Further Developments on Oak Gardens

 

 

Update  August 10th 2019:

Application 18/6338D withdrawn.

This application sought to discharge planning conditions 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14. So why has it been withdrawn? Once the site was given outline planning consent the Planning Officers must guide the applicant to a successful outcome if at all possible. We know that a meeting was held in the field between the developer and the Planning Department representative to resolve some problems. I believe the outcome of that meeting was the recognition that the application would be refused in it current form. Rather than let that happen the developers have with drawn and will now consider how to make a successful application to obtain agreement on the reserved matters.

Did the objections we made have an effect?. Undoubtedly. Here are some of the key points made in the PC’s submission:

It does not fulfill a number of pre-consent conditions listed in HM Inspectors report schedule (Appeal Decision APP/R0660/W/16/3165643 ) namely:

Condition (8) with reference to the objection to the current (modified) site layout made by Jennifer Miller, Definitive Map Officer, PROW Team, Cheshire East Council. An appeal is ongoing and this condition CANNOT be met until the outcome is decided.

  Condition (14) i) levels of adjoining gardens; etc… still no shown on any plan. It is not possible to identify the levels of adjoining gardens. This is necessary to be clear about the impact this development will have on existing residents.

The proposed development does not comply with a number of Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan policies:

1.The Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) states under Housing Policy H5 Design:

..not be adversely affected through overlooking, loss of light or outlook, over dominance or general disturbance.

The inspector also commented on the problem in that the field is in fact higher at several points than houses in Wakes Meadow and that needs attention…I appreciate that existing occupiers would have their outlook changed but not so much as to cause unacceptable harm to their living conditions.(para. 21) These plans propose a serious loss of privacy and amenity to existing residents. Specifically along the northern boundary where they would dominate over existing, lower properties. In the case of house C2 in plan E, it comes very close to their boundary and represent a complete loss of privacy to No 9 Wakes Meadow. To the east, the affordable houses also dominate the gardens and outlook from the three dwellings along Bunbury Lane.

2.The application also fails to meet BNP Policy LC1 – Built environment: namely that new developments should:

...demonstrate a high quality of design and a good standard of amenity for existing and future occupiers of the proposed development, at the same time ensuring that the amenities of neighbouring properties will not be adversely affected.

These poorly and uniformly designed executive homes fail to meet many of the Village Design Statements (appendix 2) resulting in a congested development. Inadequate planting and unfriendly high fences.

Policy ENV3 -Woodland, Trees, Hedgerows, Sandstone Banks, Walls, Boundary Treatment and Paving.

Included in the policy are the statements:

All new development close to existing mature trees will be expected to have in place an arboricultural method statement to BS5837 standard or equivalent before any work commences

The new site plan seems to be an attempt to fulfill this requirement. All it shows is the root Protection Zones of each of the major trees in and around the site and how the houses trespass on these zones This does not meet the standards of BS5837

Missing :

Future Growth Potential (Crown height and spread).

No shade footprint throughout the day based on future growth potential.

Stem Diameter

Documenting health and any defects

Preliminary management recommendations

Remaining useful life of the tree etc.

3. The western border of the site backs onto a stream – a tributary of the River Gowy and designated a Wildlife Corridor:

Policy ENV7 – Buffer Zones and Wildlife Corridors opens with the statement: The existing woodlands, wildlife sites, drainage ditches, brooks and culverts will be maintained and enhanced and, where appropriate, new buffer zones and wildlife corridors will be created to increase the biodiversity of the plan area.This is designated in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) as a Wildlife corridor in Policy BIO 1 – Bunbury Wildlife Corridor (Map Reference Appendix C Map 1 BNP).The designated area should incorporate all semi–natural habitat along the river corridor and include a non–developable buffer zone to protect the corridor from issues such as ground water and light pollution, and the spread of invasive garden species.The 15m buffer zone is specified by the CE Principal Nature Conservation Officer and repeated by HM Inspector in giving her consent to the development at appeal.

 

Finally in reference to 18/6356D the results of the infiltration testing revealed that the site will need a substantial drainage system that will feed into the brook. This needs an environmental assessment of the impact on the brook before being approved. Such a proposal could pose a serious threat to the wildlife corridor.

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Update July 10th 2019

A new element in application 18/6338N appeared earlier this week. It was under the heading of ‘Reserved matter application for the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of outline planning permission 16/2010N;. But what it actually boiled down to was a tree survey or rather parts of a tree survey as I will explain. 

I was not familiar with BS5837 (2012). Like many BSi proclamations I know they are there to set standards in a wide range of fields. If a tool or product carried a BS Kitemark it was a guarantee of basic quality. So, when this update to the Oak Gardens field development arrived, I was unclear as to what it was all about. It appeared to be the same site plan with additional data about the trees. That then leads to the interest in BS5837or to give it its full title:

Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction

The process of developing a tree Protection Plan is laid out in the documentation and requires the following stages:

1. Topographical Survey – a map showing the location of the trees , relevant spot heights adjacent tot the trees. The position of the all treees on the site, or overhanging the site. The crown spread (shown in green and blue areas on the map . the extent of hedges, stumps and shrub masses.

2, Soil Assessment:

This is undertaken to assess whether the soil is shrinkable which could cause damage to structures without appropriate protection.

3.Tree Survey

This is clearly a key part and I want to quote directly from the Standard to make my point.

The survey classifies trees according to a standard set of criteria:

U : Not worth keeping ast they have little ‘value’; i.e. they are dead, dying or won’t last 10yrs.

A: Trees of high quality. Life expectancy of 40 years or more. Many examples around the site of English Oaks and Ash trees and fall into this category. They are seen mainly as visual assets of the landscape. (A2). The canopy of these trees are shown in green.

B: Moderate quality with a life expectancy of at least 20yrs. The canopy of these trees are shown on the plan in blue.

C: Tree of low quality

 

It states:

4.4.1.2 Tree surveys undertaken after a detailed design has been prepared can identify significant conflicts: in such cases, the nature of and need for the proposed development should be set against the quality and values of affected trees. The extent to which the design can be modified to accommodate those trees meriting retention (see Clause 5) should be carefully considered.

However, it is my contention that the survey or the report of the survey as presented in the new plan and the subject of the current consultation is incomplete. What additional data that needs to be included is specified in BS5837(20120? Well, what I can’t find is:

  • Height
  • Stem diameter
  • Branchspread
  •  
  • He

ight above ground of the first significant branch and direction of growth. This is needed to inform ground clearance, crown\stem ratio, and shading.

  • Life stage (e.g. young, mature, etc)
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  • Preliminary management recommendations
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The purpose of the survey is to inform the site layout design. As the design of the layout has not changed following the  that suggests the survey is either irrelevant or has been ignored. I believe the evidence suggests that the design of the site should be altered. In a number of places proposed house locations intrude into the root protection areas (RPA’s) (Houses, 1A, 7B, 10B, 11B)

A number of the trees have protection orders but this is ignored. All the oak trees and Ashes are protected and this should place constraints on the site layout design and the impact of the construction process. No mention of these aspects are currently mentioned in any new documentation. The BS5837(2012) states:

5.2.4 Particular care is needed regarding the retention of large, mature, over-mature or veteran trees which become enclosed within the new development (see 4.5.11). Where such trees are retained, adequate space should be allowed for their long-term physical retention and future maintenance

Yet we still see serious trespass into the RPA of the veteran Ash tree 5T by plot 10(B) and 7(B)

The tree protection plan also appears to be missing. It may appear later but should show:

the location of protect barriers to form construction exclusion zones around retained tresss (all TPO’s) Where access to RPA’s is required then ground protection measures need to be in place and shown on the plan.

There is much more that could be said on this topic but I have gone on at some length already and many may feel that enough is enough. I will end with the following quote from the Standard :

6.1.1A precautionary approach towards tree protection should be adopted and any operations, including access, proposed within the RPA (or crown spread where this is greater) should be described within an arboricultural method statement, in order to demonstrate that the operations can be undertaken with minimal risk of adverse impact on trees to be retained.

 

Update: April 23rd 2019

The Planning Officer e-mailed to say the missing Species impact assessment update’ specified in condition 10 of the consent will be ‘confidential’ and only seen by the Nature Conservation Officers.

The report of the Principal Officer again reinforces the points made in their original response to the reserved matters application (18/6338N) . Better protection for the vintage Ash, a 15m buffer zone against the woodland on the west of the site and other details list below. However, the Officer goes on to agree that the Wildlife Habitat management Plan is OK and the impact on species is mitigated by the plans submitted.

Disappointing.

Update May 1st

It appears the issue that requires a ‘confidential’ update relates to the badger sett adjacent to the site. Apparently the sett is described in the words of the conservation officer as ‘inactive’ at the time of the survey.

Badgers and their setts are protected and it is an offence to disturb badgers, to damage their sett or restrict access to the sett. Was this sett to be included in the extended gardens on the original plans? Those gardens on the properties adjacent to the wildlife corridor originally had gates leading into the corridor and fence lines that extended to the banks of the brook.

Original Comment

As noted in several of the comments on this proposed development (18/6338N) a number of details were missing from the application. That meant it failed to meet all the conditions of the consent. Despite the public consultation having ended on the 13th February additions are still being added by the developers.

A couple of new tactics has emerged that I have not seen before on an application. Firstly, has been the astonishing failure to submit a full application that at least attempts to meet the conditions laid down at the time of the consent (see previous Oak Garden blogs). Why the developers thought this would a sensible approach is hard to fathom. It may lead to delays and request to re-submit. Although neither has happened to date the decision date is less than a fortnight away (16th April).

Secondly we have seen the use of secondary applications alongside the main submission. Next to 18/6338N we have had 18/6356D both of which closed for public consultation on the 13th February. Did you notice 18/6356D? Well most of us missed it and nobody but the Parish Council made a submission. While it deals a lot with drainage issues the impact on the environment of any subsequent scheme is potentially serious. The plan is to install a system that drains into the adjacent brook. The PC is rightly demanding an environmental impact assessment before any work goes ahead.

Now we have a new application 19/1582D that seeks to discharge conditions 10 and 11 that was ignored in the original application. To remind you theses were:

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. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.

11) 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.

The main substance of the application is the habitat maintenance report. Note that this is NOT the updated protected species impact assessment and mitigation policy. It comes with an amended layout plan (see below) to show some mitigation features, namely Compost Bays (7), Hibernacula Mounds (3), habitat Mounds (3) and the Ecology Area (pond and surrounding area. The layout also gives details of planting. This is to be welcomed. we may regret the original consent but we can still hope for the best development.

In correspondence included on the site the developers have responded to the criticism by the environment (Heritage & Design-Forestry) officer. This is the changes they have made:

1. Reserved Matters – Access gates have been removed from the rear garden fences belonging to the houses on the western boundary preventing access into the Ecological area (read ‘Wildlife corridor’)

2.   The ecological area is now not divided into separate areas, but is now an open stretch of land to maintain the favourable conservation status of the affected great crested newt population and will deliver adequate compensation for the priority/protected species present.

3. There is a gate now placed at one end of the ecological area to allow access for management purposes.

4. Lighting – Only low level pillar lighting is proposed for the development to allow for illuminating the road and pathways for each home. A example attached (see CE site). No high level street lighting is therefore proposed.

The developers then go on to seek assurance that these amendments and the Habitat Management Report will secure approval of the conditions 10 and 11. The Habitat management Report is good in my inexpert opinion, although one must add the usual caveat that it does have to be implemented.

However as the updated impact assessment on protected species is missing the application is still fundamentally flawed. Furthermore, the revised layout plan does not show any buffer zone to protect the wildlife zone. Without such a zone will the ecology of the corridor be safe? It is also in contravention of the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) Policy ENV7-Buffer Zones and Wildlife Corridors. This was the subject of several comments in the public submissions on the application. It has been ignored so far. Also the BNP Policy ENV3-Woodland, trees, hedgerows, etc., requires that :

all new development close to existing mature trees will be expected to have in place an arboriculural method statement to BS5837 standard….

(BNP page 24 )

At present I can find no such statement. Another ‘satelite‘ application may address these deficiencies we live in hope, I suppose.

Duchy have a new development (19/3767N)

At long last we have details of the development behind the retirement homes along Bunbury Lane. This site shares a bit of history with the Hill Close development. The original application was made by Wulvern Housing Association just after the afore mentioned site. The concensus at he time was broadly in favour of the site and opposed to the Hill Close development. However,  Hill Close application was, after a number of permutations, approved before the Wulvern. The original Wulvern application was then refused  on the grounds of co-location (see Policy H2a in the Neighbourhood Plan) with the Hill Close site. A battle then ensued over this application with much discussion of the meaning of ‘co-location’;.It went to appeal and the Inspector came down on the side of the developers and defined ‘co-location’ as being next door to another site and agreed that a small paddock was sufficient distance to meet the requirements of the policy. A serious blow to the ‘co-location’ principle. That was in 2016 and since then the Wulvern has become the Guinness Partnership and they have now sold the site to Duchy Homes. It they that have put in the application (19/3767N)

What has emerged? Here is the proposed layout:

Layout of site to the east of Bunbury lane

What we have then is a site dedicated to the construction of large 5 bedroomed properties squeezed into about two-thirds of the site. Four ‘affordable ‘; dwellings are planned in the least favoured part of the site where else?- directly behind the retirement homes. Here are the details of the affordable housing planned.

Number

Plots

Type of homes

Tenure

2

4 & 5

1 bedroomed 2 person Bungalows

Affordable rent

1

3

2 bedroomed 4 person house

Affordable rent

1

1

3 bedroomed 5 person houses

Shared Ownership

1

2

2 bedroomed 4 person house

Shared Ownership

Next is the  ‘market orientated‘ housing plans :

 

Number

Plots

Type of homes

Tenure

1

6

4 bedroomed

Freehold

9

7 – 15

5 bedroomed

Freehold

The space at the end of  plot is described as a ‘retained ecological area..‘ and ‘..This is an important feature for the local residents and has been retained in order to strengthen links to the existing PROW while retaining the rural character.’

That is a welcome feature but also exists as a potential area of expansion for a further  6 to 7 additional houses at some point in the future. Will it have a legally binding covenant protecting it from development rather like, we are told, the paddock to the south of the site?

How has the application changed from the one presented in 2016?

It is perhaps worth looking back at the application that was given consent and looking at the allocation of housing types then envisioned.

The affordable houses were 5 in total although with the loss of the retirement bungalow on Bunbury Lane this was a net of 4 dwellings. No change. These smaller properties are sorely needed in Bunbury, a situation reflected in the most up-to-date housing needs survey completed in 2013. People want to stay in the village but down size and thereby free up family accommodation for other villagers and new comers. The real shift in provision comes in the ‘market sector’ of the  application. The original application only provided for four 5 bedroomed houses not the 9 we now have. That is a massive shift in the target market the developers are aiming at

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The Phasing of Housing in Bunbury

In a discussion on a recent application (19/0803N) to build 7 more houses on a greenfield site in Wyche Lane, the issue of phasing arose. It was not then seen as a major issue but I think it deserves greater prominence.

Our Neighbourhood Plan was ‘made’; ,as the silly phrase goes, in March 2016. It will run until the current Cheshire East Local Plan expires in 2030. It is in effect part of that Local Plan. To get ‘made’ it had to go through a length process of development, consultation, and scrutiny, by both Cheshire East itself and a HM Planning Inspector. So our neighbourhood plan is a real document that must be taken into consideration. Or it should be, as long as Cheshire East has a workable Local Plan that includes what the national government considers an appropriate housing target and the available land on which to build those houses. But ever since our Plan was made back in 2016 that is exactly what the council has not had. It does have that Plan in place now. But during the time it did not (2010-2018) all polices related to housing supply were deemed ‘out-of-date’ and could be ignored. It was up to the Planning Offices, Planning Committees, and on appeals the HM Inspectors how much weight they gave to these ‘out-of-date’ policies.

One of the policies contained in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP

Policy H6 – Phasing of Housing

Cheshire East Council’s Local Plan relates to 2010 to 2030 and we are required to accommodate 80 new houses over that period. Between April 2010 and March 2015, 19 new houses have been completed in Bunbury and these have been discounted from the 80 new homes required by the Local Plan. To ensure an appropriate phased delivery of housing over the Neighbourhood Plan period, 2015 to 2030, the 61 remaining new homes proposed should be delivered against the following indicative schedule, unless any demonstrable increase in local housing need is identified by the local planning authority.

Phase 1: 2015 – 2020 – 21 homes

Phase 2: 2020 – 2025 – 20 homes

Phase 3: 2025 – 2030 – 20 homes

The reality is quite different. While Cheshire East failed to deliver an appropriate Local Plan the developers were given priority and there was no question of phasing housing.

In the new era where the BNP matters the current situation and plans for housing supply for the future are discussed in the latest ‘Bunbury Settlement Report’ (draft):

In Paragraph 3.7 of the Bunbury Settlement Report (“BSR”) [FD25] it is stated:

3.7 There were 21 housing completions (net) in Bunbury between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2017, and 0 ha employment land take up. Commitments as at 31 March 2017 were 39 dwellings and 0 ha of employment land

In Paragraph 3.11 it is stated:

Bunbury has 50 dwellings left to find before the end of the Plan period. However, as detailed in Table Bunbury 2 (below) it is recognised that a number of other applications have been granted planning permission after the base date (31/03/17).

The table (2) referred to is now out of date through additions and amendments

Ref No

Site name

Type

No. of Dwellings

Valid Date

Approval Date

16/0646N

6 & Land rear of no.6 Bunbury Lane

Outline

15

12.02.16

06.07.17 (appeal)

16/2010N

Land off Oaks Gardens, Bunbury

Outline

15

13.05.16

31.05.17 (appeal)

16/5637N

Land adjacent to Bunbury Medical Practice, Vicarage Lane

(CFS 507)

Full

8

20.12.16

26.04.17

15/1666N

Land at Bowe’s Gate Road, Bunbury

(CFS 519)

Full

11

10.04.15

27.09.17

18/3389N

Mayfield House, MOSS LANE, BUNBURY, CW6 9SY

Full

1

09-Jul-2018

11-Sep-2018

18/2655N

Holly Mount, WHITCHURCH ROAD, BUNBURY, CW6 9SX

Outline

1

31-May-2018

10-Jul-2018

17/6227N

Heath Farm, WHITCHURCH ROAD, BUNBURY, CW6 9SX

Full

2

21-Dec-2017

19-Apr-2018

17/0396N

The Outspan, Sadlers Wells, Bunbury, CW6 9NU

Full

1 (5th dwelling added to consent for 4)

24-Jan-2017

28-Mar-2017

total

   

54

   

The Planning applications granted and inclusive of amendments has now reach 54. If granted the application the subject of this objection would mean that Bunbury village has exceed the number of dwellings allocated to it in the Cheshire East Plan by 13 dwellings. This is before the completion of Phase 1 in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan.

That policy can ONLY be implemented by Cheshire East Council who endorsed this policy and has included it as part of the current Local Plan. I therefore respectfully ask you to implement this policy according to your requirement to uphold policies you have legally endorsed.

Parish Council Notes 2019

 

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 – 10 July 2019

The Parish Council thanked Peter Gorman who was present at the meeting and the Village Day Committee for the excellent organisation for the successful 50th anniversary Bunbury Village Day. Peter agreed to pass on the Parish Council thanks to Committee members. He also expressed thanks to the PC for their support of Village Day  over the years, and in particular the sponsorship of the creative workshop at the school lead by Russell Kirk.

Peter Gorman made representations to the Parish Council with regard to the latest Discharge of Conditions to the Land at Oak Gardens. Many of the conditions such as the 15m Buffer Zone and arboriculture requirements have still not been addressed. He agreed to e-mail his comments to the Clerk of the Parish Council.

Co-options of Members of the Parish Council

Three applications for co-option to the Parish Council had been received but none of the co-optees were able to attend the July meeting.

Local Policing Issues

  • A member of the Parish Council had attended a Police Crime Commissioner meeting where road safety and an increase in the number of PCSOs across the borough were the main topics of discussion.
  • The Parish Council had received reports about gas canisters being found in Saddlers Wood which had been passed onto local police who would give the area some attention. The Bunbury local paper would also include an article on Nitrous Oxide abuse.
  • A burglary had occurred on Tweddle Close and police presence would be increased.
  • Speeding incidents along Bunbury Lane had been witnessed and reported to the Parish Council. The Council agreed to use their speed camera to assess the scale of the problem.

Highways Issues

A new parking sign is to be erected at the end of Hurst Close and a ‘Box’ is to be painted outside the school to replace the current coned area for school bus drop off and pick up.

Planning Matters

Application 19/2914N 4 Queen Street, Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) to planning application 16/5185N – proposed rear extension and internal modifications – No objection (same application as previous but smaller).

Application 19/2568N Land off Hill Close, Bunbury Application from Muir Housing – Variation of Condition relating to s.106 Agreement on Approval 15/5783N for residential development for 15 dwellings.

Variation of the s. 106 agreement to enable the properties to be charged at the higher valuation of MV-STT (‘Market Value, subject to tenancies’) as opposed to EUV-SH (Existing Use Value for Social Housing). The Parish Council heard that this issue had become a national problem whereby mortgage lenders had ceased lending in certain circumstances where 106 conditions were present. The variation would still see the same number of houses built but would enable applicants to secure finance to build affordable houses. Cheshire East Council Planning and Legal services supported the variation and the Parish Council raised no objections.

Application 18/6356D Land at Oak Gardens Discharge of Conditions 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14 on approved application 16/2010N – In addition to the objections that Peter Gorman would provide in writing to the Parish Council an objection would be made that no environmental assessment of the river Gowy and the wildlife that runs through the site had been received as required by the Neighbourhood Plan.

In terms of the site allocation work currently being undertaken by Cheshire East Council, the Chairman reported that the 6 week consultation which would include the total number of homes requested for Bunbury had been delayed.

Tweddle Grove – Land off Wyche Lane owned by the PC on behalf of the Community

The Parish Council heard that tender requests for the maintenance of both Tweddle Grove (public green space designated as a woodland) and the car park were outstanding.

Pedestrian Issues within the village

Development of a footpath along a part of School Lane outside the Cottage would be considered for funding from the New Homes Bonus with the permission of the owner of the Cottage. The Ward Councillor had sent source of funds information to the school for consideration as part of developing a school car park.

The Ward Councillor confirmed that she is the Chair of the Cheshire East Footpaths and Rights of Way Committee. The Parish Council confirmed that it pays an annual subscription of £8 to the Mid-Cheshire Footpath Association.

Playing Field Report

The litter bins in the play area have rotted in a short time span and the Parish Council agreed to investigate if they could be replaced under warranty.

Borough Councillor Report

Sarah Pochin, Ward Councillor reported that the hedges around Brantwood property in the centre of the village had now been cut. Concerns were raised again about the general state of repair of the building and the container located in the garden. A resident had queried the delays in street cleaning/weed spraying in the village. Some delay had occurred due to bad weather and flooding earlier in the year but would be carried out. Gullying cleaning on School Lane would take place in the school holidays due to issues of cars parked during term time.

Parish Councillor Reports

A Councillor reported that the support straps on trees on the playing field were now cutting into the bark and that some weeding was required. The Chairman agreed to arrange a site meeting with the Contractor. 

 

Bunbury Parish Council – 12 June 2019

Planning Matters

Application 19/2557N Firbank House, Whitchurch Road – Proposed outbuilding to provide leisure facilities to private dwelling – No objection

Cheshire East Site Allocations: 

In terms of the site allocation work currently being undertaken by Cheshire East Council, the Chairman reported that a 6 week consultation would appear on the Council website on 19 June which would include the total number of homes requested for Bunbury. Also included will be information on areas excluded from the settlement boundary such as the playing fields and the paddock alongside the Hill Close development.

Tweddle Grove – Land off Wyche Lane owned by the PC on behalf of the Community

The Parish Council heard that the maintenance of both Tweddle Grove (public green space designated as a woodland) and the car park were out to tender.

Playing Field Report

General maintenance issues for the Pavilion were discussed, including the repair underway of the ceiling and essential work to the veranda to the bowling green. Further work will be investigated to the surface of the playing field itself.

Borough Councillor Report

Sarah Pochin, Ward Councillor was unable to attend the meeting but reported through the Chairman that she had spoken to the owner of Brantwood property in the centre of the village and he had agreed to cut the hedges. Concerns were raised about the general state of repair of the building and the container located in the garden.

Parish Councillor Reports

The Chairman reported that he had received a number of complaints about the uncut hedge where Willow Drive meets School Lane making the footpath difficult to walk along. After raising the issue the hedge is now due to be cut.

A Councillor asked for clarification of the policy for the allocation of low cost homes in the village. Residents have to apply and register with the Housing Association – Home Choice, who will then go through the process. The Parish Council is following one such application to check that the process is working properly. Assurance was given that local connection is one of the criteria used in the allocation process.

Bunbury Parish Council – 8 May 2019

A resident raised the issue of an updated species report not being made available to the public or Parish Council in connection with the planning application on the land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury. The Parish Council reported that this had been raised with Cheshire East Council with a response that certain protected species reports are kept out of the public domain in order to avoid the location of specific species being identified.

Highway Issues

The Chairman reported that he had met with the Headteacher of the Primary school on 23 April. The School are looking to fund a bus/taxi bay marked area to replace the cones currently in use on the road side. The Parish Council have been asked to help with any suggestions on how to raise £20,000 to develop a school staff car park in order to remove vehicles currently parking on the road. Sarah Pochin, newly elected Ward Councillor offered to make enquiries with a school in her previous ward who had secured grant funding for a car park and report back.

A Cheshire East Traffic and speeding survey will be carried out in certain locations within the village in June e.g. Bunbury Lane, School Lane and Vicarage Lane. In addition a Department for Transport traffic census will be carried out on School Lane on 12 June.

Planning Matters

There were no new planning applications to report this month.

A Parish Councillor reported that Cheshire East Council Officers and the Developers of the Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury had met on-site and had discussed protecting the area around the veteran Ash tree. Officers had stated that they were not prepared to compromise on the area around the tree and the two parties had agreed to work together to resolve the issue. Generally further work is required to satisfy conditions of development.

In terms of the site allocation work currently being undertaken by Cheshire East Council a total of 110 homes is the request for Bunbury with a current 108 homes built or with planning permission granted.

Tweddle Grove – Land off Wyche Lane owned by the PC on behalf of the Community

A number of enquiries had been received from residents on the use of and clearing of the land off Wyche Lane now named Tweddle Grove. The Parish Council confirmed that this is a public green space designated as a woodland (not a recreational area). A regular maintenance contract would be pursued for the future.

Footpaths/Public Rights of Way

It was reported that the Townfield footpath had been ploughed up and covered in manure. Strutt and Parker, agents for the land owner have been made aware and local residents have walked the footpath to flatten it. Ward Councillor agreed to pass the issue to Cheshire East Council Footpath Enforcement Team.

Requests for a number of stiles to be changed to Kissing Gates to allow less able people to walk the footpaths have been made, with one land owner refusing permission. Ward Councillor and Parish Councillor responsible for footpaths would liaise on the matter.

Playing Field Report

General maintenance issues for the Pavilion were discussed. A fire safety audit on the Pavilion has been undertaken with a number of minor recommendations made e.g. checking of fire exits and batteries in smoke alarms every three months.

Borough Councillor Report

Sarah Pochin as newly elected Ward Councillor introduced herself and asked the Parish Council to consider what their priorities would be for her as ward councillor going forward. She herself raised concerns about isolation and public transport. The Parish Council referred to the New Homes Bonus Fund scheme which they had been unsuccessful at gaining any funding for a disabled toilet in the Pavilion. The scheme will be opening again and the Ward Councillor agreed to support the Parish Council in re-submitting the scheme.

Parish Councillor Reports

The Chairman reported that he had been approached by a Production Company wanting to film around the Church and Dysart Arms in September for 4/5 days. The Chairman and another Parish Councillor had met the producers to discuss issues which had arisen during the filming of Home Fires such as communications about disruption. The Production Company are keen to ensure any disruption to village life is kept to a minimum.

8th May 2020 will see the 75th anniversary of VE day and pubs in Bunbury will be encouraged to raise a glass at 3pm as part of a national celebration with bells rung at the church at 6pm.

Correspondence

A complaint had been received about too many building contractors parking on the car park. The Parish Council heard that permission had been temporarily granted to Duchy Homes to keep congestion off Wyche Lane as road safety had to be a priority.

END

Parish Council Notes for April are unfortunately unavailable. We will post a copy of the official minutes as soon as they are available. We apologias for this  tempory loss of service.

Parish Council Notes 13th March 2019

1. Open Forum:

Standing orders were suspended to allow an extend public forum to discuss the application for new houses in Wyche lane (application ref:19/0803N). A number of people spoke against the application. The main points.

1. Traffic issues. Wyche lane is much narrower in places than indicated in the evidence supplied by the developer. In the transport report presented the road width are given as:

2.1.10 The carriageway on Wyche Lane measures between 4.8m and 4.9m in width. With reference

to Manual for Streets, this is wide enough for two cars to pass and a car to pass an HGV.

(Transport report Optima Highways and Transportation Consultancy Ltd)

However this is only partly true as in places the road narrows to 3.2m in width. This is below the current permitted width for roads to new sites. The report only identifies the widest parts of the road and ignores the hazards posed by the very narrow section. These ‘narrows’ represent one vehicle at a time sections and could well represent a serious problem for heavy site vehicles.

Pedestrians attempting to walk along the lane are also placed at increased risk. It shoud be borne in mind that the lane together with the footpaths adjacent ot the site represent are a popular walking route round the village. It is used daily by many people who do not live along the lane. The lane is well recognised as requiriing care to navigate due to its restricted widths.

It was also noted that while the speed limit is 30mph along Wyche Lane within 30m of the site the entry of Birds lane has a national speed limit of 60mph.

2. The splays and indicative design: From the indicative display it is not clear how the splay lines indicated would be achieved given this inclusion of drives tot he houses fronting the site. It is clear that these would have to be extended in to the adjacent property if they are to meet current regulatory standards.

3. Destruction of open countryside: The application would result in the loss of further agricultural land. Hedges will be remove along the frontage and it is not clear that the hedge along the south border will be protect once include in the gardens of the new dwellings.

The PC meeting then began with the usual

1. Apologies for absence

2. Members Declaration of Interests and requests for dispensation

3. To sign as a correct record, the minutes of the Parish Council Ordinary Meeting held on 13 February 2019.

4. Local Policing Issues – To receive an update from local police if available. Not available.

Agenda item 5: Highways issues

Firstly the status of the Highways sub-committee was discussed. The sub-committee only makes recommendations to the full PC. The Parish Council is the only decision making body. It was agreed that in future the Highways Sub-committee would be described as a ‘working group.

The chair indicated that they had met with a Cheshire East (CE) official from the Highways Department to clarify a number of issues that are of current concerns to residents (see Feb Notes). Given the length of the Public forum the Chair proposed leaving his report on the meeting until the next meeting in April.

Agenda item 6: Consultations

None

Agenda Item 7: Planing

1. 19/0371N Revised Description – Erection of x8 dwellings and revised access following approval ref 16/5637N Land at VICARAGE LANE, BUNBURY for comment by 6 march (planning has given the PC an extension for comments)

Minor change in wording that did not require further comment by the PC.

2. 19/0803N Outline application seeking the erection of up to seven residential dwellings (Use Class C3) on Land at Wyche Lane. All matters reserved for future determination Land adjacent Wyche House, WYCHE LANE, BUNBURY, CW6 9PS

This item took up much of the PC time and followed on from the Public Forum comments.

Councillor Mark Ireland-Jones presented an analysis of the application to the PC. The analysis pointed out a series of flaws in the two key documents submitted by the developers. Firstly, the Optima Transport Report was inaccurate in its account of the sustainability of the transport links from Bunbury. It failed to make clear that the village only has ONE bus service a day leaving 10:27 and returning at 14:22. NOT a commuter service.

The report also claims the road width is 4.8 -4.9m when in fact the width narrows to 3.2m in places.

Comments on the Planning Desig and Access Statement – Savills:

the PC were at pains both in the public forum session and during councillor Irland-Jones’s analysi to point out the mis-representation of the PC’s given in the document. The quote from an email sent by the PC Chair to Savills expresses their rejection of the iterpretation present in the report n the consultation held between members of the PC and Savills:

I can assure you that the words used in the application, i.e. “the Parish Council regarded the proposed development favourably, noting how in principle it would be supported by Neighbourhood Plan Policies” is an interpretation that I do not agree with. We would never use the word “favourably,” or anything like it because that would imply that we may have predetermined our support for the application.

It is not possible to do full justice to the critical comments made during the meeting. They will form the basis of the the PC’s comments on the proposd development which can be read on the CE planning website. Full details of the analysis given during the meeting can be found HERE.

Further Agenda items under Planning with brief comments:

7.2 Decisions made by Cheshire East – None

7.3 New Housing Developments in Bunbury – Duchy confirms their expected completion date still to be in April. Concern expressed about traffic still using School lane. Developer not able to control behaviour of all contractor accessing the site. Collect time dte and names of firms breaking rules and sent to PC.

7.3.1 General update from Cllr Pulford None in addition to those listed above.

7.3.2 Cheshire East Local Plan – Site Allocations and Development Policy Next meeting in Spring with draught figures.

Agenda item 8: Land off Wyche Lane owned by the PC on behalf of the community – meeting with Duchy development team who have agreed to plant trees in the area. A landscape consultant has selected trees and suggested a suitable layout to the sight. Some soil testing will be necessary to ensure the choice of trees is appropriate. If necessary additional top soil will be brought to the sight.

The PC made the decision to ban dogs from the sight. If dogs were allowed provision for waste would be necessary and if not used appropriately contaminate the site. It was also pointed out that the adjacent field was used as a horse paddock and the presence of dogs may be disruptive.

Agenda item 9: Pedestrian issues within the village

9.1 Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy No progress to report.

9.2 Footpaths/Public Rights of Way

Appeal on Footpaths 14/15 Currently in final stage of appeal with HM Inspector.

Agenda item 10: Parish Council Election 2 May 2019

Clerk to the PC notified the public and Councillors that they must put in application to stand in the forthcoming elections by 4pm the 3rd April. All councillors must apply if they wish to stand.

No elections for the PC will take place if the number of applications is less or equal to the number of places (10).

Agenda item 12: Playing Fields – Report from Playing Fields Committee

Held over until next month.

13 Borough Councillor’s report

During the public Forum the Ward Councillor had agreed to ask the CE Planning Committee (south) chair to ‘call-in’ the application 19/0803N for consideration by that committee. He pointed out that this was not certain as the committee had over 6000 applications to consider annually and some had therefore to be delegated to Planning officer.

No other matters were mentioned.

Agenda Item 14: PC’s reports

Due to pressure of time no matters were reported.

Agenda Item 15: Correspondence

Not reported

Agenda item 16: Finance matters

16.1 Village Day – Request for funds . The Bunbury Village Da committee had requested funds for:

1. A workshop to be held at the school (£300)

2. The design and construction of large puppet as a feature in the parade (£500)

Both items were art of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Village Day.

It was pointed out that the Village Day usually makes a number of donations to village organisations each year. This was a first time application for a special occasion beyond the current finances of the BVD committee.

The PC agreed to finance the school one day workshop.

Part Two of the PC meeting was to discuss confidential matters that cannot therefore be reported.

Bunbury Parish Council – 13 February 2019

Two residents presented an update on the ALIVE project aimed at addressing loneliness and isolation in the village. A request was made for funding from the Parish Council to support the setting up of a community library. Other activities of the Project include an afternoon social on a Tuesday at the Medical Centre and lunch at the Nags Head.

A resident asked the Parish Council to object to planning application 18/6338N Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury, Reserved Matters. Objections included failure to meet a number of conditions laid down by the Inspector following an appeal, failure to meet a number of policies contained within the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan and failure to meet the Nature Conservation Officers requirement of a nature/wildlife buffer zone.

A number of residents/parents of children at the primary school and the Headteacher of the school attended the meeting to raise concerns over road safety and the provision of pavements throughout the village. The Headteacher had provided a letter to the Parish Council that had been sent to parents outlining road safety issues and actions that are being taken to mitigate these. The Vice Chairman of the Parish Council is working with the Headteacher on an application under Cheshire East’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to Schools Strategy which includes possible funding if the school has a travel plan.

Parents raised issues such as 20 mph speed restriction on school lane, increase in signage of speed restrictions, zebra crossing outside school, speeding within the village and how speed limits can be enforced and extension to pavements around the village.

The Chairman explained that the Highways Sub-Committee of the Parish Council had met on 24 January and discussed the following issues:

1. Pavements – recognise the requirement for pavements and would request the input from a Cheshire East Traffic Engineer to see what is possible/practicable

2. Shared space concept was discussed – how to manage traffic and pedestrians sharing the same space.

3. Parking signs – agreed to provide signage to extended car park by playing fields.

4. Parking restrictions – had previously discussed the provision of double yellow lines outside the school but the issue of displacement of cars remained. Car parking for school staff would help to alleviate the problem and one was agreed as part of the planning approval for development at the front of the cricket ground but this development has yet to progress. Developing a car park on the school site is also being explored. Parking restrictions around the village triangle had previously been dismissed by Cheshire East Council but would be re-visited with the Highways Engineer.

5. Speeding – the Parish Council does have a speed gun and will be using this in the coming weeks. Other traffic calming suggestions will be explored with the Highways Engineer.

6. Accident statistics – there were no records of personal injuries following road traffic accidents within the village.

The Chairman assured residents that the Parish Council would do everything that it could to promote and improve road safety but would need professional advice from a Highways Engineer in order to proceed.

Planning Matters

Planning application 19/0371N Land at Vicarage Lane, revision to access road and plots 5, 6 and 7 as consented in application 16/5637N – the Parish Council heard that the number of houses has increased by 1 from 7 to 8 and the access has been diverted from in front of the Medical Practice to diagonally across the field. In addition, the Rural Housing Trust has agreed to take over the site and 4 of the properties would be offered as shared equity; the first in the village. Councillor Green reported that he had called the application in, to ensure it was discussed at Planning Committee to allow representations of support to be made. No objection to the application was made by the Parish Council.

Planning application 18/6338N Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury, Reserved Matters – the Parish Council agreed to object to the application on the grounds raised earlier in the meeting by a local resident and those raised by the Public Rights of Way Officer detailed on the Cheshire East Planning website.

Land off Wyche Lane owned by the PC on behalf of the Community

The Chairman reported that he was in touch with Duchy Homes following the appointment of a new Managing Director to ensure that the trees promised for the community woodland would be planted before the end of March.

Parish Council Election 2 May 2019

Elections across the borough for both Borough Council and Town and Parish Councils will take place on 2 May. The Parish Council currently has 10 places and 10 councillors and is open to anyone to apply through the Parish Clerk.

Playing Field Report

The Salvation Army request to site a clothes bank on the playing fields car park has been approved on a trial basis.

Parish Councillor Reports

A resident had reported that most of the gullies appear to be blocked. Site traffic on Wyche Lane had caused increased traffic and a worsening of the road surface; the road would need to be re-instated once the development was complete and the Building Control Officer would be contacted. Some grit bins were empty during the recent ice/snow weather conditions.

Finance Matters

Alive Project Awarded £250 towards the Library Project

Village Day request for funds – agreed to ask for additional information of requirements

Sandstone Ridge Festival – request for funds – refused.

Grounds Maintenance contract renewal – Agreed to continue the contract with Mid-Cheshire Grounds Maintenance to provide ground upkeep of the Playground. Representatives of the Parish Council agreed to visit the Playground to look at the general appearance.

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.

Oak Gardens Development

Many of you will now have had notification of the developers plans for the field next to Oak Gardens

Development plans for the field next to Oak Garden have be lodge with Cheshire East planning department. They can be viewed on their website here. If you wish to do your own search the planning reference is 18/6338N.

This is part of the ‘reserved matters’ relating to the outline planning permission granted to Crabtree Homes on 31st May 2017 at appeal. Under the schedule laid (Appeal Decision on Application 16/20210N) down by the HM Inspector in Item 1:

Details of the appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale, (hereinafter called “the reserved matters”) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority before any development takes place and the development shall be carried out as approved

Here is the proposed layout of the site (updated 29/01/2019):

Amended Layout of Oak Gardens development showing distances to points on adjoining properties. (NB ‘OG’ indicates obscure glass.

The Existing Site:

Without wish to alarm residents I do wish to draw your attention to the Existing Site Plan submitted with application 18/6338. You can see this just below:

Existing Site Plan for application 18/6338

The red line defines the site, or does it? The line is a series of straight lines drawn on the plan that ‘roughly’ marks out the site. But it does not follow the boundary fences. It cuts across some gardens and in places locates substantial trees in peoples gardens as being in the site. Probably just a draughting error. May be not. We must speak to the developer to clarify this one.

The Proposed Layout plan (1418-P005):

This plan shows a number of radical changes to the one submitted as part of the original 16/2010N application.

 The important changes that I have noted are:

a) The location of the houses on the western border has increased to 6 properties with No 6 coming very close to the back garden of No 9 Wakes Meadow. Such a location must seriously reduce the privacy of the existing and future residents. I would think this gable end must be within 2 or 3m at best (guesstimated until I can measure the plan). Is it not normal to allow 10m to preserve privacy and existing resident amenity?

A similar problem occurs at the other end of the site where the affordable homes now encroach on the amenity of the three homes that front onto Bunbury Lane at this point to the north of the access road.

The Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) states under Housing Policy H5 Design:

Demonstrate that the amenities of neighbouring dwellings will not be adversely affected through overlooking, loss of light or outlook, over dominance or general disturbance.

This point is emphasised by BNP Policy LC1 – Built environment:

..demonstrate a high quality of design and a good standard of amenity for existing and future occupiers of the proposed development, at the same time ensuring that the amenities of neighbouring properties will not be adversely affected.

These plans therefore pose a serious loss of privacy and amenity to existing residents. It is not beyond the wit of skilled architects to solve this problem.

In her report on the appeal of application 16/2010N on the land off Oak Gardens, the Inspector laid down a series of conditions. This forms the schedule at the end on the document and stipulate what MUST be done and in what order. A number of these conditions have relevance to any of our objections to these plans. The inspector identifies condition 1, 8, 10, 11 and 13 as pre-commencement conditions as they cannot be satisfactorily dealt with any other way

Condition 1: requires the developer to submit ‘Details of the appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale, (hereinafter called “the reserved matters”) shall be submitted

That would appear to have been fulfilled by the plans currently on display on the Cheshire East (CE) website. Click here to view

Condition 8 of the schedule:

No development shall commence until the public right of way through the site has been diverted as shown on the approved Footpath Plan.’ (Schedule 8)

While the appeal against the original path orders was rejected, a new appeal against the subsequent amendments to those orders is still ongoing. It is good to note that the Cheshire East Footpath Team are on the job , spurred on by Susie Reed -and have already lodged an objection to the application.

Their comments are worth attention because the project must stop until the issues are dealt with:

We wish to object to the Reserved Matters planning application (18/6338N) as the developers Landscape Plan does not reflect the proposed widths of FP14 Bunbury as recorded in the Footpath Diversion Order and previously agreed with the developers.

FP14 runs from the gate into the field to the kissing gate in the middle of the southern boundary (and onwards over the next field), near to the west end of Oak Gardens. Footpath 15 the runs from the kissing gate along the southern boundary to the style leading to the small bridge over the Gowy brook. the Footpath team comment:

Public Footpath No.15 – although this section of public footpath has not required a diversion, it has previously been mentioned that as it is proposed to enclose the path a minimum of 2.5 metres for the footpath would be required. However as this footpath also follows a existing hedge to the southern boundary of the site, it is assumed the Nature Conservation Officer will be recommending that a buffer is also required for this section. Therefore a greater width would be required.

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. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
No such updated impact assessment or mitigation strategy has been forth coming.

Condition 11 is addressed further down the page.

b) Secondly are concerns related to the proposed gardens of these houses and the extent this poses a serious threat to the local ecology and an attack on the BNP Landscape and Environment Policy.

In outlinning its polcy toward the environment the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) states that one of the key issues it wishes to address is:

To continue to protect wildlife, especially those endangered species such as great crested newts, birds of prey and owls. (BNP p22)

The specific policies that it uses to enforce this are:

Policy ENV3 -Woodland, Trees, Hedgerows, Sandstone
Banks, Walls, Boundary Treatment and Paving

Incuded in the policy are the statements:

All new developments should seek to protect local woodland, trees, hedgerows, wide verges, sandstone banks, walls, boundary treatment

All new development close to existing mature trees will be expected
to have in place an arboricultural method statement to BS5837
standard or equivalent before any work commences. This will detail
tree protection policies to be employed during construction.

No such statement has been made.

Policy ENV7 – Buffer Zones and Wildlife Corridors opens with the statement:
The existing woodlands, wildlife sites, drainage ditches, brooks and culverts
will be maintained and enhanced and, where appropriate, new buffer zones and wildlife corridors will be created to increase the biodiversity of the plan area.

The western border of the site backs onto a stream – a tributary of the River Gowy. This is designated in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) as a Wildlife corridor in Policy BIO 1 – Bunbury Wildlife Corridor ( Map Reference Appendix C Map 1 BNP).

A key passage in the Justification of this policy is

The designated area should incorporate all semi–natural habitat along the river corridor and include a non–developable buffer zone to protect the corridor from issues such as ground water and light pollution, and the spread of invasive garden species.

This is specified in the CE Principle Nature Conservation Officer and repeated by HM Inspector in giving her consent to the development at appeal.

I understand that the application site falls within an indicative wildlife corridor as shown in the NP. The NP recommends a 15m non-developable buffer zone adjacent to the wildlife corridor. The Council has acknowledged that this appears to have been achieved in the indicative layout and I have no reason to find otherwise.

Now the proposed site and landscape plan show the ‘buffer zone’ has gone and gardens appear to extend to the banks of the stream. The developer has even indicated a gate is to be provided to better access the wildlife corridor! If the corridor and its protective buffer zone are subsumed into the gardens we can clearly see the dangers to the wildlife and the environment. Undergrowth will be cleared, trees will be cut back ‘the threat of falling branches poses a danger both to my house and children cut them down!’, people will invade this quiet area and drive out the wildlife. This amounts to a cynical rejection of the BNP polices designed to protect these essential environments. It is also a complete reversal of the plans presented that can be seen below comparing the landscape plans before and after planning consent has been granted.

 

 

Here is the current proposal for landscaping the site:

New landscape plan of site showing position of houses and some limited planting of hedges.

Here is the amended version that now puts back many of the mitigation features originally proposed. Why did we not get this plan first time ?

Latest landscape plan (29/01/19) showing restoration of many of the ecology mitigation features not included in the first version shown above.

It is interesting to view the original layout and features to support the ecology of the field. Here is the original plan:

Indicative layout of site showing position of houses roads and ecological enhancement items required.
Original Landscape plan submitted with application 16/2010N

The latest landscape plan now shows the pond, the Hibernacula Mounds, Habitat Mounds, Wooden Compost Bins, and apart from some planted fence lines no additional planting round the pond or the old ash tree. Much of the area behind the row of house adjacent to the brook still is incorporating the 15m buffer zone required by the Nature Conservation Officer and shown on the original landscape plan. This has now been included within the gardens. The ‘buffer zone’ protecting the wildlife corridor has gone. the wildlife corridor on this side of the brook has also effectively gone.

Condition 11 specifies:

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.

No such plan has been submitted.

These matters will be decided by the assigned Planning Officer, Simon Greenland. It is important to register your concerns about these proposals by the 13th February. I will make available some of my concerns as soon as possible but numbers and specific concerns about the plans really do matter. It is pointless to rehash points made in the original debate about this development. The focus has to on these particular plans, such as impact on existing dwellings, privacy, protection of landscape as specified in the various environmental assessments and agreements. More on this soon.

This application is therefore incomplete and cannot be considered as it does not comply with the conditions laid down by the inspector. Both conditions 10 and 11 come with the preamble:

Before the approval of the final reserve matters application…

Neither have met. The Planning Officer assures me that the information is on its way. But the point is, it is not available now for proper scrutiny. The clock is running and unlike council officer members, the public need time to check the website, think, and marshal their comments. Presenting critical information late in the day is just another variant of the ‘A good Day for bad news’ strategy that governments, corporation and businesses are inclined to use when they do not want the hassle of accountability.

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.

 

Possible site of new housing development

Why are Fisher German trying to put a large gateway into a field?

This application for Prior Notification has been refused. But this is because the application needs FULL PLANNING PERMISSION.

The field is situated north of Rowton cottage, a listed building. The applicant is Fisher German. The proposal is submitted as a permitted development scheme under Part 6(A) of the GPDO, and the determination is to decide if prior approval is required for the siting and means of construction of the private way onto this field. The application is not for a private way on agricultural land but is for a new vehicular access. The proposed access would be 5m deep and 6.2m wide. The material would be stone and hardcore.

 

Site where Fisher German hope to put a new entrance.

This application for Prior Notification has been refused. But this is because the application needs FULL PLANNING PERMISSION. Why would Fisher German seek this access? We KNOW that they have had discussion with the Parish Council about further developments around Bunbury. The access is wider than that on Hill Close and Oak Garden. The conclusion is obvious. This is very likely the next development site.

The field is of course, right next to the Wulvern/Guinness Partnership site behind the retirement bungalows. A new access road into that site has been agreed and is visible on the above map (just above the word ‘Proposed..’ shown on the map). This is exactly the sort of development that the co-location principle is supposed to make impossible. However, that principle has been undermined in two recent appeal findings.

Firstly the appeal on the Wulvern application established a very limited interpretation of what the BNP (Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan) means when it states

New housing developments should be built in geographically separate parts of the village, ‘

The separation may be maintained by a significant distance, geographic features or visual segregation or a combination of these elements

The inspector then concludes that:

I am satisfied that this open land (the paddock to the between the Wulvern and Hill Close sites) would provide a significant distance between the two developments. Furthermore, this visual segregation would be reinforced by the retention of the site’s distinct native hedgerows which characterise this part of the settlement fringe.’

The BNP speaks of different parts of the village the inspector reduces this to a field or about 30 m.

In the case of the field next to Oak Gardens the inspector has no truck with the co-location policy. The policy was designed to stop the creation of large estates of new houses by the location of one group of 15 houses next to another ‘New Development’. But the inspector saw the reference date for ‘New Development’ to be synonymous with the start of the BNP (2016) not the start of Local Housing Plan (2010). In other words you had to wait at least 5 years before you could build next to another block of new houses. No, the dates in the BNP are contradictory said the Inspector, so co-location does not apply in this case and only applies to houses built after 2016.

Will the co-location policy hold in this case? It should. But I sense that it is not a ‘popular’ policy with developers and Government. Who else has a similar policy and has it been more successful? Let me know of any cases you come across.

Hill Close Development Starts

latest Site Plan for Hill Close Development

Many of you will be aware that work has now started on the Hill Close site. Land clearance and basic infrastructure work begun  with large mounds of topsoil appearing across the area. Rough hardcore has been laid on an initial section of the access road. Further hedge removal work can also be seen where the site is close to the house on Hill Close.

Ground clearance starts on the Hill Close site. November 2018

Iinfrastructure and land clearance start on site.

 

New National Planning Policy Framework – first thoughts.

On the last day of the Parliamentary year – always a ‘good’ day for bad news – the government published the new National Planning Policy Framework. This is the set of rules that defines where houses are built, what type and how affordable. It sets the agenda for planners, Local Councils and developers. And most of the rule book is bad news for the countryside:

  • All developments are effectively sustainable – that criterion has gone. Only if they cause ‘unnecessary harm’ are they unsustainable and they cannot cause harm if they are meeting the needs for development.
  • Land has now become space awaiting development. It is not a precious landscape, an essential part of the social and environmental well-being of our lives, no, it is just a gap waiting for buildings.
  • A philosophy that means that we will get a planning regime that will result in outcomes that look very similar to those would get if there were NO planning system. One based on theoretical calculations of ‘demand’ based on market prices resulting in houses of the type wanted by developers being built in places where landowners want to sell.
  • Communities are disempowered from getting homes they need and that people can afford. The Government uses the ‘housing delivery test’ to set high targets for local councils to meet. If they fail to do so then local controls over planning will be removed. Almost all local plans will become out of date within two years. We have seen what that can mean for Bunbury where the lack of a local plan meant the neighbourhood plan was deemed out of date. Hill Close, Bunbury Lane (behind the retirement homes) and the field off Oak Gardens all were granted on the basis that Local plans were ‘out of date’ and therefore development must be permitted.

One important improvement is the reduction in harm of the ‘viability loophole’. This was a legal loophole that many developers saw fit to exploit. If they paid a high price for land they could claim exemption from the rules related to affordable housing by showing that profits would be uncompetitive. In many areas this resulted in affordable housing being squeeze out and a significant reduction in the numbers built. All part of the ongoing housing crisis!

Now the NPPF is saying that developers can no-longer use the high price of land as an excuse for not building affordable housing. Instead they must show what has changed since local plans were put in place that threatens the viability of any scheme. The onus of proof is on the developer not the local authority.

The CPRE sums this up as:

Without a local plan, councils and communities have little control over the location and type of developments that take place. This results in the wrong developments in the wrong places local communities’ needs are ignored and valued countryside destroyed for no good reason.’

Mayfield House New Application 18/3389N

This application is a resubmission of application reference 17/5696N which proposed the development of two residential dwellings on the site. This application was withdrawn because the Case Officer was looking to refuse the application because of the impact on the ‘street scene’ and the trees in the garden of two new dwellings on the site. The new application is for one house.
If given the go-ahead, this large property will be joining a number of new developments along the A49 in the Bunbury Heath area. It is a very large property including 5 bedrooms with Library (study?) and Cinema/Games Room. Bunbury has a large number of such properties either building or planned for construction. To claim, as the Supporting Planning  Statement does that, ‘supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations.; is rather stretching a point, given the Housing Needs Survey (2013) identified the need for 1 four or five bedroom house per year. Developers have never failed to build such properties each year in the village. Furthermore the supply of this type is also planned to seriously exceed that target in the next couple of years or so dependent on how fast they build the dwellings for which they already have permission.