Frustration that concerns over traffic problems were ignored


Members of Wilmslow Town Council have expressed their frustration that despite significant opposition from local residents and themselves, controversial plans to build 174 homes on land north of Stanneylands Road - which was released from the Green Belt following adoption of the Cheshire East Local Plan - were approved last month.

The Strategic Planning Committee voted 7 in favour and 4 against (with 1 member abstaining) for the David Wilson Homes' scheme, which includes 24 apartments and 150 houses - despite the Council receiving 815 letters objecting or commenting on the scheme.

Speaking at the Wilmslow Town Council meeting on Monday, 15th January, Cllr Christopher Dodson said "I don't know how any competent highways department could recommend that this proceed without an access from Manchester Road.

"No-one from the highways department seemed to descend that view but the decision was not helped by an unhelpful sentence in the Local Plan which states that 'access could be either from Stanneylands Road or from Manchester Road'.

"I think the only four speakers who could find their way to Wilmslow without the aid of a map were in favour of refusing permission at this stage. In the hope that, and expectation actually, that the applicant would be able to negotiate something with the garden centre in terms of access and I think that was much too readily dismissed. But the other members of the panel from Crewe and Alsager were less impressed by those arguments."

Cllr Frank McCarthy said "The very first thing we said is whatever happens on the site it cannot be allowed to come out on to Stanneylands Road. Anybody who knows that road and knows the amount of traffic on it at the moment knows it's already a problem."

He added "There will be a problem, we know there will be a problem and I find it quite upsetting that this has not been given the proper consideration."

Cllr Ian Ferguson said "I attended two walkabouts on the Stanneylands site and both times I spoke to the developer who took us round and on each occasion I raised the point of the access being from Manchester Road and on both occasions I was told it wasn't going to be there because they weren't talking and couldn't talk and wouldn't talk to the garden centre."

Cllr Angela McPake added "I don't think there is any doubt, the traffic information is flawed and it's resting on the fact that the SEMMMS road is going to have a much greater effect on Stanneylands Road than any other road in the area.

"Stanneylands is going to see a huge reduction in traffic, therefore in real terms there is going to be no increase in traffic - it makes no sense at all that this is the only road it is the case for. I think it is safe to say Cheshire East has shown little appetite for updating the information or getting another survey done. It is unbelievably frustrating."

Cllr Mark Goldsmith commented "I'd also like to add that SEMMMS was created to remove the traffic from Stanneylands and those sort of areas and not allow the council to top them back up with new developments. It's crazy, what are we paying for the SEMMMS for if thats the case."

Little Stanneylands, Planning Applications, Wilmslow Town Council


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

Pete Taylor
Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 4:52 pm
A splendid example of “localism” in action.
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 4:58 pm
The entire public consultation process is a farce and serves merely to tick the appropriate box. There's not been a single concession or compromise to reflect that CEC has taken any of the public concerns into consideration. We hand over huge sums of money for the privilege of local democracy that we don't receive. From a public perspective one has to ask the question, what is the point of CEC?
Chris Wigley
Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 5:09 pm
Likewise, the argument about congestion made by those opposed to 17/3894M the development between Sagars Road and Clay Lane in Styal with access solely in Handforth has been ignored. In this case there are going to be 250 home.

I am not sure how these two development are to meet the housing shortage in Cheshire East they are far more likely to suck in those from neighbouring authorities. Then there will be the Cheshire East expansion village/Handforth East which will dwarf both of these developments and make SEMMS and the A34 more congested
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 5:15 pm
Also Pete, yet another glaring example of Cheshire East's planning officers completely and deliberately ignoring local concerns, the major one being access to the site.
Why have they deliberately ignored the traffic access problem?
There is more afoot that the planners wish to tell. There can be no doubts they have been in cahoots with the developer and land owner over a number of years.
What is in it for them?
I doubt an FOI will reveal much because ............. (You've probably guessed).
Sheila Grindrod
Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 8:50 pm
I would think that the DEC would listen to Wilmslow Council these are the people who are local to the area, know the problems that exist within our area. These are the people together with the public from the area that should be listened to. The four on the CEC who rejected are also to be thanked for speaking up against an idea that quite obviously had not been thought out thoroughly or options taken into account rather money in brown envelopes for various schemes being handed over spoke louder than any common sense. This area will be damaged beyond repair when CEC are finished with it.
Robert Bracegirdle
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 1:17 am
2.2 cars per household average. Work it out.
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 8:50 am
This development was wrong on so many issues - not least because it did not fulfill the criteria in the Local Plan. Heathfield Farm is going in the identical direction, with all the issues swept untder the carpet whilst Cheshire East continues to genuflect to the wishes of developers. Don't get me wrong, some level of housing may be appropriate in this area, but the current application - which uses safeguarded land is wrong, as is the positioning of "open space" off - site.
Toni Fox
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 4:48 pm
As a member of the Strategic Planning Board who moved to refuse this application I remain disgusted, and quite frankly stupified, by the decision of the single Liberal Democrat and six Conservative members of the Committee who approved it.

The planning application failed to meet several significant Council Policies, recently approved in the adoption of the Local Plan. It failed to meet the fundamental justification for the inclusion of this site in the Local Plan and a detailed requirement, the basis, of how the development would be achieved.

A senior planning officer supported my view that should an appeal be lodged if the planning application were refused the Council would have solid grounds on which to fight an appeal.

An appalling decision made by Conservative Party members who have demonstrated consistently since the approval of the Local Plan that they will approve each and every planning application on the site allocations within it, irrespective of the impact on exisiting and future residents.

So much for "Residents First".

Councillor Toni Fox - Independent
Dean Row ward - Wilmslow
Jim Griffith
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 5:33 pm
Can Sheila Grindrod provide the evidence for this claim 'money in brown envelopes for various schemes being handed over spoke louder than any common sense'. It cannot go unchallenged. If our councillors or officials are being bribed it is a very serious matter. Justify or withdraw.
Brian Tolver
Thursday 18th January 2018 at 10:09 pm
This decision is so similar to the one in Handforth - the CS49 Sagars Road/Clay Lane site. That was also Green Belt, was included in the Local Plan at the last minute, makes no sense in terms of its location, and will be dreadful from the traffic point of view.

Until we start to get a new balance of power in Cheshire East, this will continue. The current outfit can do anything they choose: the only way this will change is if we voters bring the change about at the ballot box.
Manuel Golding
Friday 19th January 2018 at 3:18 pm
I must applaud Residents of Wilmslow's (RoW) very own Cllr Toni Fox for all her hard & diligent investigative work which enable her, as the one and only Wilmslow CEC councillor, who fully understands the mounting anger across Wilmslow, in Handforth also, at the cowardly, sycophantic , party first, behaviour of the other four CEC councillors, all four being Conservative Party apparatchiks. These four councillors sole object is to do the leadership's bidding, the voters' concerns are not their concerns. Their mantra is "Party before voters"

Time is coming for a change.

My long time observational criticisms of the 4 Cons extends to numerous areas of local concerns, in which they rarely bother to show interest or try to achieve results for their voters.

As time goes on, RoW is being increasingly contacted by frustrated residents seeking help to address their various concerns. Many have now given up on the 4 Cons.
We have the proof positive that the 4 Cons party hacks, voting fodder, are not interested in their voters. This is why RoW is a fully independent group, no party affiliations whatsoever, solely dedicated to working for the voters - "People before party"!

This is why RoW will be fielding candidates for all the CEC wards next time of asking.
If you are truly fed up with the 4 Conservatives we have currently and believe you can make a difference to the town's betterment and interested in joining us at RoW, then please call us on either 07930 377778 or 07846 082660.
Birgitta Hoffmann
Friday 19th January 2018 at 5:06 pm
We spend the last year on the A34 on a traffic gridlock with the building of the new "relief Road", and now we have two developments that are going to insure that this is a permanent feature. I am not against development, but Cheshire East is determined to allow as many houses as possible without any consideration to infrastructure improvements, be that sensible road access, school places or medical provision. Cheshire East is a large county and it is a drive to come from Nantwich, Crewe and Alsager to see the mess that is happening on the north side. But surely, if we are able to go and look at their problems, it would have been not too much to ask to get yourself informed, before approving this shambles.
Anna Meadmore
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 4:51 pm
OK - so what can we as an independent, considered and reasonable body of affected residents do about this specific issue?
Is it all legal, given the very apparent lack of supporting infrastructure, road access etc., especially as the MARR road may now also be delayed.
If the developers could have launched an appeal against a CEC refusal, could an appeal be launched against a CEC approval? Can it work both ways?
Jim Griffith
Monday 22nd January 2018 at 8:17 am
Birgitta Hoffmann. 'without any consideration to infrastructure improvements ... school places'. Really? Just read the documents, e.g. Education on 8 November 2017 for Children Services detailed analysis of the impact and the £499K contribution required from the developer.
Monday 22nd January 2018 at 10:21 am
Jim- of course Cheshire East demand their monies for education, road improvements etc, but they do this on a "case by case" basis. It is the cumulative effects of all the developments. At what stage will Wilmslow High say that they can't take any more students because there is physically no more room to expand the school. What are the solutions to improving/changing the A34 and Manchester roads because these are the only routes into Manchester? What are the solutions to dealing with the growing problem of foul drainage and surface water run off across the whole area?
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 at 5:32 pm
Anna Meadmore - you ask what can independent bodies do about the wide ranging borough wide issues and concerns that we see occurring from within the confines of CEC?

The initial answer is to join such an independent group as Residents of Wilmslow. We at RoW are committed to making CEC and our majority party councillors responsive to local people's concerns, in our case the people of Wilmslow. We now have councillors strongly putting forward Wilmslow's case, without any political party's spin on decision making. The next part of the equation is to talk to RoW if you are a) interested in standing as a RoW candidate and b) if not, will you be willing to offer support via various means?

I posted the following above a few days ago - "....RoW will be fielding candidates for all the CEC wards next time of asking. If you are truly fed up with the 4 Conservatives we have currently and believe you can make a difference to the town's betterment and interested in joining us at RoW, then please call us on....07930 377778..."

I await your call!
Jim Griffith
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 8:21 pm
Jackie Pass

In reply to your question, presumably at the stage when the school really cannot take more the Education Department will produce a report saying just that. In the meantime my point is that contributors here often have not read the plan and make random comments about traffic volumes, trees, etc all of which are covered in the application. The 'give no consideration to such issues' charge is not true. There are often good reasons to refuse applications but opposing almost any change is not helpful to a developing society.