Appeal lodged over car park plan


A local businessman has lodged an appeal against Cheshire East Council over failure to make a decision regarding his plans for a new car park which he says will not totally resolve the parking crisis in Wilmslow but is a step in the right direction.

Mike Cooksey of Village Heritage Homes applied to build a car park on land he owns to the rear of Heald Court on Hawthorn Lane at the beginning of the year, however the Council has still not given notice of a decision.

The site, which lies within a conservation area and is designated as residential land, has been vacant for almost 30 years.

The proposed car park would provide around 90 long stay spaces which are intended for business contract users. However, it may be possible to use some or all of the spaces for public parking at weekends.

Michael Cooksey has requested a hearing stating "The hearing is necessary to question the Council's parking policies, past and present and how it has sought to implement these and the success it has had."

Approximately 120 objections from local residents have been submitted against plans to create a new car park on land to the rear of Heald Court on Hawthorn Lane.

The concerns raised by local residents include: it is not in keeping with the conservation area, increased volume of traffic in a residential area where the roads are 'already log jammed' during the school runs and evening rush hour, it is detrimental to the amenity of the Carrs Park, narrowness of the entrance to Heald Court will cause issues with visibility, the owner could apply to change the use of the site for future development, a commercial venture in a conservation area is a contradiction and there are other more suitable sites - including adding capacity to Broadway Meadow car park.

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council Planning Portal using reference 20/0182M. The last date for submitting comments on the appeal is December 30th.

Car Park, Hawthorne Lane, Planning Applications


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

Rick Andrews
Tuesday 15th December 2020 at 10:54 am
Two things- conservation area, and designated for housing. No mention of commercial use or car parking. Would just become another venue for anti social behaviour, litter, overgrown shrubs and worse.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 5:37 am
When are inept councillors going to grab the nettle and sort the parking problem out. There are no spaces, no enforcement and no clue.

I get the feeling this isn’t going through for a few reasons

1 a local councillor lives here, nimbyism at it worst.

2. It’s not the councils idea, so they will never go for it.

3. The councillors just keep kicking this problem down the road. Look at Alderley edge.

The shops need people to come to Wilmslow to spend money and keep our families in work. That’s need car parking. And two free days in December on the council car parks to shows out of touch these clowns are.

They have shut the shops, charge car Users to come here, and then never supply enough parking for when everything opens.

What hope has the town centre got?
Beatrice Turler
Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 5:55 pm
The council does indeed need to grasp the nettle, not by allowing this plan, but by providing parking facilities in a suitable place such as Broadway Meadow. Nimbyism does not enter into it. All the arguments against this development cited above are valid.
Raymond James Wallace
Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 6:38 pm
At least Mike Cooksey has put forward a workable proposal, no one else has managed to come up with anything as far as I am aware, and as for Cheshire East, Hell could freeze over before they come up with a plan. The problem seems to be lack of space and land, and this chap has got both, I don’t know the ins and outs but let’s give the man a chance to put his case forward and tell people his plans and allay people’s worries.
Rick Andrews
Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 9:47 pm
Wrong location and completely impractical layout aimed at making maximum return. Better to allow much needed affordable housing on the site.
Commuting and car parking are as relevant to the future of business as canals and stagecoaches. The future is working from home, and virtual meetings. Office developments will also stand empty. Wake up people, smell the coffee, think how you are reading this. Not in an office and no car involved. No new car park spaces required.
James MacDonald
Wednesday 16th December 2020 at 10:04 pm
We don’t need more car parks. We need more people to leave the car behind and learn to use their legs to propel themselves.
Gary Weir
Thursday 17th December 2020 at 10:23 am
Absolutely agree James, see also Cheshire East Environment Strategy published in May of this year, setting a target to become carbon neutral by 2025 with the stated goal of reducing car travel by encouraging active travel schemes and significantly improving public transport........
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 29th December 2020 at 9:56 am
Just to let everyone know that I have lodged my objections to this application, which are below.

"There is no need for additional parking in Wilmslow. Since lockdown on March 23rd 2020, the town centre office staff have been working from home and any special issues that the applicant thinks might have once warranted this car park have now disappeared. How many of office staff will return after the pandemic and the parking they may require is purely speculative.

However, even in this eventuality Cheshire East is planning to increase long-term parking on its Broadway Meadow site in conjunction with plans for a new hotel nearby. The capacity of this site can be flexed upwards to accommodate all anticipated need. Independently, of this Network Rail are now planning to increase parking capacity at the train station. Finally, an additional 30 parking spaces will be created at the Leisure Centre from a more efficient layout of the parking bays.

Therefore, there is no exceptional need for a new car park in a conservation area. Not now, nor in the future.

- Hawthorn Lane is already a very busy residential road that acts as a cut through to bypass the town centre. It already gets too much traffic and attracting more cars to it would be detrimental to the area.
- Cars entering / leaving this site onto Hawthorn Lane would cause additional traffic congestion.
- The car park would be visible from the Carrs public park, so would be detrimental to the scene and the 90 cars a day, with their subsequent emissions would be harmful to the environment.
- Access to this site is via the residential block of Heald Court. This is not designed to accommodate 90 cars a day driving in such close proximity to their homes.
- An approval would set a precedent for further back garden development in this area.

This is the applicants 5th attempt to build on this land. The previous 4 applications were for housing. Having permission for a car park would make it easier to build housing on this site, which is clearly the applicants preferred choice. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the car park will even be built if the application is granted."

In addition to my comments, the Cheshire East planning officer also objects saying:

"It would fail to comply with policies SD2, SE1 and SE7 of the CELP (2010-2030),
Wilmslow Neighbourhood plan- H2 (character) and Paragraph 192 of the NPPF"

It is now up to the governments Planning Inspector to decide, so it is out of our hands. However, if they approve this then we might as well give up on planning and allow everyone to build whatever they want, wherever they want.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Lisa Reeves
Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 1:10 pm
The appeal has been withdrawn.