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Application 18/6338D withdrawn.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 So why has it been withdrawn?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 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.

Where are all the bins going?

Bin collection Lorry

Bin Collection Lorry

During the last two years the Council has replaced nearly 8,000 bins. This is in addition to the bins it supplies to new builds. The total is 10,000 a year. Apparently it feels this is just unsustainable. In total it costs the council £300,000 a year. So what is it proposing to do about this?

Firstly it will charge for the bins, new and replacements. About £30 per bin is the suggested charge with some discount for those in receipt of welfare benefits. If the council damages the bin it will replace it free of charge. If you demand a replacement bin but refuse to pay then you will not be given a bin!

Secondly all new bins will have the address of the resident embossed on it. An excellent idea that should reduce any confusion as to which household each bin belongs. Further it should deter bin thieves as long as the embossed address is on the body of the bin and not the lid, which can be replaced (so I am told).

All quiet on the planning front?

View of removed hedge from Hill Close site.

It has been a little quiet on the planning front for a bit now. According to the Parish  Council (PC) Chair Ron Pulford,  it’s been a year since the village ‘welcomed’ an application to build another 15, or so homes.  Since 2010 the village has seen the addition of 100 new homes. The developments include Tweddle Close, Oak Gardens, the Outspan and The Grange  as either built or building. To come are Bowes Gate, Hill Close, the sites off Oak Gardens and Bunbury Lane, behind the retirement homes, and next to the medical Centre. All of these sites are within the maximum size of 15 dwellings specified in the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). That last point is something of a victory for the NP.  In the same period plans to build 52 houses behind Bunbury Lane (west side) and 36 house on the Hill Close site have been rejected after going to appeal.

 

The original target for Bunbury was to provide room for at least 80 dwellings. This was allocated in the previous Cheshire East (CE) Local Plan and came as a result of the village being designated a Local Service Centre. That allocation is now under review as the authority  has a new Local Plan.  Cheshire East has to deliver  around 39,000 homes by 2030. It has the sites, and some, to do that. But what we would like to know is what its plans are for Bunbury.

 

In a few weeks time we will see the new allocations part of the consultation process. By late summer that will be finalised and agreed. Early, and I stress informal comments, suggest that Bunbury is seen as having ‘done its bit’ and no further allocations will be made in this planning cycle (2010-2030). If that becomes reality then it is great news for the village. Of course small one-off developments (called ‘windfalls’ in planning jargon) will continue. However larger scale developments, should be a thing of the past at least until after 2030. It may be that some developers will try their luck but the balance of probability they will succeed is firmly against them if CE does as we hope and not allocate further development to Bunbury.

School Lane Development on hold

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An application for a Certificate of lawfulness of Existing Use on land  on School Lane has been submitted to Cheshire East Planning Department. As you may have noticed the development to build two dwellings and a car park on a strip of land along the side of School Lane and between it and the cricket  pitch has been on hold for some time. It is not clear why but the letter clearly indicates a concern by the developers that they may now or soon  be in breach on planning conditions.

The original application (15/0198N) was granted on appeal in October 2015 with the condition that development be started within three years. This is a standard condition for all developments and is a means of trying to get work done in a reasonable period. Clearly some basic work has begun. Footings have been begun and access through the hedge has been created. However, work has been on hold for some weeks. The applicant is asking Cheshire East planning department to agree that they have complied with the start condition and issue the Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing use of Land to ensure that action cannot be taken against them for noncompliance. The implication being that the project will be on hold now until after the latest permitted start date (October 2018).

These certificates or CLEUD ‘s are therefore designed to ensure that enforcement of planning conditions cannot  or should not proceed. It protects the developer from such enforcement or the possibility that the original planning permission is withdrawn. There are, as I understand the law, minimum time periods for eligibility on the development. The breach of planning must be continuous and current and the application must be based on evidence. The time period is 4 years. Does that mean the applicant is intending to keep the  development on hold for a further year or more?

Update:

The Certificate has now been granted by Cheshire East and we can expect a period of delay of up to 2 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunbury Election Results March 2018 declared

Congratulations to Chris Green who has been elected as the Councillor for the  Bunbury Ward.  The results are shown below:

Ward election results 2018

The turnout was a rather disappointing 33.4% but this is not untypical of Local Government  By-elections. A long established conservative held ward this is a difficult one to crack for any other party. The voting trends are however interesting.

Share of the vote:

2015                    2018

Conservative  70%                    56.2%

Lib/Dems        n/a                      29%

Labour            17.7%                  14.7%

Greens            12%                    5.1%

Clearly the Lib/Dems took votes away from all the other parties and became the second party in Bunbury Ward.

LAND ADJACENT TO, Bunbury Medical Practice, VICARAGE LANE,

We now have some indication of what this site will look like. The plan above shows the submission of the developer for the discharge of the conditions of the original consent to build 7 dwellings.

This design keeps the open aspect of the front of the Medical Practice  and sets the development back from the frontage on Vicarage Lane. Apart from the 4 bedroom  property at the back of the site, the majority of the properties are small. As such they are likely to be  ‘affordable’;. As the application is below the threshold of 15 dwellings when it becomes a requirement to provide affordable housing, this is a bit of a bonus in the fight to get more dwellings in the village that people can buy or rent.