27 Apr Planning Update – April 2017
Planning Update April 2017
Just a little update for you all. In early February we submitted a new planning application with improved ecology (in relation to birds) and also submitted an appeal to our rejected application. Both the new application and appeal are progressing and it looks like our planning board committee date is 24th May for the new application.
We would like to thank all of our supporters and local residents who took the time to leave feedback on the Cheshire East planning portal. The feedback results speak for themselves!
Total formal respondents: 438
Positive respondents: 410 (94%)
From within Cheshire East, 91% of the 264 respondents were positive.
From within Chelford, 90% of the 42 respondents were positive.
As far as we are aware, this is the most popular planning application that the Cheshire East Strategic Planning Committee have ever heard. Generally, most applications have more negative than positive comments and we cannot find any applications that have even close to 400 positive comments.
Whilst our original application had numerous council admin errors and bizarre situations, when it was finally officially refused, the reason was purely in relation to birds. There were no objections in relation to traffic, landscape, noise, use, etc. With this in mind we worked tirelessly to improve our bird mitigation and enhancement even further. This includes a number of things, for example:
– 2 brand new fixed islands created on the South Lake – creating the ideal habitat for wading birds
– 1 floating island on the South Lake
– Sandmartin banks around the South Lake
– Kingfisher tunnels on the South Lake
– Swift Towers
– Numerous plans to keep disturbance to a minimum around lake edges
– Increased reedbeds
– Wildflower meadows
– Improved hedgerows
– Ongoing bird monitoring program
– And much more
Recently we received an updated letter from the RSPB, in which their closing statement is as follows:
‘Whilst it is considered that the proposed development will be damaging to the existing biodiversity of the application site it is the RSPB’s belief that the mitigation and enhancement proposed within the Joint Response should mitigate for losses and in some areas could provide a significant enhancement in biodiversity, albeit in respect of different species, e.g. swapping importance for Little Ringed Plover, for importance for nesting Swifts.’
This is a major step forward for us, as our only reason for refusal was the impact on biodiversity. Hopefully the improved mitigation and enhancement we have proposed will help to see us win approval on 24th May.
We will keep you all informed.
Tim & the team.