Have your say on vision for Wilmslow's future

Wilmslow residents have until the end of the month to comment on the policies and aspirations of the draft Neighbourhood Plan, that will guide planning development in the town over the next 15 years.

The draft Plan, which has been two years in the making, has been drawn up by the Neighbourhood Plan Group following responses to questionnaires, group meetings and face to face meetings at local events. In addition to planning policies the plan contains a number of aspirations aimed at improving the visual aspects of the town and improving the public spaces to make the centre more user friendly - giving priority to pedestrians so it is less dominated by vehicles.

Brian Donohue, Chairman of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group said "The plan recognises the changing nature of the high streets and supports more town centre living through accommodation in apartments and smaller properties. The environment and protection of green spaces and river valleys comprises a major element of the plan, something that came over very strongly when opinion was sought."

He added "We want the residents of Wilmslow to give their views and opinions during this final period of consultation so the plan will continue to represent their views and make it a stronger and more defendable document that gets handed over to the local planning department."

The objectives outlined in the draft Neighbourhood Plan include: sustaining Wilmslow as a desirable place to live, work and play by providing new homes for all ages which address local needs; promoting Wilmslow as a thriving and diverse business community; promoting Wilmslow as a destination rich in community and leisure facilities and promoting a healthly community which has excellent access to green and open spaces.

Additionally it aims to enhance and protect Wilmslow's designated and non-designated heritage assets; creating new opportunities for biodiversity; maximising the visual quality of the town centre and creating a safe, pedestrian friendly environment and support the improvement of public transport.

The second drop in session will be held on Wednesday, 29th August, from 3pm to 7pm at the Parish Hall when members of the Neighbourhood Plan Group will be available to receive comment and answer questions.

The draft plan can be viewed on the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan website which also contains details of the process involved and the necessary supporting documentation including a consultation feedback form.

A hard copy of the plan can be seen at Wilmslow Library and at Wilmslow Parish Hall. Hard copies of the feedback form are also available at these locations.

Fuller representations on the draft Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan can also be made by submitting them to: Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan, c/o Wilmslow Town Council, Wilmslow Parish Hall, Cliff Road, SK9 4AA, or via email by no later than 31st August 2018.

Following the consultation all comments will be considered and the plan altered accordingly to produce the final submission version. Once Cheshire East have sent the plan for approval by an independent planning inspector and carried out a six week consultation then the Council will organise a referendum for the residents of Wilmslow to vote on the plan.

Images: Artist's impressions of how the town centre could be developed: improved public realm and pedestrian connections along The Rex frontage; aerial view of the town centre highlighting key initiatives, improved parking and pedestrian environment with enhanced link to the library and potential for a transformed Alderley Road and Green Lane junction with residential apartments overlooking the new public space.

Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Maureen Marner
Thursday 23rd August 2018 at 9:48 am
Although I am 72, recently moved to Wilmslow, I think it all looks wonderful, if it does all happen. Over the next 15 years, it states, when is this all going to begin.? I want to make the point over transport.. I do not drive... and like many other retired around Lacey Green, we now find we are stranded, because the local bus routes have all been suspended (and I speak on behalf of Anchor Court, Lacey Green, a retirement apartment scheme).
So although this future plan looks marvellous, what about the present????? all this money being ploughed into the future, what about now?? Retired people still like to shop and because we are still able to get around the surrounding towns, we cannot because of the transport situation. Many bus pass holders are willing to subsidise our bus pass, or pay an additional fare to help, or perhaps a small bus could be allocated locally to help the local people go shopping and visit other towns. With all these new shopping areas, surely you still need people to use them and keep them open, and without people being able to get to these towns/shops, how will they survive..???
Clive Cooksey
Thursday 23rd August 2018 at 6:55 pm
What lovely artists impressions are these imaginations from the blue sky thinkers Utopia. Theres more watercolour green sloshed of imaginary trees than an advertising campaign for the Green party. At the end of the 100 PLUS pages the bottom line is less fields more houses. I wish to God they would go away these dreamers, and leave us alone. The great minds have already over egged the amount of businesses allowed into the town. The result:~ a gigantic parking problem. I for one just want to be left alone with the great town I live in, and not have it destroyed by people telling me:- "WE know whats good for you". A close comparison to remainers (I refuse to use a Capitol letter!) telling us that the EU ogre is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Our neighbour Handforth had a similar survey in Handforth and asked for a vote, as will happen here. Less than 10% of the area bothered. A tremendous burst of apathy! Judging by the limited replies to this story, the same will happen here. Then the so called "experts" will get it passed. They can then say, "We know whats good for you." No it aint!! Go away &leave us in peace please.
Brian McGavin
Saturday 25th August 2018 at 3:34 pm
Much truth in the above comment. The 'plan' is so full of generalisations that seem easy to support but very little specific, measurable stuff on energy saving and making the centre more attractive. There are many specific issues that could be tackled here. The growing parking free-for-all and ugly street clutter, with day commuters now parking for free on pavements, blocking cycle ways and traffic movement on all through routes in the centre is not even mentioned as an issue that must be resolved urgently. There is no urgency in this long-winded, difficult to absorb wish list of generalisations.

The consultation claims "The environment and protection of green spaces and river valleys comprises a major element of the plan, something that came over very strongly when opinion was sought." The reality is that completely out of touch councillors in league with developers are intent on concreting over much of our remaining green belt to boost developer profits in the name of ever more growth. There is no regard for the added infrastructure pressure and costs this brings on schools, local health services and traffic gridlock. Or how this urban takeover of fields and green spaces will impact our long-term food security

The plan wants to see more multi level apartments built in the centre pretending to be 'affordable; when for most young people they are not. Very few Wilmslow residents want to see our still attractive town littered with new out-of-scale apartment blocks at every opportunity. Consultations on Wilmslow's future are going round in circles. Ten years ago the Wilmslow Trust put a low-cost town centre landscaping initiative to Cheshire East Council leaders that was completely ignored. I suspect much the same will happen again.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 26th August 2018 at 8:18 pm
Even the "artist's impression" appears to show parking on the pavements!!!!
David Pearce
Tuesday 28th August 2018 at 9:02 am
When we consider the apparent ongoing trajectory of key issues & trends for the town especially the choking of more and more streets with all day parked cars - in the envisaged town plan wish list - the road to hell is paved with good intentions.