Bowes Gate Developments

A look at the progress on this site.

On the 27 September 2017 the Bowes Gate application was given the go ahead. The proposal (15/1666N) by the Rural Trust was for 11 dwellings in total to include 8 affordable homes with 2 bedrooms and three 4-5 bedded ‘market’ houses. Here is the current site plan:

Bowes Gate Site plan

The three market houses are positioned on the south side of the site looking over the Gowy at the bottom of the slope. The terrace of 8 affordable properties look’s East toward the Mill. A footpath has been approved to cut down the slope to pass next to the river and emerge onto Wyche Road near the footpath gate next to the bridge and Chantry House.

I understand that negotiations are still continueing between the Rural Trust and the agents for the Medical Centre site off Vicarage Lane. As noted before the intention appears to amalgamate the development of both site and facilitate the exit of the Rural Trust. It is not clear why the Trust want to get out but their focus is on shared ownership properties with covenants that restrict their sale to local people. At present the negotiations involve moving the ‘affordable housing’ element of the site to the Vicarage Lane development while at the same time moving the ‘market’ properties from that site onto the Bowes Gate development. This has some advantages for developers and would facilitate the construction of more premium ‘market’ dwellings with substantial profit margins. In the process we would see the destruction of a key feature of rural villages namely a social mix of properties.

Time is short as the consent on this development is due to expire although Cheshire East has or will extend it due to the current crisis. The Rural Trust are pushing ahead with a series of applications designed to deal with the consent conditions. These have all been agreed. We will have to wait for the outcome. The PC disagrees with the ‘swapping’ plans although they were assured the total number of ‘affordable’ houses will not change.

Parish Council notes 2020

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!

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.

The PC meeting for April is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Council now has virtual meetings. If you wish to listen in then please contact the PC Secretary. Details on the official PC website:

www.bunburyvillage.info

From our Parish Council correspondent:

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 14 October 2020

During the Open Forum two members of the public made representations to the Parish Council concerning a proposal to seriously prune one of the trees in the playground used by children to climb on. They felt it was an unfair and unjustified action with no consultation with children and families who use the playground. They expressed concerns that such a move could set a precedent for alterations to other parts of the playground to appease residents in close proximity.

The Chairman explained that initial discussions had determined to obtain a second opinion of this tree and other trees along the edge of the playground as part of maintenance of the area. The company Monkey Business had visited the site and advised that the tree in question only requires minor pruning and is suitable for climbing and other trees along the line will require just a general up-keep. The Parish Council has listened to all representations including consulting the Crime Prevention Officer following some anti-social behaviour in the evening on the Playground to inform a decision. Following discussion, the Parish Council agreed to accept the proposed maintenance pruning by Monkey Business both along the line of the Playground and in the car park and organise and inspection on an annual basis for the future.

Borough Councillor Report

The Borough Councillor gave an overview from Cheshire East Council:

The Hospitality and Event industry is taking a serious hit from the continuing restrictions due to Covid-19 with Cheshire being the ‘wedding capital’ of the UK. This also has an impact on the income of the Council with reduced fees from weddings and events.

Bunbury is in Tier 2 of the latest Restrictions with pubs still open but households unable to mix. The Borough Councillor has been speaking with landlords in the borough to canvass opinion on whether they would prefer to stay open with restricted attendance or move into Tier 3 with financial support. So far Pubs had declared that they preferred to stay open.

The future of Nantwich Show is in doubt now that the Cheese Show has moved to a different showground.

Any concerns for rural winter gritting routes around Bunbury to be notified. Also, an Area Highways Group is due to meet to review bids of less than £10K for small Highway Improvement works. Again, any potential works for Bunbury to be notified to the Borough Councillor.

Parish Councillor Reports

It was reportedthat 2 footpaths within the village have been lost in the recent ploughing of fields. The Footpath Officer from Cheshire East Council will be notified.

Residents have received a leaflet from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire introducing the community policing team for Bunbury and Wrenbury of PC Martin Randle and PCSO Sharon Jones. They have a base at the Goodwill Hall, Faddiley and Sharon is a frequent visitor to the village, with particular focus around the playground and car park areas.

The Chairman reported that the Chairman’s Cup has been presented to Fiona Parker this year for her work on the COVID Support scheme. The Community Scheme is still running if residents need support during the latest Tier 2 restrictions.

The Chairman thanked Nick Parker for his tireless work on organising removing the rut within the football pitch on the Playing Fields. The area has now been re-seeded and Nick has been watering the area until it becomes established.

Planning Matters

Decisions made by Cheshire East for information

20/3555N 14/08/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 16/09/2020

Location: Greenacres, Wyche Lane, Bunbury, CW6 9PS

Proposal Alterations to front elevation roofs, and new render finish throughout.

20/3647N 21/08/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 16/09/2020

Location: Heather House, Bunbury Lane, CW6 9QU

Proposal: Infill existing covered car port with new dining room and build single storey utility room extension.

20/2497N 27/07/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 15/09/2020

Location: The Cedars, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury, CW6 9SX

Proposal Erection of a detached family dwelling and Garage, new access and associated landscaping. (Approval of all reserved matters on application 14/2348N, 17/4186N).

20/2289N 05/06/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 04/09/2020

Location: 6 & Land rear of no. 6 Bunbury Lane, Bunbury CW6 9QZ

Proposal Reserved matters application for approval for appearance, landscaping, layout and scale following outline approval

16/0646N – Outline planning application for the demolition of 1 bungalow and the erection of 15 dwellings, including associated access at land east of Bunbury Lane, Bunbury.

20/1474N 06/04/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 10/09/2020

Location: Stoneleigh, Vicarage Lane, Bunbury, CW6 9PE

Proposal Proposed single storey rear extension and internal alterations.

New Housing Development in Bunbury

The Parish Council heard that the end Bungalow for the development by Duchy Homes of land rear of no. 6 Bunbury Lane has been demolished to allow access to land east of Bunbury Lane.

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 9 September 2020

An incomplete record this month due to a loss of phone link during the proceedings. Our apologies.

Borough Councillor Report

The Borough Councillor reported that Cheshire East Council is facing serious financial concerns with the extra expenditure due to COVID and a reduction in income from such sources as car park charges and business rates. Cuts are being looked at to fill the gaps and ‘Soft’ reminder letters have gone out for outstanding Council Tax payments. Council owned Gyms and Swimming Pools have resumed opening. Cashless car parking introduced in the borough during COVID has now reverted back to taking cash. Some of the travellers who had taken up residence on the outskirts of Bunbury have now moved on.

Parish Councillor Reports

A Police alert had been received about the theft of bikes and tips have been issued about keeping bikes safe. PCSO is visiting the village regularly particularly in the evening and can be seen around the Co-Op pop up shop and Hurst Close.

Residents had raised concerns about the state of the hedges along Birds Lane.

The Chairman reported that the Chairman’s Cup presented to a resident for services to the community was being awarded to Fiona’s Parker this year for her work on the COVID Support scheme.

Planning Matters

The Cedars, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury 20/2479N, Erection of a detached family dwelling and Garage, new access and associated landscaping. Approval of all reserved matters). No comment from the Parish Council.

Little Orchard, College Lane, Bunbury 20/3289N and 20/3290N. Listed building consent for two storey rear extension with minor alterations. No comment from the Parish Council.

Greenacres, Wyche Lane, Bunbury 20/3555N alterations to front elevation roofs and new finish render finish throughout. No comment from the Parish Council.

Heath House, Bunbury Lane, Bunbury 20/3647N, infill existing covered car port with new dining room and build single storey utility room extension. No comment from the Parish Council.

Rowton Cottage, Bunbury Lane, Bunbury 20/3641N, construction of windowless timber shed and garden studio and associated landscaping to include screening of existing oil tank and waste bins. No comment from the Parish Council.

Decisions made by Cheshire East for information

20/2307N South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 18/08/2020

Location: Brantwood, School Lane

Proposal Listed building consent for partial removal of lower section gable wall to side of property forming part of internal partition following previous approval 0/0250N & 20/0251N.

20/2304N South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 18/08L/2020

Location: Brantwood, School Lane

Proposal: Non-Material Amendment to 20/0250N

20/1698N South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)

Decision: approved with conditions Date: 26/08/2020

Location: The Old Coach House, Bowes Gate Road

Proposal: Conversion of redundant outbuilding to residential use and extension to existing dwelling linking the outbuilding and dwelling

Playing Fields

A wasps nest from the Pavilion roof has been removed. A playground safety inspection has been undertaken and a report recently received with a couple of recommendations. These would be considered by the Playground Committee and reported back to the Parish Council.

With regard to a donation to fund a second outdoor public access defibrillator, the Parish Council has agreed to contribute to the installation of one of the defibrillators on the outside of the Pavilion on the Jubilee Playing Fields.

Consultation – Government Planning White Paper

A consultation on the Government’s White Paper proposing reforms to the planning system in England has been issued. The deadline for comments is 29 October 2020 and the Parish Council agreed to form a sub team to consider the White Paper and formulate a response for consideration at October’s meeting.

Note: Loss of phone link at this point means we are unable to present details on the remaining agenda items.

Bunbury Parish Council meeting – 8 July 2020

A virtual meeting held on line. Unfortunately our correspondent was unable to listen in. The official (Draft) minutes are available here

Bunbury Parish Council meeting – 10 June 2020

Tribute to Eric Lord – former Parish Councillor

Members of the Parish Council paid tribute to former Parish Councillor Eric Lord who had died recently. Eric had served on the Parish Council for 14 years and had particular responsibility for preservation of footpaths and trees and identifying potential flood sites in the village. He was instrumental in drawing up the Village Design Statement which was in place before the current Neighbourhood Plan and used by Cheshire East Council when considering planning applications. His local knowledge, hard work and tenacity to complete tasks made him an invaluable Parish Councillor who made a difference.

Parish Councillor Reports

The Acting Chairman reported that the Bunbury Community Scheme supporting residents during the Covid-19 lock down period was continuing to support residents. The Village Hall will now become the permanent Food Bank collection point with a box for donations being located outside the Hall. A second box would also be added for books, DVDs and jigsaws as part of a community swop scheme.

A second Parish Councillor reported that the Police had sent out an alert to residents of scams in relation to Covid-19 testing warning against making any payments and giving personal details over the phone.

A couple of footpath issues were raised. The possible obstruction of a resident’s fence to the footpath across the field leading to Wyche Road. A Parish Councillor had checked the footpath and found that although the fence had bowed somewhat with the elements the footpath was currently still passable. Any future deterioration of the fence might require intervention should it interfere with the footpath. A second footpath issue relates to Birds Lane and concerns an unmarked footpath on 12 acres of land up for sale alongside Woodworth Green farm. A stile exists but Footpath 13 linking up to Haughton has been lost over the years and a resident has asked that it should be re-instated before the land is sold. Attempts to contact the Cheshire East Footpaths Officer had been unsuccessful. The Parish Council agreed that the footpath should be re-instated and agreed to contact the Borough Councillor for assistance with the matter.

At the last meeting, the Parish Council heard that the consultation on the Local Plan, Site Allocations and Development Policies (SADPD) which includes recommended housing numbers for Bunbury will be delayed due to Covid-19. The latest update is that 2,700 responses had been received to the publication of the draft SADPD and that these would be collated and reported on by September 2020.

A Parish Councillor reported that they had received complaints about people parking cars across residents’ driveways in order to walk their dogs in Saddlers woods; an associated problem was dog poo in the woods. The wider issue of dog poo in the village was discussed and the Parish Council agreed to look at increasing the frequency of collecting bins and putting up posters.

Affordable housing in the village was raised again; one local resident has been on a housing waiting list for two years. Home Choice is the organisation which Cheshire East Council uses for allocating social housing and it was agreed that the resident could contact the Clerk to the Parish Council for advice on how to apply. The Clerk also agreed to send a briefing note to new Parish Councillors about Home Choice.

Planning Matters

Land Adjacent to Woodworth House, Birds Lane, Bunbury, 20/1930N, Proposed small agricultural shed. No objection.

2 Swan Lane, Bunbury, 20/1964N, proposed garage. The Parish Council noted a comment from a neighbour that the garage should be moved slightly to allow for better access and splays and that Highways had no objection to the application. Discussion took place around the height of the garage to incorporate a studio and the fact the application does not mention a studio nor describe its purpose. The Parish Council agreed to object to the application on the grounds that Section 4 of the application does not reflect it as a two-storey building with a studio above the garage and asked that the views of the neighbour on the siting of the garage be taken into consideration.

Variation of condition 8 to allow residential use on existing permission 13/0193N: Conversion of Redundant Stable Block into One Holiday Let Unit, Brook House, Birds Lane, Bunbury, 20/2197N. No objection.

Decisions made by Cheshire East

20/1399N 31/03/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011) Decision: approved with conditions Decision Date: 15/05/2020. Location: Heath Croft, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury. Proposed Single Storey enclosed porch extension, single storey rear extension and associated internal alterations.

Housing Strategy Consultation

The Parish Council heard that Cheshire East Council has revised and updated its Vulnerable and Older Persons’ Housing Strategy. The document sets out the strategic direction and priorities which will ensure that vulnerable and older residents are able to access safe and suitable accommodation across the borough. The draft strategy and an online survey are available on the Cheshire East Council website. The closing date for comments is 5pm on Monday 13 July 2020.

Cheshire East Licencing Consultation – for comment

The Orchard, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury – Application for a Premises Licence: Licensing Act 2003

Notice is hereby given that Love Delivery Limited have applied on 20 May 2020 to Cheshire East Council in respect of the premises known as The Orchard, Whitchurch Road, Bunbury for a premises licence to provide the following licensable activities:

  • Late Night Refreshment and Sale and Supply of Alcohol (consumption off the premises) for online sales only: Monday to Sunday 12:00 noon to 3:00 am hours.

The Parish Council heard that concerns had been raised by neighbours about disruption to the local community and residential area of a business operating until 3am and agreed to make representations that the hours of business are unacceptable.

Requests from Retailers

The Parish Council received an application from the Bunbury Co-operative store who wish to place a ‘pop up shop’ on the car park whilst the permanent shop is refurbished. The plan is to close the shop from Monday 10 August for 11 weeks. They requested to site the pop-up shop on the Jubilee Fields car park against the hedge backing onto the bowling green to the left of the gate.

The Parish Council supported the application but made a request that the Post Office be included in the temporary arrangements and that the Co-Op should contribute to the Playing Fields in the form of a ground rent. Barriers would be erected to prevent out of hours cars onto the site and local residents would be informed of the arrangements.

Representation had been received from Nantwich Plant stall about selling plants from the Jubilee Car Park on a weekly basis. Currently they deliver but are looking to the future after Covid-19 and are asking the Parish Council to approve in principle and they will make a detailed proposal on timings if approved. Similarly, if the Ocean Wave fish van is not able to use the Nags Head car park once it re-opens then could this be considered in principle too.

The Parish Council felt that if such stalls were to go ahead some fundamental rules would have to be established, such as timing, nominal rent etc. Local residents might have a view and it was agreed to put more thought into such a move and discuss again at a future meeting.

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 13 May 2020

Borough Councillor Report

Issues raised by the Borough Councillor:

  • During the Covid-19 pandemic Cheshire East Council is focusing on support and recovery for the local economy and has been lobbying for local business and directing them to any grants and funding that is available. Vital public services such as bin collection has been maintained throughout the period. For the recovery period, safe work practices are being devised; first virtual Cabinet meeting has taken place and this will be extended to other Council meetings such as Planning so that business can continue. Support has also been provided to Care Homes, Care Leavers, Schools and Childcare Providers.
  • Borough Councillor reported that she is mayor elect for the borough and assured the Parish Council that she would be continuing with her ward council duties.
  • A Parish Councillor asked about the type of affordable housing (for sale, rent or combination of both) on the newly developed site at Hill Close, Bunbury Lane. The Borough Councillor agreed to investigate and report back at the next meeting.

Parish Councillor Reports

The Acting Chairman referred to the Bunbury Community Scheme supporting residents during the Covid-19 lock down period which would continue until lock down is eased. The Parish Council thanked the Chair for organising the scheme. The Playing Field remains open but the play equipment is closed.

A second Parish Councillor reported that she had been approached about the Muller milk tanker using the canal bridge to visit the local farm in contravention of the allowed weight limit. The Parish councillor agreed to contact the company to point this out.

Planning Matters

Stablecroft, School Lane, Bunbury, 20/1403N, To erect an oak framed implement store on a concrete raft under a slate roof. Comment had been raised on the website with regard to the location of the store. No objection was raised by the Parish Council but they supported the comments already raised.

Stoneleigh, Vicarage Lane, Bunbury, 20/1474N, Proposed single storey rear extension and internal alterations. Concerns were raised about the potential loss of car parking space if the extension proceeds. No objection in principle but asked that the car parking issue be reviewed as part of the application.

Land at Bowes Gate Road, Bunbury, 20/1329N, Amendment to the Section 106 Agreement relating to planning approval 15/1666N for 11 dwellings including affordable housing. The Parish Council heard that this application was related to a second application alongside the Medical Centre, whereby the Land Agent for both sites has requested that the affordable housing on the Bowes Gate site be moved to the Medical Centre site which has no allocation of affordable housing due to its size. There are no physical changes to both applications other than the request to move the affordable housing element. The Land Agent is trying to appoint one developer to manage both sites to ensure the affordable housing is delivered.

The Parish Council heard that there was some confusion over the amount of affordable housing contained within the 106 Agreement (8 houses) and the amount proposed by the revised proposal (4 houses). The Borough Councillor agreed to obtain further information from Cheshire East Officers on the position regarding the 4 shared ownership homes that had been in the original application, in addition to the remaining 4 affordable rented properties. Based on the information available at the meeting the Parish Council resolved to object to the homes being moved and the reduction, in number of the 8 homes in the original approved application.

Wyche House, Wyche Lane, Bunbury, 20/1551N, First floor rear/side extension replacement of single storey rear lean-to extension. No comment.

New garage outbuilding, Robins Croft, School Lane, Bunbury, 20/1462N. No comment.

The Old Coach House, Bowes Gate Road, Bunbury, 20/1698N. Conversion of redundant outbuilding to residential use and extension to existing dwelling linking the outbuilding and dwelling (all to become enlarged single dwelling house). No comment.

Decisions made by Cheshire East

19/5534N 29/11/2019 approved with conditions. Decision Date 17/04/2020. Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury. Reserved Matters

19/5489D 27/11/2019 approved with conditions. Decision Date: 14/04/2020. Land off, Oak Gardens, Bunbury. Proposal Discharge of conditions 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14 of existing permission 16/2010N: Residential development of 15 dwellings with associated works at land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury.

Neighbourhood Plan

The Parish Council heard that the consultation on the Local Plan, Site Allocations and Development Policies (SADPD) which includes recommended housing numbers for Bunbury will be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The original number of additional houses contained in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan was 80; the SADPD identifies a recommendation of 105 with houses already built or proposed currently standing at 107. The Parish Council recommended that the figure of 105 should be considered as part of updating the Neighbourhood Plan in due course.

The Acting Chairman reported that there had been a meeting with Fisher Germain via Zoom at their request about a possible future housing application; no site identified. The Parish Council referred to the content of the Neighbourhood Plan and the SADPD.

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 11th March 2020

Public session:

One resident spoke during the public session before the formal commencement of the PC meeting. He addressed two issues. Road Traffic speeds and what could be learnt from recent planning decisions that need to be considered during the review of the Bunbury Neighbourhood |Plan.

Traffic Speeds in Bunbury:

A recent survey of traffic speeds in Bunbury noted that average speeds on the three routes monitored, Bunbury Lane, Vicarage Lane and School Lane, all showed mean speeds under 30mph. Did the speed data meet the criteria set out by Cheshire East for the introduction of 20mph zones? Can we see the data? The Cheshire East policy is stated in the document ‘Speed management Strategy’ (2016). The criteria reflect the ‘car centric’ view that has dominated thinking for many years. But things are changing. In the Stockholm Declaration a British Government Minster signed up to a statement along with 129 Minters from other countries. The local authority needs to update its approach and place more emphasis on the protection and encouragement of ‘active’ transport – walking and cycling.

Secondly the speaker address two points that have emerged from recent planning decisions that should be addresses during the forthcoming review of the Neighbourhood plan (BNP). The Oak Gardens (the field adjacent to Oak Gardens is more accurate but not often used) appeal succeeded because the planning Inspector was able to exploit some degree of confusion over the definition of co-location and the ‘start date’ from when the policy should apply. Secondly in the new Duchy development off Bunbury Lane, The Planning Office rejected the objection to the mix of housing on the basis that the BNP contained no explicit policy on what a ‘suitable mix’ of housing means. It has to be spelt out. Likewise with the need for ‘buffer zones’ to protect wildlife corridors as in the case of Oak Gardens again. No policy no protection.

Agenda items:

1 – 3 standard admin items.

4. Borough councillor’s Report: Cllr. Sarah Pochin absent due to illness.

5. Parish councillor Reports:

(I) Cllr. Leila potter:

PC heard of plans to celebrate 700 years of the village Church. (Check for current status)

The retirement of Dr. Helen Black and the presentation of a memento to express the great appreciation for her work in Bunbury Medical Practice.

Spring Fayre on the 28 of this month (cancelled)

Commemoration of VE Day on 9th May (Please check current status)

(ii) Cllr. Ron Pulford:

The forthcoming review of the BNP was discussed and how that process was to managed.

(iii)Cllr. Nick Parker:

A number of points were raised by the Playing Fields representative. The removal of flying tipping items has been carried out. The two fridges have been disposed of appropriately at a cost of £40 to the PC. Discussions followed on how to deter future tipping in the car park using the large bins used by the pavilion users and the field linesman. They could be place in a ‘cage’ but this must be negotiated with the collection service as they would need a key or combination.

6. Planning:

(i) Deed of Variation of Land adjacent to Oak Gardens planning consent. This relates to the changes in the nature of the affordable homes under the 106 agreement with the developers, Crabtree Homes. The application now included 4 one-bedroomed apartments located in the NE corner of the site. These are all rented properties and the option for shared ownership has been lost as a result. This lack of appropriate mix may be contrary to the BNP. In addition the wording of the amendment was considered so open ended as to give the developer ‘carte Blanche’ to make changes to the plans without public consultation. The PC will object to the changes.

(ii) 20/0857N. Resubmission for an extension at the rear of a property. No objections.

(iii)20/0963N Extension at rear in Acreage – no objections.

6.2 Decisions made by Cheshire East:

20/0432N 30/01/2020 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)Decision : refused Decision Date : 20/02/2020Location : 4, QUEEN STREET, BUNBURY, CW6 9QYProposal Non-material amendment to application 16/5185N -Proposed rear extension and internal modifications19/5671N09/12/2019 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury (2011)Decision : approved with conditions Decision Date : 10/02/2020Location : 12, DARKIE MEADOW, BUNBURY, TARPORLEY, CHESHIRE, CW6 9RBProposal Proposed Single storey side extension to form extra living accommodation

6.4 New homes at Bowes Gate and medical practice – no progress on the issues related to these sites.

The council will send representative to a meeting requested by a new developer. |It was emphasised that the PC uses the BNP at these meetings and points to the current situation of housing supply target in the village and Local Plan.

7. Local Policing:

A meeting with the local police team for Bunbury was attended by 1 person despite widespread advertising of the event around the village. Another ‘open’ session in may is planning using the new Police van.

8. Highways and pedestrian issues:

(I) No profess on Cheshire East Sustainable modes of travel to schools Strategy. Concern was expressed at the slow rate of progress.

(ii) The PC is looking at ways in which satellite navigation companies can be informed that the lock bridge is unsafe for heavy goods vehicles and that their software systems may need to be update to avid such vehicles coming through the village.

(iii) Training will be offered on the village sprees camera

9. Footpaths & Rights of way:

Complaints were made about the state of Footpath 17 (near the Yew Tree off Bunbury lane). The muddy conditions were made worse by the vehicles used to access the sheep in the adjacent field. The CE Footpath Officer attended and met the owner of the sheep and requested the path be repaired. It was found to have been improved on a subsequent visit by the same officer. It may be that there is private access rights along part of the path.

11. Playing Fields:

Replacement of the Pavilion building was mentioned but not discussed at this meeting as further reports awaited.

See notes above in Cllr. Reports for details of Fly Tipping.

It was agreed that the Salvation Army clothing collection facility will have to be rejected due impossibility of finding a save location. It was also felt that adequate alternative recycling schemes existed.

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 12 February 2020

Two residents who live in the newly completed Grange Homes that sit alongside the playground area on the Playing Fields on Wyche Lane addressed the Parish Council to express concerns about the number of youths (30-40 one Friday evening) that are congregating post daylight hours and engaging in anti-social behaviour – bad language, smoking and possible drug taking. The incidents are being reported to the Police 101 service but have not been deemed a priority for Police attendance. Incidents have also been reported to the PCSO, Sharon Jones who has visited the residents but not at a time when the youths congregate. Cheshire East Council has also been contacted concerning intimidation of residents and the health issue of some of the rubbish being left behind. The Parish Council had also been contacted and would discuss ways of working together to solve the issue. The Borough Councillor suggested that if such a number of intimidating youths turned up again that the resident should call 999.

A resident from School Lane had previously e-mailed the Parish Council with regard to traffic speeding on School Lane and attended the meeting to hear the results of the autumn speed survey. The Borough Councillor reported that the results on the three areas surveyed in the village, i.e. Bunbury Lane, Vicarage Lane and School Lane showed that traffic speed on average was below the speed limit in all three areas. This gave no leverage to take further action at a Borough Council level. Discussion took place on where the survey was undertaken on School Lane as it was felt speeding occurs nearer the junction as further along the Lane traffic is calmed by parked cars. Signage including a flashing warning 30 mph sign, the potential for ‘sleeping policemen’ and the use of the Parish Council speed gun closer to the junction on School Lane were discussed.

Borough Councillor Report

Issues raised by the Borough Councillor:

  • Interviews are nearly complete for the new Chief Executive for Cheshire East Council and full Council on 20 February will vote for a new mayor.
  • Council Land Housing Supply as part of Local Plan has been re-assessed and demonstrates a seven-and-a-half-year supply well above the requirement of five years. This is good news for preventing speculative housing development.
  • A Brown Field land register is now compiled for Cheshire East area to encourage more use of such sites for development.
  • Site Allocations and Development Policy document which forms part of the continuing Local Plan work has completed its consultation phase with 2,700 responses. These will be worked through. Potential ratification of the process could be during summer 2020.
  • Cheshire East Council has secured £430,000 Government funding for homelessness and prevention work, including supporting offenders released from prison.
  • Cheshire East launched Nominated Neighbour Scheme to support and look after vulnerable neighbours. A Parish Councillor also pointed out that the British Legion has two posts to keep in touch with lonely and vulnerable residents in Bunbury.
  • Two new grant schemes from Cheshire East Council – ‘Bright Ideas’, fund of £250 for an individual to drive an idea forward and ‘Our Bright Idea’, fund for organisations with appropriate governance in place.

Parish Councillor Reports

A Parish Councillor had heard from a resident of Saddlers Wells about the use of the unmade path/road by school traffic explaining that this was not a public road. The Borough Councillor agreed to make enquiries about erecting a ‘Private’ sign on the unadopted road.

Anchor

A second Parish Councillor reported that she had attended the quarterly Police Cluster meeting where no crimes were reported for the autumn period for Bunbury. Speed camera data was also shared. A new Rural Crime Team has been established and the Parish Council wondered if this could assist with anti-social behaviour around the playground area. It was also suggested that the PCSO visit local secondary schools to discuss the issue.

The request to turn a number of stiles into kissing gates on a couple of the village footpaths was discussed again after the failure to gain permission from the land owners. The Parish Council agreed to write to the Walking for Health Club to explain the situation and the Borough Councillor agreed to contact one of the landowners again.

The removal of a fridge and freezer that had been fly tipped on the car park would cost £40 to remove. Other fly tipping had been reported down Birds Lane. The locks on the two black bins used by the Lengths Man had been damaged. It was suggested that the bins be placed into a cage and this would be discussed at the next Council meeting. A Salvation Army recycling bin will be placed in the car park shortly on a three-month trial.

Two trees were reported to have fallen in the recent windy conditions – an Oak with a Tree Preservation Order between Oak Gardens and Wakes Meadow and one along Vicarage Lane.

Planning Matters

Brantwood, School Lane, Bunbury, 20/0251N, Listed Building Consent for demolition of outhouses to the rear and replacement with two-storey outrigger and Garden Room. Two public responses had supported the proposal and the Parish Council agreed not to object to the proposal, but pointed out that the guttering should be cast iron and not plastic, also there appeared to be a discrepancy in roof heights on the plans that need clarification.

The Old Post Office, Bunbury Lane, Bunbury, 20/0492N, change of use of an ancillary building to back of house retail. No objection to this application by the Co-Op to provide more storage space.

Decisions made by Cheshire East

19/0803N Decision: Withdrawn Decision Date: 23/01/2020. Location: Land adjacent to Wyche House, Wyche Lane (Outline permission for 7 houses).

19/5060N Decision: Withdrawn Decision Date: 13/01/2020. Location: Church Bank, Wyche Road. Proposal Listed Building Consent for new vehicular access on to the highway.

New Housing Developments in Bunbury

Strutt and Parker are still in discussions with the Council about the division of the affordable houses between the proposed sites by the Church and Bunbury Surgery. Drainage issues are still outstanding for the Oak Gardens site and building is unlikely to start this year.

Highways Issues

The use of the Parish Council speed gun was discussed which would result in police writing a warning letter to those found to be driving over the speed limit. The Parish Council agreed to put a plan together to undertake speeding surveillance in the future.

Seasonal Events

The Parish Council heard that the church would be celebrating its 700 years anniversary this year and discussed how it could contribute. It agreed to offer the playing fields and pavilion free of charge for any events.

Anchor

VE day will be celebrated on Friday 8 May with a 3pm toast to veterans by the three village pubs as part of a community celebration. A church service will also take place over the weekend.

Bunbury Village Website

The Parish Council will be taking on the website from the previous volunteers and

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 9 January 2020

The Chairman is currently unwell, so the Vice-chairman will be chairing meetings for the time being.

Before the meeting proceeded, representatives from the Royal British Legion attended the meeting to mark the 26-year contribution of Councillor Nick Parker to the organisation of the annual Remembrance Sunday Commemoration. The Chair of the local British Legion made a presentation to Councillor Parker as a thank you for all his work over the years.

Borough Councillor Report

The Borough Councillor presented her report and received questions from parish councillors, as follows:

Cheshire East is to commence a kitchen waste collection service from 6 January 2020. All households will receive a caddy with biodegradable bags for the collection of the waste which can then be put in the green/brown garden waste bin. This will then be collected and taken to the new food processing plant at Leighton to be turned into compost. The service will only work for those residents who have a garden waste bin. The Ward Councillor suggested a Bunbury Ward visit to the Plant to understand the processes and end product to report back to residents.

The state of Brantwood was raised again and the Borough Councillor agreed to contact a family member of the owner for an update on the sale of the property.

The request to turn two stiles into kissing gates along two footpaths to aid wider access for walkers was raised as no progress had been made. This would be looked at again. In addition, progress would be checked on the painting of the ‘dropping off bay outside the school, including the cutting back of nearby tress; and the potential for a strip of land on school lane to be made into a footpath for families walking to school.

A resident had raised the issue of speeding along School Lane; the results of the Autumn speed survey in the village are awaited and would be reviewed when received. The Council heard that Cheshire West and Chester Council has adopted a policy of 20mph within all village locations, but that Cheshire East has not adopted this policy and given the closeness to the border of the two councils this maybe causing confusion.

The state of the local highways, particularly the number of potholes, road sweeping, and gully emptying was raised. With regard to potholes, people were advised to report them on the council website as this would raise t he council awareness of the most offending areas. The Borough Councillor agreed to check with Cheshire East Council with regard to frequency of road sweeping within the village.

Parish Councillor Reports

A Parish Councillor referred to social media feedback via the Bunbury Journal website concerning the erection of the P parking sign at the entrance to the playing fields. Whilst some of the comments were negative about the need for a sign, the majority were supportive of it encouraging people to use a car park and avoid parking on the village lanes.

A second Parish Councillor had been contacted by the PCSO for the village with regard to a complaint she had received from a resident about the anti-social behaviour by a number of youths in the play area late at night over the Christmas period. The PCSO had met with the resident and given her number should this continue to be a nuisance in the new year. It is hoped that a police surgery event could be held in the Pavilion soon so that residents can discuss issues occurring in the village direct with representatives from the Police.

Consultation

Cheshire East Council has been running a survey for the public and Parish Councils to respond to a Community Governance Review. The Parish Council offered feedback to the question of Parish Councils being ‘effective and convenient Local Government? Feedback included the use of the adopted Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan as a framework for considering planning applications, public meetings as necessary, good contact with Police and an active full membership council. Another question referred to the interface between the Parish Council and Cheshire East Council – some members of the Parish Council felt that the pace of progress at the borough council sometimes reflected badly on the work of the Parish Council. Boundary issues was also a question and the Parish Council discussed the fact that the Yew Tree and nearby houses were actually in Spurstow although from a community point of view the Yew Tree is regarded as a village facility.

Decisions made by Cheshire East

19/3767N Decision: approved with conditions – 6 and land rear of 6, Bunbury Lane, Bunbury. Proposal Reserved Matters – Erection of 15 Dwellings

The Parish Council heard that several objections had been made to the application against the number of large houses being proposed (9 five bed homes). The Planning Officer explained that the Neighbourhood Plan only refers to a mix of houses and as there were smaller houses included in the overall figure of 15 there was no basis to refuse the application.

19/4983N Decision: approved with conditions – Brook View, Sadlers Wells, Bunbury – Single storey rear extension, single storey link and partial garage conversion with associated alterations.

Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan

Notification had been received from Cheshire East Council that modification to the Neighbourhood should be considered. This is a long-term process that would be considered over the next one to two years.

Correspondence

Mid-Cheshire Grounds Maintenance Company have written to the Parish Council offering to continue with the current grounds maintenance work for the village at the current price fixed for the next two years. The Parish Council agreed to accept the offer.

A request had been made for permission to sweep the playing field with a metal detector following the loss of a medal on the field. The Parish Council agreed but asked that if any significant digging was required Councillor Nick Parker be contacted in the first instance.

Christmas

Good weather on Christmas Eve aided a good turn-out for carols round the Christmas tree and £307 was raised for Tarporley Hospital.

Planning for the Future

White Paper on proposed changes to the planning system

The White paper put out for consultation proposes a radical change to the planning system. That consultation ends on the 29 October.

First you can read the White Paper by clicking here

However a summary of the 84 page pdf file may help.

This is the HM Government version:

The current planning system is complicated, favours larger developers and often means that much needed new homes are delayed.

We’re proposing a new system which is easier for the public to access, transforms the way communi-ties are shaped and builds the homes this country needs.

The changes will mean more good quality, attractive and affordable homes can be built faster – and more young families can have the key to their own home.

In the new system local areas will develop plans for land to be designated into three categories

:• Growth areas will back development, with development approved at the same time plans are pre-pared, meaning new homes, schools, shops and business space can be built quickly and efficiently, as long as local design standards are met.

• Renewal areas will be suitable for some development – where it is high-quality in a way which meets design and other prior approval requirements the process will be quicker. If not, development will need planning approval in the usual way.

• Protected areas will be just that development will be restricted to carry on protecting our treasured heritage like Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.

Communities will be consulted from the beginning of the planning process and help shape the design codes to guide what development can happen in their local area.

The reforms will mean:

Much-needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months down from the current 7 years it often takes.

Every area to have a local plan in place currently only 50% of local areas has an up-to-date plan to build more homes.

The planning system will be made more accessible, by harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data.

• Valued green spaces will be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree lined.

The planning process to be overhauled and replaced with a clearer, rules based system. Currently around a third of planning cases that go to appeal are overturned.

A new simpler national levy to replace the current system of developer contributions which often causes delay this will provide more certainty about the number of affordable homes being built.

• The creation of a fast-track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve beautiful communities.

• All new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’, with no new homes delivered under the new system needed to be retrofitted as we achieve our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A Response:

As part of the White Paper a series of questions is put to the reader with a request to respond. These can be posted or email to in the following ways:

  1. Go to the website https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

2. Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to planningforthefuture@communities.gov.uk.

3. If you are responding in writing, please make it clear which questions you are responding to. Written responses should be sent to:

Planning for the Future Consultation,

Planning Directorate, 3rd Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

My Response:

NB. Each question comes with some possible response options.

1. What three words do you associate most with the planning

system in England?

!

2(a). Do you get involved with planning decisions in your local area?

[Yes / No]

Yes

2(b). If no, why not?

[Don’t know how to / It takes too long / It’s too complicated /

I don’t care / Other – please specify]

3. Our proposals will make it much easier to access plans and contribute your views to planning decisions. How would you like to find out about plans and planning proposals in the future?

[Social media / Online news / Newspaper / By post /

Other – please specify]

Planning applications and all relevant details should appear on the public planning authorities website. It is inappropriate to outsource such information to private company facilities whose continuity is uncertain, whose objectives are not aligned with public service and which are NOT inclusive. Surprisingly 33% of the population are not on any form of social media and 4% do not have access to the internet (ONS 2020).

Email could be offered as an additional service alongside the continued use of the postal service to ensure complete inclusion within a neighbourhood.

Much disparagement is made of notices on lampposts, etc. Their function is to aleft other interested parties to what is happening in their area, many people are interested in developments that do not directly impact on them. They have a broad concern for the town\village where they live. How will they be informed?

Build on firm foundations rather than scrap everything unless it can be distributed over the internet.

4. What are your top three priorities for planning in your local area?

[Building homes for young people / building homes for the homeless /

Protection of green spaces / The environment, biodiversity and action

on climate change / Increasing the affordability of housing / The design

of new homes and places / Supporting the high street / Supporting the

local economy / More or better local infrastructure / Protection of

existing heritage buildings or areas / Other – please specify]

1. Increasing the affordability of housing

2. More and better local infrastructure

3. Protection of green spaces, biodiversity and the environment

5. Do you agree that Local Plans should be simplified in line with our proposals?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

They do not make sense in our area or, I would suggest in most rural areas. These would be designated as either ‘renewal’ where ‘small sites within or on the edge of villages’ would be developed – on what basis? Or as ‘protected’.The only difference between a renewal zone and a growth zone appears to be scale. Does that mean any plot that comes available could be built on as long as the development criteria in the Local Plan are met? Local communities would have no ability to either plan where sites should and should not be developed only their scale and design.

In Bunbury we are surrounded by open countryside that currently is protected from development. Where development does take place is identified and agreed through consultation with the local Planning Authority. (Cheshire East). Under these proposals no such ‘protection’ is available to ‘open countryside and farmland. Only in ‘Protected Zones’ is there any possibility of building into a local plan the option of saying NO to development. As the white paper states “There would be a statutory presumption in favour of development being granted for the uses specified as being suitable in each area”. The ‘uses’ are of course defined tin the new ‘Use Classes’ none of which cover open spaces or open land. They are Use Classes of buildings (commercial or Public). The Local Plan can only specify use in terms of those ‘Use Classes’ and cannot protect any land from development outside of Protected Zones.

The White paper does mention in the definition of ‘Protected Zones’ “ areas of open countryside outside of land in Growth or renewal area.” Who makes that decision? What consultation will be held on open countryside question? These are critical questions in our village that the Local Plan would not be able to answer. If the Local Plan, with local consultation, can decide to place open countryside into the protected zone with much reduced development objectives then villages may be protected from cherry-picking developers and productive farmland can be retained.

Where is the parallel discussion about the protection of farmland from development and the need to maintain our own food supply? Not a word.

Who gets to make these ‘zonal’ decision? Yes the Local Authority in the first place in consultation with the public (Stage 1) but the HM Inspector can simply override that decision (Stage 4).

The suggested Alternative of combining Growth and Renewal Zones is much worse. Such an approach is highly threatening to the retention of village character.

The other suggested Alternative of limiting automatic permission to land in the Growth Zone while retaining the power of the local authority to identify where and what permitted development may take place in the renewal zone, is acceptable. As long as it retain the current feature to allow citizen representation as part of that decision-making process.

6. Do you agree with our proposals for streamlining the development

management content of Local Plans, and setting out general development management policies nationally?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

I agree that repeating Government policy in Local Plans is a waste of time

But Local Authorities should retain a level of flexibility to set development management policies that do not duplicate NPPF policies.

7(a). Do you agree with our proposals to replace existing legal and policy tests for Local Plans with a consolidated test of “sustainable development”,which would include consideration of environmental impact?

No.

The inadequate detail provided makes it very unwise to go down this path. The UK is the most environmentally impoverished country in Europe. (On target? Five environmental challenges for 2020 and beyond – HoC report 2020)

‘Sustainable Development’ can become meaningless without a clear definition that has teeth. Currently it is little more than a ‘catch phrase’ trotted out to justify yet another development in ‘walking distance’ of ‘facilities’ (a shop and bus stop).

7(b). How could strategic, cross-boundary issues be best planned for in the

absence of a formal Duty to Cooperate?

Restore the duty to co-operate.

8(a). Do you agree that a standard method for establishing housing requirements (that takes into account constraints) should be introduced?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

1. The problem in our village is delivery and provision of affordable housing. Only 50% of the houses with permission to build in the last 5 years have been built. Make it hurt to cling on to land that has been granted permission and not used. This is the cause of house shortages. Developers do not want to build affordable houses in our village to meet real need. Their objective is maintain the profitability of the development. That means NOT building if it impacts on market prices.

More details needed on the Housing Delivery Test to make any judgement. Why? Delivery is OUR problem, in the South you may have other issues.

2. Centralisation of housing need calculation into one algorithm is inappropriate. Needs vary across the country and this approach is just unnecessary in Cheshire. We have land supply.

3. Preferred option is:

It would be possible to leave the calculation of how much land to include in each category to local decision, but with a clear stipulation in policy that this should be sufficient to address the development needs of each area (so far as possible subject to recognised constraints), taking into account market signals indicating the degree to which existing needs are not being met’

8(b). Do you agree that affordability and the extent of existing urban areas are appropriate indicators of the quantity of development to be accommodated?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

‘Affordability’ is yet another weasel word in the lexicography of development. It just means small houses that get smaller as the local house prices rise. We have ended up with some of the smallest houses in Europe. In Bunbury we have ‘affordable’ houses that have a smaller ground floor footprint than the garage space on adjacent ‘market’ properties.

‘Urban area’ as a criteria for permitting more development? Big gets bigger? I’ll leave that to the residents of towns to explain.

9(a). Do you agree that there should be automatic outline permissionfor areas for substantial development (Growth areas) with faster routes for detailed consent?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

A cautious yes.

I want Growth areas clearly defined with a focus on brownfield sites and protection of green spaces and avoidance of massive ‘monochrome’ sterile environments.

9(b). Do you agree with our proposals above for the consent arrangements for Renewal and Protected areas?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

But only if ‘Open Countryside’ is included in the Protected Areas.

9(c). Do you think there is a case for allowing new settlements to be brought forward under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

YesBut these are the exception not the norm, provided legislation is clear that they can’t be used to override local planning decisions or to build in areas of open countryside.

10. Do you agree with our proposals to make decision-making faster and more certain?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Appropriate speed is good. But it is not the most important requirement of a planning process. An open democratic process is more likely to yield a good decision. It is the quality of the decisions that emerge that is the criteria to judge the system. Speed is easy if you ignore everybody. Authoritarian governments claim speed is a virtue of their approach but end up with corruption and terrible decisions.

It is not the local authorities that are to blame to the degree the White Paper suggest. From my experience it is just as frequently developers errors, changes of mind, lack of experience, etc. that slows and delays the system.

11. Do you agree with our proposals for accessible, web-based Local Plans?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

Cheshire East has offered web based access to all planning information for sometime. You seem to suggest that this is a rare experience. Really? No recognition of what Local Authorities have already invested in their systems despite dramatic reductions in their budgets.

I have never heard of ‘PropTech’ before and as you don’t really explain what it is or its putative role I cannot comment. However experience of government involvement with IT firms and projects is not encouraging. Caution should be your watchword and my advice is to stay away from things you don’t really understand.

12. Do you agree with our proposals for a 30 month statutory timescale for the production of Local Plans?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

Again you are blaming the Local Authorities for the delays in the system. It is true the Local Plan takes about 7 years to complete but that is entirely due to to the heavy burden placed on the LA in terms of the work needed to meet all the criteria set by the Government policies, unclear methods of housing need, and meeting the demand of HM Inspectors. In your attempt to sort this mess out you are also throwing out the part of the process – making decisions on individual planning applications – out as well. It is that part of the process the citizen engages with as it represents his/her right to participate in decision-making that directly impacts her/his life.

Stage 1 represents the only stage at which citizens might get some say. Their expertise and motivation is often limited to the immediate area where they live. Will they engage with such broad based planning? In Bunbury the strongest engagement derives from residents impacted by the planning applications. Outside that ‘zone of impact’ other citizens do engage but at a less frequent level. This suggest that the particular rather than the general is what engages the citizen. And (s)he has only 6 months to engage and then his/her role has ended.

Stage 4 – It seems that the Inspector has too much power – “all at the inspector’s discretion”. This is likely to lead local resident’s losing faith in the system as the Inspector can simply choose not to listen to their concerns. The choice of inspector will therefore be key and this process needs to be defined. An inspector with political links or strong links to developers will lack credibility

This White paper represents an attempt to remove the citizens meaningful participation in planning decision-making just where it matters most.

13(a). Do you agree that Neighbourhood Plans should be retained in the reformed planning system?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes
We have a Neighbourhood Plan in place that has served us well. We should make it clear that the Number 1 issue from residents is the number of houses being built followed by the housing mix. This section implies that NP’s will be limited to the design style which while a priority issue, is further down the list given below.. It is hard to reconcile the top down approach of this White Paper with the ability of a locality to influence how it is developed.

A NP that only addresses design style will be viewed as ineffective and no amount of digital tools will compensate for the disillusionment of 100 new homes being built on a greenfield site where we can only influence how they look. Clearly the government view NP’s as a mistake and the interference of citizens in the development of where they live is no-longer to be tolerated.

With our NP Bunbury has controlled the size of developments and their proximity to each other. Developers have respected the size constraint but with the support of inspectors attached and undermined the wishes of Bunbury citizens to avoid the formation of large conglomerations of new houses on the edge of the village. Active citizens were able to take their concerns to open planning meetings where with councillors and developers a democratic and open process was seen in action. That is real engagement

The White paper will strip away any pretence of serious involvement in local planning through the means of the creation of the NP – powerful motivating experience for the whole village -, automate consent on applications. Leaving the citizen devoid of democratic powers to influence anything but the choice of brick colours and style of roof.

If the White Paper seeks to engage the local population on a street by street basis then it will need to address the means by which the citizen can participate in decision about

  1. Housing numbers
  2. Housing mix
  3. Local infrastructure
  4. As well as Quality of Design

13(b). How can the neighbourhood planning process be developed to meet our objectives, such as in the use of digital tools and reflecting community preferences about design?

‘Digital tools’ is a vague term. We have websites with clickable maps, access to digitised plans and documents. Yes I am sure they can be enhanced. They do not however take the place of real democratic participation in making decisions. That is what engages citizens.

Of course citizens want to see what proposed developments might look like but more importantly the want a say in the number , distribution and type of those dwellings near them that directly affect their lifestyle.

14. Do you agree there should be a stronger emphasis on the build out of developments? And if so, what further measures would you support?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

YesThis really applies to larger developments but the principle of engaging a wide range of developers is one to be supported

15. What do you think about the design of new development that has happened recently in your area?

[Not sure or indifferent / Beautiful and/or well-designed / Ugly and/

or poorly-designed / There hasn’t been any / Other – please specify]

Locally we have small (15 or fewer homes) developments, they are very specific to the actual developer but largely they have been accepted by the local community. The houses are unremarkable but perfectly adequate and inoffensive, utilising the space allocated as well as can be expected.

16. Sustainability is at the heart of our proposals. What is your priority for sustainability in your area?

[Less reliance on cars / More green and open spaces / Energy efficiency of new buildings / More trees / Other – please specify]

So what does ‘Sustainability’ mean? Apparently it could be ‘ more trees’ or ‘less reliance on cars’. Did I miss the definition? So once again we meet one of those weasel words that people use to get round having to specify real things. What do I think it means in a partical way in Bunbury:

A decent public bus service that offers a real alternative to cars. That means serall journeys everyday that would enable travel to local towns and back again to support workers and shoppers, as well as recreational users. Rural concern are ignored by the urban focussed writers of this paper.

Children should be able to walk or cycle to and from school an other facilities in the village, in safety. Adults should also feel safe and encouraged to walk and cycle as government papers have indicated is their goal That means suitable pavements and speed limits (20mph) on cars that are enforceable. No on street parking, cycling parking facilities

A serious move to enable rural areas dependant on carbon fuels (oil boilers are common in Bunbury as we have no gas pipe to the village) to move to sustainable energy sources.

The encouragement of home based working where possible and consideration given to ways of reducing developments that simply increase traffic through the village to the detriment of the environment (noise and air pollution).

‘Best in Class’ broadband provision and appropriate levels of accessible computer terminals in local cafes or village halls.

Within the residential zones around the centres of villages the emphasis must move away from the domination of vehicles to prioritise walking and cycling in clean air and quiet movement.

17. Do you agree with our proposals for improving the production and use of design guides and codes?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

YesIn principle these codes are a good idea if the stimulate high standards. But as is common in the White Paper the focus is urban not rural. I propose that rural developments have a separate code. As mentioned previously most rural housing developments are small in size (less than 50 houses), we need cycle and walking routes within villages in order to access facilities such as GP surgeries, schools and shops. The code should therefore extend to linking a development with these facilities and not be limited to within the actual development itself.

18. Do you agree that we should establish a new body to support design coding and building better places, and that each authority should have a chief officer for design and place-making?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Not Sure

Another quango stacked with political appointees to be the government bidding? Would we end up with better design or ‘Poundsbury style’ and fake Costwold? Appointments should be made by appropriate bodies and not the Minister. Unrealistic? Yes probable but on can hope that politisationn of our world has its limits.

19. Do you agree with our proposal to consider how designmight be given greater emphasis in the strategic objectives for Homes England?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

But it need to reflect both the wide variety of vernacular styles across England and the need to blend new and traditional and develop new styles. Beautiful can be modern.

20. Do you agree with our proposals for implementing a fast-track for beauty?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

Automatic consent is not a good principle in a democratic society where the outcome impacts directly on peoples quality of life. What is the style that Cheshire would go for anyway? We have a considerable diversity. Victorian polychromatic brick work, sandstone lintels, slate roof tiles, stone walls, carved soffits etc. Different villages have different mixes dependent on their history e.g. Historic estates have particular styles.

From the White Paper this sentence stands out as one I can support: To enable further tailoring of these patterns to local character and preferences, we also propose that local planning authorities or neighbourhood planning groups would be able to use local orders to modify how the standard types apply in their areas, based on local evidence of what options are most popular with the wider public.

21. When new development happens in your area, what is your priority for what comes with it?

[More affordable housing / More or better infrastructure (such as transport, schools, health provision) / Design of new buildings /More shops and/or employment space / Green space / Don’t know /Other – please specify]

In Bunbury the housing needs are for 2/3/4 bed homes and not the 5/6 bed executive house that dominate the developments. Currently we cannot get housing needs met.

The affordable housing that is built gets ever smaller in an attempt to make them actually affordable. They still remain unattainable on a mean salary of 25k. I know you are concerned about this but political ideology dominates thinking.

Redefine affordable housing in a meaningful way:

Rentable or shared ownership housing through (Housing Associations)

Mixed Housing with a range of need appropriate sizes

Infrastructure requirements are a function of size and social progress. The issue needs to be dealt with in its own right independent of the mix or ‘affordability’ of the development.

The Tory government under Harold MacMillan managed 300,000 houses a year under the 1947 housing Act that you so readily condemn. They did it with a massive expansion of Local Authority building as well as private developers each focussed on what they saw as their priority. But you will not do that and why? Perhaps a discussion with the ghost of Margaret Thatcher will explain.

22(a). Should the Government replace the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 planning obligations with a new consolidated Infrastructure Levy, which is charged as a fixed proportion of development value above a set threshold?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

Certainly the 106 Levy needs reform as it fails to deliver what communities want and they are too easily excluded from any benefit. However the proposed ‘reform’ is naive at best. As we have seen over the affordable housing debacle, developer will wriggle their way out of their obligations if at all possible. The number of affordable houses built has therefore fallen dramatically (CPRE 2019).

So no do not allow developers a way out of their obligations once agreed. Yes include the land value uplift as this will discourage ‘land banking’ but I remain concerned over that ‘threshold level’. Who sets that level? Where is the detail needed to make an informed judgement? So much here can be turned against the benefit of the community and used by the developer to avoid their social responsibility and enhance their profitability while claiming the opposite with evidence from cunning accounts that know the loopholes buried in the detail.

I also suspect the threshold would remove any levy to many rural communities from the small developments they may encourage.

22(b). Should the Infrastructure Levy rates be set nationally at a single

rate, set nationally at an area-specific rate, or set locally?

[Nationally at a single rate / Nationally at an area-specific rate / Locally]

Nationally at an area specific rate.

22(c). Should the Infrastructure Levy aim to capture the same amount of value overall, or more value, to support greater investment in infrastructure, affordable housing and local communities?

[Same amount overall / More value / Less value / Not sure.

Please provide supporting statement.]

More value

Evidence (see above) shows that the provision of ‘affordable.’ housing in rural areas has declined while profit (until the pandemic) have risen. Many developers also provide shoddy ‘little boxes’ and pay massive increases in ‘compensation’ to their CEO (Persimmon and others). So, yes we should expect more and make sure there are no loopholes or ‘tax breaks’ they can use to avoid them.

22(d). Should we allow local authorities to borrow against the Infrastructure Levy, to support infrastructure delivery in their area?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No.
Councils should not be taking all the risk, it should be risk sharing with developers. The White paper proposes to collect on sale of the development, this favours the developer over the local community and the developer is taking no risk. I suggest that the infrastructure levy should be collected at a number of stages, i.e. on planning consent, during development and the end. You could incentivise developers to complete on schedule to avoid unnecessary delay.

23. Do you agree that the scope of the reformed Infrastructure Levy should capture changes of use through permitted development rights?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

All should contribute and thereby lower the burden on all.

24(a). Do you agree that we should aim to secure at least the same amount of affordable housing under the Infrastructure Levy, and as much on-site affordable provision, as at present?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Not sure

As discussed above many developers are claiming they cannot deliver the affordable housing that was agreed at consent. Too often LA’s acquiesce in this to avoid the battle of accountants and lawyers with the resultant delays. This, as mentioned above, has resulted in a crash in the provision of ‘affordable’ and social housing especially in rural areas (CPRE survey 2019).

Seeking to maintain that situation is not want we want and one I am sure the White paper seeks to remove and return to the actually agreed provision at base.

However more affordable and social housing is an urgent matter in Bunbury and many other rural communities. The fail to provide adequate housing of this sort means local communities suffer a number of consequences. The forced dispersal of family generation, the inability to downsize in later life and the lack of accommodation for all the key workers who then have to live miles away and travel in causing additional traffic, pollution and expense.

24(b). Should affordable housing be secured as in-kind payment towards the Infrastructure Levy, or as a ‘right to purchase’ at discounted rates for local authorities?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

No

Another loophole to attract cunning developers and their accountants.

Build Affordable house to a set standards and targets based on need surveys in each area.

24(c). If an in-kind delivery approach is taken, should we mitigate against local authority overpayment risk?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

Share the risk

24(d). If an in-kind delivery approach is taken, are there additional steps that would need to be taken to support affordable housing quality?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes, yes, yes!

We must have better standards in all housing but especially in social and affordable housing. The lack of proper enforceable standards is a disgrace and has resulted in the smallest houses in Europe.

25. Should local authorities have fewer restrictions over how they spend the Infrastructure levy?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Not sure

Currently Bunbury does not directly benefit from the 106 Levy as Cheshire East takes the money and uses it on affordable housing and infrastructure. Moe push on infrastructure would benefit communities generally.

25(a). If yes, should an affordable housing ‘ring-fence’ be developed?

[Yes / No / Not sure. Please provide supporting statement.]

Yes

Critical to all rural communities.

26. Do you have any views on the potential impact of the proposals raised in this consultation on people with protected characteristics as defined in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010?

Community engagement is complex. Why you believe some sort of digital revolution is going to improve matters is the sort of lazy, cheap idea that people without real knowledge of community come up with. Direct personal involvement where opinions are sought and responded to in meetings exhibitions. Social media used by activist to engage might have some impact with some sections of society but not all.

November Parish Council Notes 2019

Bunbury Parish Council Meeting – 13 November 2019

A member of the public thanked the Parish Council for the superb organisation of the bonfire and firework display on 5 November.

Policing Issues

The Chairman reported that the future policing for the village on Remembrance Sunday is under threat due to resourcing issues. The Chief Police Officer has given notice that this will be the last year but the Police Commissioner has stated that he is keen to see such police support continue.

The Parish Council had received a list of police surgeries for the area; all held outside the village with the nearest being at Calveley.

Highways

The wording for marking on the road outside the school to identify a bus/taxi bay is still under discussion at Cheshire East Council. The erection of the parking sign for the village is also still with Cheshire East Council.

Planning Matters

19/4983N Brook View, Sadlers Wells, Bunbury CW6 9NU

Single storey rear extension, single storey link and partial garage conversion with associated alterations – Proposal for the current large garage next to the house to have a 2-bedroom extension plus a garden room at the rear. The Parish Council noted that this is a proposed extension to a recently built house and questioned the conversion of a garage to accommodation. The Parish Council did not object to the proposal but agreed to draw the Planning Officer’s attention to a recently built separate garage being linked to the main house with the addition of 2 bedrooms.

Decisions made by Cheshire East

19/3985D 21/08/2019 South (CE) Delegated Agenda Bunbury

Refused Decision Date: 29/10/019

Land off, Oak Gardens, Bunbury

Proposal Discharge of conditions 6,7,9,12,13 &;14 of existing permission

16/2010N approved under appeal; Residential

Development of 15 dwellings with associated works at Land at Oak Gardens, Bunbury, CW6 9QN

The Parish Council heard that most conditions had now been met with the exception of Condition 14 – site levels to include a full site survey across site and adjoining gardens – still remains outstanding.

New Housing Development in Bunbury

Strutt and Parker had contacted the Parish Council to update them on the two approved housing developments at Vicarage Lane and Bowes Gate Road. They are currently in consultation with Cheshire East Council concerning their proposal to move all the social housing element from the Bowes Gate Road development to Vicarage Road with the potential for the whole development at Vicarage Road to be affordable housing. The Parish Council agreed to ask the Ward Councillor to obtain more information from the Planning Officer involved and report back.

Pedestrian Issues within the village

A proposal for a pavement on a current strip of land on School Lane is under consideration following the offer of the land by the owner. The Parish Council is still awaiting advice from Cheshire East Highways on the feasibility of constructing a pavement in that location.

Playing Fields Report

The recently repaired ceiling following a water leak was showing signs of further leakage and the builder would be contacted. The Wednesday Club has asked if it will be possible to site another bench near the Pavilion for elderly walkers to sit on. The Village Day Committee had agreed to fund the bench. The potential for the replacement of the Pavilion building in the long term was discussed and initial research work would be done, including costing and funding of other village buildings such as at Eaton/Cotebrook.

Brantwood, School Lane

The Borough Councillor had spoken to a family member of the owner of Brantwood in the centre of the village and been advised that the property had now been sold subject to contract. The person also undertook to contact Environmental Health to look at the pest infestation that had been reported.

Parish Councillor’s report

A Parish Councillor had been contacted about the development at Greenway, Wyche Road not complying with planning requirements concerning the erection of screened glass and had used plain glass instead. The Parish Clerk agreed to obtain the details and contact Cheshire East Planning to clarify the situation.

Large pot holes were reported outside the new Duchy development on Wyche Lane with the suggestion that the developer should re-instate the road. The Parish Council would contact the developers direct to raise the issue.

Cheshire East Council is undertaking a consultation on its proposed 4-year budget proposals – 2020-2024 and the Parish Council agreed to respond to the consultation.

Correspondence

An e-mail has been received about a drainage problem outside a house in Wyche Lane. The Ward Councillor was investigating the problem.

Bonfire Night

The successful Bonfire Night made an income after expenditure of £1,117.

Christmas

The Christmas tree would be erected on 1 December. Crewe Brass band had confirmed that they would be attending the carols round the tree and an extra speaker was being purchased for the event.

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.

 

Hill Close Development Starts

latest Site Plan for Hill Close Development

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

Ground clearance starts on the Hill Close site. November 2018

Iinfrastructure and land clearance start on site.

 

Where have all the insects gone?

Notice anything odd about this summer? Yes, it was hot and dry. But that is not what has worried me most about this summer. Not long ago a walk in the countryside in August would be a battle to keep the bugs at bay. Much arm waving on calm days and often walkers gave up until the autumn months when it was cooler and less bug infested. Car journeys resulted in a session of cleaning the little mites off the windscreen and the front of the car. That has not been the situation this year. The bugs are disappearing and we should be worried.

The data supports this anecdotal impression. Numbers are down 75%. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

The cause of the huge decline is unclear, although the destruction of wild areas and widespread use of pesticides are the most likely factors and climate change may play a role. The scientists were able to rule out weather and changes to landscape in the reserves as causes, but data on pesticide levels has not been collected.

The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,” said Hans de Kroon, at Radboud University in the Netherlands and who led the new research.

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof. Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

 

 

 

 

 

New National Planning Policy Framework – first thoughts.

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

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

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

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

The CPRE sums this up as:

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

Can the children of Bunbury Walk or Cycle to school?

 

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

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

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

ROSPA2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).