Muir land: No progress

9. GDPT policy. No progress but the clerk said a draft (generic) policy will be available for the next meeting.

11. The Chair said that discussions had been held with the charity responsible for the playground to resolve issue over authorisation of purchases for new items. The PC is the responsible body and must authorise such expenditure for which it has a budget. The situation was now clear to all parties.

The playground charity ‘Anyone can Play’ has a budget which can only be spent on the promotion of the playground, playing fields though such activities as the Fun Run, Walking for Health, Buggy Fitness, etc. Their budget cannot be used to maintain or enhance the playground facilities. The PC has funds for that purpose.

3. PC Meeting 14th March

The meeting began as usual with comments from the public. Firstly a member of the public asked if the PC should not advocate more robustly for a better balance between the demands of road traffic and those of pedestrians and cyclists. It was pointed out that at present there was no safe route for a school age child to walk from Upper Bunbury, Lower Bunbury and the Bunbury Lane end of the village to school. A pavement did not connect these parts of the village and only children from the School Lane end of the village could walk to school on their own.  This encourages more traffic and congestion round the school. The chair respond by linking comments to two items on the agenda and suggesting additional agenda items could be added at subsequent meetings if Councilors were agreeable.

The second comment from the public related to the large driveway work being undertaken on the A49 just north of the village on the left. The chair said he had not  found any  planning application on the Chester and Cheshire West website.

Please note the numbers refer to agenda items. Numbers 1 – 4 are administrative and therefore ignored.

5: Highways:

Plans in the ‘Transport for the North’ were discussed as they related to the A49 and A51. This was a document produced by Highways England and may result in years to come in a major route alteration to the A51. The new route would cross country to Chester to the west of the current road taking much of the heavy traffic away from the villages along the current route.

It was noted that the village school had issued warning to parents about illegal parking when dropping off and picking up children. Residents are being asked to collect car registration numbers of such vehicles. These will then be displayed on the school website and reported to the police.

6. Planning:

Only one small planning application had been received. No objections were raised to application 18/1003N.

It was noted that Brantwood (the old building in the centre of the village) was up for sale now it had planning permission.

The development at Beeston next to the A49 had received permission to build 88 more houses less than the originally planned 104.

The PC was still waiting to hear from all developers for money to help cover the costs of the new car park on the old children’s play area. Members of the PC were hoping to meet with the CEO of Duchy Home soon. Further suggestions were made of other possible sources of finance to help with the scheme.

7. Muir Land:

The exact boundaries have been established . The legal transfer of ownership is continuing.  It is planned to plant the woodlands in the autumn. Plans are being prepared by a local arboreal company.

8. Pedestrian issues with in the village:

Cheshire East has produced a new draft policy for discussion – Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy –  The PC felt that it was the school that would be the appropriate body to respond. It was noted that where a school had an established ‘Travel Plan’ it was possible that additional funds might be available for pavements, etc.

Cheshire East has not yet responded to the request to looking the possibility of a pavement from The Grange along Wyche Lane.

9. General Data Protection Regulation:

The clerk said she will prepare an appropriate questionnaire  for consideration of Councilors.

10. Playing Fields:

The PC is still looking for funds to help with the old playground conversion to a car park. It is a job for the summer so the search for additional finance is becoming urgent if the work is to be undertaken on time.

The Playing Field AGM will be called shortly once dates are agreed.

The Village Hall has suffered serious damage from flooding due to the cold weather. User groups are being reallocated to the Pavilion and Scout Hut.

2. PC Meeting  14th February

The Parish Council met on 14 February 2018. For the first time in a long time there were no Planning Applications on the agenda. The Parish Council noted that clearance of the entrance to Hill Close had begun in readiness for development to commence.

As discussed at the January meeting Solicitors have been instructed to draw up a contract to take up the option of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane and this meeting looked at the detail of the land the Parish Council will be taking up. Following consultation with residents the land will be converted to a community woodland with mixed trees including fruit trees. Representatives of the Parish Council had met with a local Arboriculture company on the site to plan the planting. The aim is to plan for the development of a natural woodland over time with longer undergrowth, woodland flowers and mixed tree planting. The poor state of the footpath outside Muir Homes was raised as a potential trip hazard and it was agreed to raise the issue with Cheshire East Council.

In January the Parish Council considered a request from a resident to look at the feasibility of providing a pavement on Wyche Lane now that Duchy Homes are building on the Grange site. It was reported that the Parish Council had written to Cheshire East Council for a view and had received an acknowledgment but no formal response as yet. A reminder would be sent if no response were received before the next meeting.

Developers have been approached by the Parish Council to fund the conversion of the old playground to car parking. Whilst it is hopeful that some contribution will be forthcoming only two acknowledgments have been received to date. This would continue to be pursued.

Details of the Cheshire East Council Supported Bus Service for Bunbury are about to be published following a review which the Parish Council lobbied hard to retain services for the village. A new No.70 bus will operate three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, although the Council recognised they had only partially been successful in their lobbying as the village has lost its bus connection to Chester.

Residents should have received a leaflet about opportunities to rent or buy homes through shared equity schemes as affordable homes are built within the village.

The Parish Council heard that as part of planning for future transport for the North a number of national consultations are out which include the future of the A51 which is seen as an important part of a major route network and could be eligible for national funding. Parish Councils in and around the A51 have formed a Co-ordination Group to keep up to date with developments and report back to their respective councils.

The Chairman and Vice Chairman had met two contractors; both local companies to pick up the maintenance of the Playground area which forms part of the Playing Fields estate from 1 April 2018. This would be discussed further at the next meeting.

1. PC meeting 10th January 2018

The Parish Council held its first meeting of 2018 on 10 January. Only one Planning Application was on the agenda; a proposal for change of use of two existing barns to form two residential units at Heath Farm, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury. The Parish Council had no objections to the proposal. Solicitors have been instructed to draw up a contract to take up the option of land from Muir Group Housing Association off Wyche Lane. Following consultation with residents the land will be converted to a community woodland with mixed trees including fruit trees.

The Parish Council considered a request from a resident to look at the feasibility of providing a pavement on Wyche Lane now that Duchy Homes are building on the Grange site. Concerns were raised about the narrowness of the road to allow a pavement of regulation width but it was agreed to write to Cheshire East Council for a view as this is a Highways responsibility.

Developers have been approached by the Parish Council to fund the conversion of the old playground to car parking. Two acknowledgments have currently been received and it was agreed to send a reminder to the Developers.

The Cheshire East Council Supported Bus Service proposals were approved by Cabinet and the procurement of services and appointment of bus operators for each route should be complete by Spring 2018. Bunbury has kept its number 56 and 83 bus but without the connection to Chester.

Around 200 people turned out for Carols around the Christmas tree with the excellent Crewe Brass Band and visit by Father Christmas. Sealed collection buckets provided by Tarporley Hospital have been handed back to the hospital and final collection amount will be reported at the next meeting.

Purchase of maintenance equipment for the upkeep of the bowling green (part of the playing fields estate) was agreed with assistance from the Bowling Green Club and a grant from Tesco.

Finally, the Parish Council heard that one resident was soon to celebrate her 100th birthday and one had just been awarded a BEM in the new years honours list and the Parish Council agreed to send cards of congratulations to the individuals.

 

Can the children of Bunbury Walk or Cycle to school?

 

Walking is our natural way to get around. We are made for walking and running. Using it to get to school is a step in the right direction to a healthy lifestyle. It’s also pollution free and doesn’t cause congestion. We hear all the time about how overweight1 our children are and how important it is they take more exercise. But do we make it easy for them to walk safely to school? As parents of the current generation of school children you were probably one of 70% who walked to school. Now it is less than 50% of children who enjoy the experience. And that has happened in one generation. Most (43%) children are driven to the school gates. The result is congestion, stress, air pollution and a lost opportunity.

The reality for many parents is that it’s a rush to get to school on time and on to work. The car makes this a lot easier to manage. But with that comes the loss of the opportunity to take some exercise that fits seamlessly into our day. Nonetheless, we need to encourage walking and cycling to school and try to remove barriers that discourage parents and children. So what are the reasons that people give for not walking and cycling around the village?

Safety usually comes top of the list. Young people aged between 11-15 are more likely to be killed or injured on the roads than any other group. In total that has meant that 69 children under 15 years of age were killed in 2016 (the latest year for data). That is about 0.0006%. Of course every death especially at this age is a terrible tragedy. The risk is very small. The data does show that ¾ of the accidents happen when children are going to and from school. Clearly the longer ‘tail’ after 16:00 hours represent children out and about, probably on their own for much of the time.

ROSPA2017

Safety is improved in our village if linked pavement routes are available. Roads without pavements deter many walkers. They were fine in a horse and cart age or when motorised traffic was rare and tended to be slower and noisier. Now that traffic is much more intense, faster and inclined to consider other (slower) road users as a hindrance. As a walker, I have also found that traffic is getting quieter and therefore more difficult to anticipate its approach while out of sight. I don’t think or at least hope its not because I’m getting hard of hearing! More electric cars will make this even worse. On narrow roads the little space some drivers give to other road users is anxiety inducing!

So how do children from Upper Bunbury get to school? They could walk down Wyche Road from the Church (having cut through the church yard for safety). Then either continue down Wyche Lane or in dry weather cut across the footpath to join the Lane again by the entrance to Jubilee fields. From here the route is more complex. No pavement continues to the school either down the right-hand or left-hand side of  triangle. So, if children make it this far their parents may consider it too risky for them to walk on their own and they may need to be accompanied. And that make’s the decision to drive the kids in the car to school much more likely.

We need to ensure those safe routes to and from school exist and link up so that any child and their parents can walk to school safely. This would mean:

1. Pavements along Wyche Lane – all the way on at least one side of the road.

2. Pavements on both sides of the triangle to minimise the need to keep crossing the road.

3. Pavements on both sides of School Lane to the school.

4. Pavement or protected zone for pedestrians to access the Co-op, butchers, Village Hall and Nags Head at the centre of the village.

This still leaves the walk from Upper Bunbury via the two routes – Wyche Road and Vicarage Lane unresolved. Wyche Road is very narrow. A standard width pavement would make it impassable for most traffic. Alternatives would be to make it ‘Access only’ with a speed restriction perhaps as low as of 10mph.

As for Vicarage Lane the best solution is a footpath just inside the hedge on the field side. This is would be a difficult option to achieve. Short to medium term the only solution is to make it safer with a speed restriction and calming infrastructure.

That brings us to the issue of speed restrictions. I believe, with evidence, that creating a reduced speed zone around the centre of the village would go a long way to making the village more walker and cycling friendly and safer. You will find additional comments on the topic of 20 mph in the other articles listed in this menu so I shall not repeat them here. But it is the combination of linked pavement routes, speed restriction (20 mph zones) and the possible use of protected zones, that will enable more to walk and cycle safely around the village.

1Over 30% of children in the National Y6 classroom are overweight or obese. And it gets worse as the years pass. (Local Government Association analysis of Public Health England May 2018)

The Footpaths across the field next to Oak Gardens

Update:

All submissions (all objections) on the removal and diversion of the footpaths across the field next to Oak Gardens have now been made and this  part of the process is closed. The inspector will shortly visit the site.  (S)he will not talk to you about the appeal! But we will hear the result soon afterwards.

 

This is the submission  I made  to Cheshire East in  objection to their order to divert footpath 14 and extinguish the Unrecorded Footpath that crosses the land off Oak Gardens. This Order is now going to appeal and those of you that put in objections and have not withdrawn them will have been notified of the procedure. Others can still put in objections in writing to :

Jean McEntee, 3G Hawk, Temple Quay House, Bristol, BS1 6PN

Email:jean.mcentee@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Reference all communications: ROW/3187612
Footpath Orders relating to planning application 16/2010N

From:

Peter Gorman

 

I would like to object to the above path orders on the following grounds:

1. The orders do not satisfy the criteria under section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that: ‘Subject to section 259, a competent authority may by order authorise the stopping up or diversion of any footpath [F2, bridleway or restricted byway] if they are satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to enable development to be carried out— (a) in accordance with planning permission granted under Part III [ section 293A] , or (b) by a government department.’ Since only outline planning has been granted with all matters other than access reserved, such as housing type, design and layout then15 dwellings could be provided on this site without diversion or extinguishment of the footpaths, using different housing type and layout.

2. It would be pre-emptive to lose and alter these rights of way before full planning permission hasbeen granted on this site, because there are a number of conditions that need to be met before development can commence and these could prevent development taking place or plans to be altered compared to the illustrative plans submitted.

3. The proposed alternate route is damaging to biodiversity and contrary to duties under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

4. The Statement of Reasons states: ‘An assessment of the proposal has been carried out by the Borough Council’s Nature Conservation Officer and he has no objection to the proposals.’ However, having spoken to him he was not explicitly aware of the path order details until I drew them to his attention and now has recommendations to make.

5. Planning permission has been granted by considering the Neighbourhood Plan as out of date, since Cheshire East could not agree a 5 year housing supply, however, the Neighbourhood Plan was not out of date according to the recent ministerial statement and Cheshire East has now a Local Plan and 5 year housing Plan so it and the Neighbourhood Plan should be given more weight when deciding reserved matters, which is likely to change the design.

6. If the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is to be considered then the loss of amenity value of these footpaths, particularly in the context of enjoyment of the countryside, should be considered along with loss of historic village character, loss of biodiversity, potential damage to protected species and the lack of sustainability of the proposed site, being in open countryside in an area with very limited public transport and no mains’ gas, as damage to noted interests which outweigh any presumption in favour of development. So in relation to carrying out the footpath orders and the illustrative plan the ‘adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole’ contrary to the NPPF.

Background

I live next to the field in question, across which the paths are designated. I have enjoyed using the three footpaths that cross the site of planning application 16/2010N, Bunbury FP14, Bunbury FP15 and the claimed diagonal path subject of a Definitive Map Modification Order Application, for nearly 3 years, because of the lovely views of open countryside, mature woodland, an ancient ash tree and associate wildlife, including many protected species. I see the frequent use of these footpaths were, by many people including, dog walkers, children using them as safe walking routes to and from school, rambling groups, locals and visitors.

The diagonal claimed path over the open field is the historic link between Bunbury and Spurstow and is the route used to connect to the Sandstone Trail, popular with tourists, so is important to tourists visiting Bunbury’s historic attractions, and therefore important to the local economy.

Bunbury FP 14 is used to connect Lower Bunbury to Long Lane and provides a pleasant walk over open fields with views to the protected Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Woodland to the south of the site. It connects to Bunbury FP15 along the south of the field, which then meets the claimed diagonal path at the bridge over the tributary to the River Gowy, to join the footpath to Spurstow.

All these attractive open rural footpaths, as well as providing useful practicable routes, are important to historic village character, enjoyment of the countryside and associate wildlife, health and social wellbeing and to the tourist economy.

Details of Objections

1. The orders do not satisfy the criteria under section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that: ‘Subject to section 259, a competent authority may by order authorise the stopping up or diversion of any footpath [F2, bridleway or restricted byway] if they are satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to enable development to be carried out— (a)in accordance with planning permission granted under Part III [For section293A] , or (b) by a government department.’ Since only outline planning has been granted with all matters other than access reserved, such as housing type, design and layout and that 15 dwellings could be provided on this site without diversion or extinguishment of the footpaths.

Appeal Decision Ref: APP/R0660/W/16/3165643 states:

‘ 1. The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for a residential development for 15 dwellings with associated works at Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury, CW6 9QN, in accordance with the terms of the application, Ref 16/2010N, dated 21 April 2016, subject to the conditions in the attached Schedule.

Procedural Matters

2. The application was submitted in outline. Whilst the application form indicates that layout is applied for, the Planning Statement and the Appeal Statement say that only access is for consideration and that the layout is for indicative purposes only. The layout plan is also marked “indicative”. I have dealt with the appeal on the basis that all matters are reserved except for access.’

This shows that planning permission is only outline with all matters reserved except for access.

You can see from the revised illustrative plan from the developer available at: http://doc.cheshireeast.gov.uk/NorthgatePublicDocs/07819545.pdf the area the 6 affordable 2 bedroom houses in Oak Gardens (south-east of the site) take up, so that 15 one bed apartments, for example, would not take up a much larger footprint and would leave space for the existing footpaths.

2. It would be pre-emptive to lose and alter these rights of way before full planning permission hasbeen granted on this site, because there are a number of conditions that need to be met before development can commence and these could prevent development taking place or plans to be altered compared to illustrative plans being submitted.

There are 14 conditions attached to the appeal decision planning permission and conditions 1, 8, 10, 11, 13 and 14 are pre-commencement conditions.

Under condition 1 ‘the appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale’ of the development need to be approved. This means diversion and extinguishment of footpaths in these orders may not be necessary.

Under condition 10 ‘Before the approval of the final reserved matters application, an updated protected species impact assessment and mitigation strategy shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.’

Condition 11 states: Before the approval of the final reserved matters application a habitat management plan to cover the life of the development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. From the day of commencement of development, the management plan shall be adhered to thereafter.’

Cheshire East’s Nature Conservation Officer (NCO) in his submission to planning application 16/2010N available at http://doc.cheshireeast.gov.uk/NorthgatePublicDocs/07835630.pdf states in relation to great crested newts:

It should be noted that since a European Protected Species has been recorded on site and is likely to be adversely affected the proposed development the planning authority must have regard to whether Natural England would be likely to subsequently grant the applicant a European Protected species license under the Habitat Regulations. A license under the Habitats Regulations can only be granted when: • the development is of overriding public interest, • there are no suitable alternatives and • the favourable conservation status of the species will be maintained. Details of how the Habitat Regulations ‘tests’ were considered must be recorded within the committee/delegated report. Please refer to guidance issued by CE legal in respect of this issue. I advise that the proposed outline mitigation and compensation is acceptable and is likely to maintain the favourable conservation status of the local newt population. If planning consent is granted I advise that a condition must be attached requiring any future reserved matters application to be supported by an updated protected species impact assessment and mitigation [and] compensation strategy.’

Since this development is not of overriding public interest, there are suitable alternative sites for development in Bunbury (in fact with developments built and given planning permission since the start of the plan period in 2010 already exceed the target of 80 dwellings for the period 2010 to 2030) and the conservation status may not be maintained a license may not be forthcoming.

As you will also see from the NCO submission this site is rich in protected species including badgers, great crested newts, toads, grass snakes and many species of bats. The site is also used by many birds, including protected species such as buzzards and woodpeckers.

The NCO admits the illustrative plan does not have a scale so does not necessarily guarantee the required 15 m buffer to protect the wildlife corridor to the west of the site and therefore also makes it difficult to judge distances from the hedges and their undeveloped edges, which are important to wildlife and provide insects for bats, who use the hedgerows as foraging corridors. Loss of the grassland itself has an adverse impact on wildlife, but the corridors of uncut grassland bordering the hedges, trees and woodland are very important to biodiversity and this should be recognised at the reserved matter’s stage and suitable changes made to the illustrative application.

Condition 13 states: ‘No development shall take place until a Construction Method Statement has been submitted to, and approved in writing by the local planning authority.’ It then gives details of what needs to be covered.

Condition 14 states: ‘No development shall take place until the following information has been submitted to, and approved in writing, by the local planning authority: i) a full site survey showing: the datum used to calibrate the site levels; levels along all site boundaries; levels across the site at regular intervals; levels of adjoining gardens; and floor levels of adjoining buildings. ii) full details of the proposed finished floor levels of all buildings and hard landscaped surfaces. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.’

Condition 5 refers to the proposed access and is a condition before the occupation of dwellings rather than commencement, however, it would seem more sensible to check that these access arrangements could be made before dwellings are built, given disputes over ownership of access in similar village developments.

Condition 8 states: ‘No development shall commence until the public right of way through the site has been diverted as shown on the approved Footpath Plan.’

I believe this should state until there is a fully approvedFootpath Plan, as the footpath diversion has not been fully approved and should not be changed until a detailed development plan has been approved and the need for footpath changes are shown to be necessary and that any changes take into account duties to conserve biodiversity and NPPF guidance.

Given all the conditions on this outline planning permission, it cannot be deemed ‘necessary’ under section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to make these path orders. This situation could be reviewed after conditions 1,10, 11, 13 and 14 have been met, as well as confirmation that the proposed access arrangements are possible and that if any path alterations are required it is made sure they meet the criteria in section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, duties under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, where there is a duty to conserve biodiversity and ‘in particular have regard to the United Nations Environmental Programme Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992’ and also follow NPPF guidance.

3. The proposed footpath diversion and alternate route to the extinguished path is damaging to biodiversity.

The proposed footpath diversion uses a compacted stone surface immediately adjacent to hedgerows and destroys the uncut grassland at the edge of the field, which is important to biodiversity, by providing higher diversity plant species than the cut grassland and homes and foraging for wildlife, including protected species like grass snakes, toads and great crested newts and is especially important to provide insect food for bats using the hedgerows as foraging corridors.

Under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 there is a duty to conserve biodiversity and ‘in particular have regard to the United Nations Environmental Programme Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992.’ Where

‘Conserving biodiversity includes, in relation to a living organism or type of habitat, restoring or enhancing a population or habitat.’

These path orders do not, therefore, meet the duty to conserve biodiversity.

4. The Statement of Reasons states: ‘An assessment of the proposal has been carried out by the Borough Council’s Nature Conservation Officer and he has no objection to the proposals.’ However, having spoken to him he was not explicitly aware of the path order details until I drew them to his attention. He has now advised me as follows: I have asked for the route of the diverted footpath to allow for a two meter undeveloped buffer from the hedgerow. I can also ask for this to be provided as part of the detailed design at the reserved matter’s stage.’

This suggests that there is much to be decided in relation to nature conservation at the reserved matter’s stage of this outline planning application and that path orders should not be made until a final plan is available and only if it shows footpath orders are needed and that any alterations to footpaths properly take in to account nature and biodiversity conservation should they be made.

7. Planning permission has been granted by considering the Neighbourhood Plan as out of date, since Cheshire East could not agree a 5 year housing supply, however, the Neighbourhood Plan was not out of date according to the recent ministerial statement.

Appeal paragraphs 7 and 8 states:

7. On 12 December 2016 the Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell, published a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) concerning neighbourhood planning. This requires that, where there are relevant policies for the supply of housing in a recently made neighbourhood plan, these policies should not be considered out-of-date unless there is a significant lack of supply and if a specific set of circumstances occurs at the time of decision making. These are that the WMS is less than 2 years old, or the NP has been part of the development plan for 2 years or less; the NP allocates sites for housing, the LPA can demonstrate a  3-year supply of deliverable housing sites. All these circumstances must occur together.

8. The Council reject the WMS relevance as they claim the criterion for maintaining the currency of the NP is not met. I dispute this. The Council has confirmed that it cannot demonstrate a current 5 year housing land supply (HLS) and that its current supply is 3.96 years. The figure of 3.9 years agreed exceeds the 3 years required by the Minister. The Bunbury Neighbourhood  Plan (BNP) was ‘made’ in March 2016 and therefore meets the time period criteria. The central weakness of our case the council claim is that although the boundary of the NP takes in land which has planning permission for housing..it does not specifically allocate sites for housing. Therefore, given the absence of allocated sites in the NP and the lack of a 5 year HLS, according to the WMS, the relevant policies for the supply of housing are out of date.’

r. The ministerial statement does not say the NP needs to allocate specific sites for housing just that it ‘allocates sites for housing.The  BNP Policy H1 makes this clear. I quote:

The Neighbourhood Plan proposes a Settlement Boundary for Bunbury based upon the existing defined Settlement Boundary in the Crewe and Nantwich Local Plan 2005. The purposes of the Settlement Boundary are:– A. Directing future housing, economic and community related development in the Neighbourhood Plan Area to the village of Bunbury, to enhance its role as a resilient and sustainable community and to protect the surrounding open spaces and countryside. B. Containing the spread of the village, by reinforcing its core area and maintaining an effective and coherent built up–rural edge. C. Proposals for housing development outside the Bunbury Settlement Boundary will only be granted where they comply with the criteria set out in Housing Policy H2 (Scale of Housing Development), or in exceptional circumstances; such as any new dwelling required for the essential need of an agricultural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside

Bunbury NP clearly designates sites available for housing adjacent to the existing boundary as well as within it   otherwise it would not be exceeding its target for the period to 2030 already so the NP should have been given weight.

Cheshire East have a Local Plan and 5 year supply of housing so it and the Neighbourhood Plan should be given more weight when deciding reserved matters, which is likely to change the design.

5. If the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is to be considered then the loss of amenity value of these footpaths, particularly in the context of enjoyment of the countryside, should be considered along with loss of historic village character, loss of biodiversity, potential damage to protected species and the lack of sustainability of the proposed site. The site is in the open countryside in an area with very limited public transport and no mains’ gas. So in relation to carrying out the footpath orders and the illustrative plan the ‘adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole’ contrary to the NPPF.

Section 17 of the NPPF includes as ‘Core planning principles’ :

be genuinely plan-led, empowering local people to shape their surroundings, with succinct local and neighbourhood plans setting out a positive vision for the future of the area.

● take account of the different roles and character of different areas […] recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it;

contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment and reducing pollution.

● promote mixed use developments, and encourage multiple benefits from the use of land in urban and rural areas, recognising that some open land can perform many functions (such as for wildlife, recreation, flood risk mitigation, carbon storage, or food production);

● conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations;

● actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable; and

take account of and support local strategies to improve health, social and cultural wellbeing for all, and deliver sufficient community and cultural facilities and services to meet local needs.

Section 69 of the NPPF states: ‘The planning system can play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities.’ Section 73 states: ‘Access to high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation can make an important contribution to the health and well-being of communities.’

These footpaths are important to walkers to have a pleasant place to enjoy the intrinsic beauty of the countryside and its wildlife and a place where people meet others out walking, so are important to healthy activities, social interaction and the well being of the community. They should be valued and protected.

Conclusion

These path orders are not ‘necessary’ under section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as only outline planning has been granted with all matters, other than access reserved, such as housing type, design and layout yet to be decided.

It would be pre-emptive to lose and alter these rights of way before all other pre-conditions to development are met and a final design plan agreed, as there is no guarantee when and what plan will be able to go ahead.

The proposed alternate route is damaging to biodiversity and contrary to duties under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. I understand the Nature Conservation Officer is asking for changes to the proposed path orders and will be asking for changes to the layout at the reserved matters’ stage also, so no path orders should be made until all reserved matters are settled.

The NPPF ‘Core Planning Principles’ include taking ‘account of the different roles and character of different areas’ and ‘recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it’ and should ‘contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment.’ Losing these paths would harm historic village character, harm the enjoyment of the countryside, harm healthy and social pursuits, potentially harm tourism, would damage the natural environment and potentially harm protected species.

For all the reasons given please refuse both the above path orders, so that people can continue to use these attractive rural footpaths to enjoy the countryside and associate wildlife.

Thank you for considering my objections.