The Wilmslow Civic Trust

Dedicated to preserving a pleasant environment in the Wilmslow Area

Newsletters

 

Newsletter April 2018


We hope you will find our programme of talks, walks and events both interesting and informative, as well as supportive of our role in fostering interest in Wilmslow’s civic life and the maintenance and creation  of a pleasant environment.

Our Winter Programme(2017-18) continued in January with a most illuminating talk on the work of the Information Commissioner’s Office which is situated in Wycliffe Avenue.  In February, we were given an interesting insight into the operation of Styal Prison.  March saw Marianne Ridley describing some of her findings in her work on the digitisation of the Trust’s Millenium Project and showing the extent of change in the town centre over the last 18 years.  ‘Full houses’ appreciated the efforts of all those speakers.

Forthcoming Programme(2018)

Wed. 18 April.  Talk: ‘Wilmslow High School: Present and  Future’.  James Pullé, Headteacher. Venue: Wilmslow Library.

Wed. 23 May.    Visit: Gorton Monastery, Manchester.  Arr. 11a.m.  Refreshments  available by purchase.  11.30: Illustrated Talk  12.30: Lunch(soup, sandwiches, tea/coffee)  1.30: Guided Tour – followed by time for members to look around in their own way.  Please book a place by 8 May preferably by e-mail (keithosborne@wilmslowcivictrust.org.uk) or by telephone message(01980 863898).  If by message, applicant should leave their name and tel. number.  Charge: £15 per person.  After confirmation of place, cheques payable to The Wilmslow Civic Trust and sent to Keith Osborne at 13, Parkway, Wilmslow SK9 1LS.

Wed. 20 June.   Guided Walk – Return to Fulshaw Park.  For members and guests who failed to obtain a place in 2017.  Contact Ray Acton on ra@wilmslowcivictrust.org.uk or on 01625-418771.  Please give name and tel. number if requesting a place by ‘phone.  Meet 50 yards into unadopted road off Knutsford Rd (by ‘The Firs) at 7pm.

Thu. 19 July.   Visit: The Manchester Homes of Mrs Gaskell and Mrs Pankhurst:
Please complete the tear off slip below (even if you have previously expressed interest) and send it with your cheque to the address shown as soon as possible (09 July 18 latest).

Morning: Mrs Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester M13 9LW, 0161 273 2215
Web site: www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk
Suggested arrival time: 09:45
By car: M13 9LW – general parking on street max 3 hours
By train / bus: www.nationalrail.co.uk to Manchester Piccadilly > Oxford Road Stn > bus along Oxford Rd > walk.
By bus: 130 bus to Upper Brook St / Plymouth Grove

10:00 Private tour starts, fully accessible all floors
11:00 – 12:00 self guided look around / self purchase coffee etc.
12:00 Lunch served in the Servants’ Hall
13:00 (approx) leave, 10 min walk or lift to:-

Afternoon: The Pankhurst Centre, 60/62 Nelson St, Manchester M13 9WP, 0161 273 5673
Web site: www.thepankhurstcentre.org.uk
No parking, try MRI or Aquatics centre. No catering. Not fully accessible.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………Tear
Please return this tear off slip asap (09 July latest), together with a cheque made payable to Wilmslow Civic Trust, to Rob Sharpe, 16 Hawthorn Grove, Wilmslow SK9 5DE

WILMSLOW CIVIC TRUST VISIT TO MRS GASKELL / MRS PANKHURST
I/we wish to reserve place(s) below:

 

Number

£ each

£

WCT Member with lunch

 

£15.00

 

WCT Member no lunch

 

£7.00

 

Guest with lunch

 

£18.00

 

Guest no lunch

 

£10.00

 

I/we are able to offer _______ number of lifts
I/we are interested in accepting _______ number of lifts, if available

I/we enclose a cheque payable to Wilmslow Civic Trust        £____________
Name:                                            Address:

 

Thu. 2 Aug.   Guided Walk – History in the Chapel Lane Area.   Ray Acton(see 20 June, above,for contact details)  Meet 50 yards into Fulshaw Avenue at 7pm. (No parking on Fulshaw Ave).

Wed. 19 Sep.  Talk: ‘Fracking Shale for Oil and Gas – the Myths, the Truth, the Future’.  Dr Peter Webb, energy consultant operating worldwide.NB Venue: United Reformed Church, Alderley Rd

Wed. 17 Oct.  Talk: ‘The End of World War One in Wilmslow’ Ray Acton. Wilmslow Library.
All talks begin at 7.45pm.  Open to the public.  Non-members: £2 at the door

 

Membership.  Many thanks to those Life Members who continue to send voluntary donations.  There are a few Annual Members’ subscriptions outstanding –hence the accompanying Subscription Renewal Form.  Please ignore this if you have already paid your 2018 subscription – or, better, use it to recruit a new member.

Planning.  Your Executive Committee has continued to comment on planning applications and has raised strong objections to Royal London’s plans for the areas to the east and west of Alderley Rd.  Taking this land out of Green Belt was never satisfactorily justified and we feel that local people have been let down badly by the approval for development given by CEC’s Strategic Planning Board on 28 Feb 2018.

Requests:

Lindow Common Advisory Group.  The Trust has long been represented on this body in order to present a ‘public user’s view’ on what is/is not happening on the Common, given that it was donated to the people of Wilmslow but later became a SSSI in which Natural England has a considerable stake.  If you, the reader, would like to maintain the Trust voice on this group, please contact our Chairman, Stuart Kinsey, on 01625 529739.

Secretaryship.  We are currently running the Trust with no Secretary.  The duties are on the whole routine, the Executive Committee meets only about half a dozen times a year and more major tasks, like maintenance of membership lists, would continue to be shared.  If you are interested, please contact Stuart Kinsey (01625 529739) to work out the part you would be willing to play in helping to run and further develop the Trust.

Design Award.  We have received several nominations of local buildings (or parts thereof) completed in 2017.  The closing date for submissions is 30 April 2018.  Let us know the address and why you consider it worthy……and we’ll take it from there (Martin Hoyle on 01625 525068).
                                                                                               Ray and Kath Acton

Newsletter September 2017


Welcome to all our readers and especially to our new members.

Our Summer Visits Programme (2017) proved varied and popular – ranging from the local (Fulshaw Park Walk and the Upper Garden at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal) to the more distant (Norton Priory, Runcorn and Ordsall Hall, Salford).  Many thanks to Christopher Dodson and Rob Sharpe.

Our Winter Programme (2017-18):
Wednesday, 18 October 2017: ‘Police Community Engagement and what it means for Wilmslow’.
Wednesday, 17 January 2018: To be announced in the Dec. Newsletter.  We are hoping to arrange a talk by the Information Commissioner.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018:  ‘Running a Modern-Day Prison’ – a talk by Mahala McGuffie, Governor of Styal Prison.
Wednesday, 21 March 2018:  Short AGM followed by a presentation of the Trust’s Millennium Project (see below).
Wednesday, 18 April 2018:  ‘Wilmslow High School’ – a talk by Dr James Pulle, Headteacher.
Venue:  After our recent experiment of meeting in the Information Room at Wilmslow Library, we have decided to revert to the Library’s Meeting Room.  Refreshments will be served on arrival (from 7.30) and all meetings will start at 7.45pm.

Planning Matters:  Your Executive has objected to aspects of application 17/2117M to demolish ‘Fernleigh’ and ‘Aysgarth (Alderley Rd) for apartments, plus a house to the rear (end of Greenway).  The demolition –now stopped – was illegal as the application had not received Councillors’ approval (still awaited). We also submitted a detailed response to the Royal London Draft Development Framework – in which we indicated its many flaws and inconsistencies.  We found it unacceptable regarding loss of trees and open spaces, traffic issues, house targets and much more.  We believe that residents deserve more than a token ‘we-hear-you’ and that the document should be redrafted  before it could be considered a sound policy statement.

We have also been indirectly involved in objections to a proposed house on Old Road (near the Parish Hall) and are anticipating an application for housing on the site of Heathfield Farm, Dean Row.  In addition, we all need to examine carefully the highly-contentious Stanneylands Road application for 174 houses(Ref. 17/452/M : closing date 5 Oct).  We would be grateful if members could report (to Stuart Kinsey, 01625-529739) all planning applications which they consider to be of concern to the Executive.  We have responded to the consultation on Cheshire East’s Review of Supported Local Bus Services – as the Council seeks to reduce subsidies to local services.  Thanks to all those members who responded as individuals.

The Trust’s Millennium Project involved making a large photographic collection to record the buildings and roads of Wilmslow – and especially the town’s businesses.  We have decided to organise the images with details of buildings, ownership information and a commentary.  We have supported MMU student Marianne Ridley with a small grant to help carry out this work and prepare a presentation referred to above.  It is already proving to be an invaluable resource to show the changes in the town since 2000.  We hope that eventually it will be available in the Library and at Chester Record Office.

The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan.  The ‘Emerging Polices’ have been published and are still subject to consultation which closes on 30 September.  These policy suggestions are based on an earlier consultation when the public expressed views on the Town Centre, Leisure, Transport, the Natural Environment, the Townscape, Heritage and Housing.  The Executive has responded for the Trust but there is still time for Trust members to respond as individuals.  See www.wilmslownp.org.uk for an on-line return or, for a paper response, call at the Library and return the questionnaire to the Clerk at the Parish Hall, Cliff Rd. Wilmslow.

Editors : Ray and Kath Acton
September  2017

Late item: Please look at Royal London’s latest application (17/4469M)on the ChesEast website. It concerns car parking and a new road on to Alderley Rd nearly opposite to Donkey Lane.

Newsletter April 2017


OUR WINTER PROGRAMME     The talk by Richard Briggs and Jacqui Bilsborough (The Lindow Trust) and that by Ray Acton (Wilmslow 1916) were well-attended and produced lively question sessions. The AGM attracted 35 members who heard Brendon Flanagan’s excellent survey of work in progress and future projects at Tatton Park.

MEMBERSHIP   We were sorry to hear of the passing of Mr and Mrs Bob Hemmings who assisted the Trust in many different ways over the years.

AGM Our Chairman, Stuart Kinsey, presented Roger Bugler with a framed, signed photograph as a token of thanks for over 30 years’ service as Treasurer.  Roger’s stewardship has been marked by careful attention to detail and conscientiousness in all his dealings for the Trust.  We wish him well.  Keith Osborne has been elected Treasurer but the Trust still requires a Secretary.  This is not an onerous job as many tasks are taken on by Committee members.  We do hope that a Trust Member will come forward to help out.  Martin Hoyle and Christopher Dodson remain Trustees.  We are seeking a third Trustee to replace Roger Bugler.  Any Members who would be interested in helping the Trust by participating in a small review of our activities two or three times a year should contact Stuart Kinsey 01625-529739.

WEBSITE: We trust that you have found the new website more friendly.  Look up reports of events and browse through our image collection.  Members can also view our response to Cheshire East’s Site Allocation document which proposes a process for earmarking future  development sites.

 

SUMMER PROGRAMME FOR MEMBERS AND THEIR GUESTS:

THURSDAY 8 JUNE:  Quarry Bank Upper Garden, Styal.  2.15pm at carpark entrance.  NT members free. Non-NT (payable on day) £17.10 (covers whole-site).  Option of afternoon tea(self-pay).  A good opportunity to view and understand the restored glasshouse – and much more.  Further details/apply: Christopher Dodson 01625-528829 or dodson@wilmslowcivictrust.org.uk or 17 Carrwood Rd SK9 5DJ. Early application advised.

TUESDAY 4 JULY:  Norton Priory, Runcorn.  Guided Tour.  Assemble 10.30a.m.  Provisional details: £5 per member, £7 per guest.  A chance to gain insights into a well- excavated monastic site(including unique gardens).

WEDNESDAY 2 AUGUST:  Guided Walk round Fulshaw Park led by Ray Acton.  Join for 7pm start from the rough road (off Knutsford Rd) by ‘The Firs’ apartments.  Parking along the rough road beyond our start point.  A chance to see where the ‘Manchester Men and Women’ lived from 1860.  Short distance walk.  Group size: 16 maximum.  Book early.  01625-527198 or ra@wilmslowcivictrust.org.uk

TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER:  Visit to Ordsall Hall, Salford.  Morning visit.  Members £5, guests £7.  Lunch available(self-pay).  Grade 1 Listed Building – Tudor Manor House and Gardens.  An amazing survivor in the city.  Full details from Rob Sharpe (address and e-mail above).

 

PLANNING APPLICATIONS:

Hillside Nursing Home, Adlington Rd.  The Trust objected to an application(16/6225M) to demolish and build 14 apartments.  We also objected to a scheme(17/0841M) to demolish and build on a corner plot on Harefield Drive. Both decisions pending.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN:  The Trust has responded to a consultation and aired its beliefs and thoughts on all the important topics – provision of services, transport , education, green spaces and so on.  We have ensured that all nationally and locally-listed properties and sites plus our recent list of properties now awaiting CheshireEast’s acceptance have been recorded within the plan.  See our website for the Trust’s submission.

IN BRIEF:  At the AGM, Ned Spencer spoke briefly about the ‘ Beating the Bounds’ event on 21 May in support of the E. Cheshire Hospice.
Our meeting on 19 April (on the Neighbourhood Plan) is to be held in the Library’s Information Room for more space, with refreshments on arrival.  We hope this will avoid the age-old ‘half-time scrimmage’.
On  4 April 2017, the Executive Committee agreed to sponsor one of eight gates to be erected around Lindow Common to prevent motorised intruders.
Our Life Members and Annual Members now total 212

Submission to Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan


Wilmslow Civic Trust welcome the opportunity offered by the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish of Wilmslow and having consulted with the membership the Executive Committee offer the following comments for incorporation within the Plan.

Consideration must address the town as a whole and whilst we address specific aspects below, they overlap and will therefore inform each other.

A HEALTH

Provision should be made for sustainable medical centres appropriate and adjacent to the sites identified in the evolving Local Plan Strategy and addressed by the Neighbourhood Plan. That is to say consideration should be given to such provision in the approval of developments so that there should be sufficient surgery capacity for the people who will be living in the area.

B EMPLOYMENT

Provision should be made for continuing and potential expansion and appropriate mix of office, retail and small manufacturing. Consideration should be given for alternative uses of longstanding vacant commercial premises and appropriate mixed use of residential above retail / office.
Transport consideration should reflect the employment needs and strategy.

C EDUCATION

The Neighbourhood Plan should address the potential need for additional student places whether by new build or re-commissioning of existing premises, such as the Oakenclough School at Dean row. It should influence allocation of funds provided under S106 / CIL with regard to education.

D LEISURE

Indoor / Town Centre Leisure

The Plan should address aspirations of residents seeking to enjoy a cultural and recreational centre; care must be taken to preserve and improve existing facilities.
Future development should encourage the sense of community and maintain the wider facilities currently offered by the Library service.

Outdoor Leisure

The Neighbourhood Plan should establish a hierarchy of local parish provision, ranging from large open space such as The Carrs through to smaller area provision such as the recreation ground on Gravel Lane. Policies should ensure facilities and access for all ages.
The Plan should also establish a fair balance of leisure opportunities in the evening economy, for example providing facilities for such activities as bowls, pitch & put and cricket.

E NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

The Neighbourhood Plan should support and encourage the maintenance of Lindow Common SSSI and ensure adequate consideration of the ecology of the area and resolve the need to preserve the ecology of Lindow Moss. It should also support the maintenance and enhance the state of the pathway along the Bollin Valley.

F HOUSING

The Neighbourhood Plan should assess and provide for the needs and demands of the existing population for housing. It should ensure the fit between these needs and the current housing provision.
The Plan should address the aspirations of those wishing to move to the next market level (whether up-sizing or down-sizing) and those wishing to enter the housing market for the first time.
Needs and demands identified in the Neighbourhood Plan should be considered and incorporated into briefs for identified sites prior to house builders preparing their applications.
The Plan should be cognisant of and pay regard to the Cheshire East Residential Design Guide.
Crucially the urban design of the town as a whole, whether green or built environment, should set the scene and welcome and inform users of the town at the main gateways and along its main approaches. This is particularly important for key components e.g. the Carrs or the Town Centre.

G TOWN CENTRE

The Neighbourhood Plan should encourage creation of an attractive multi-function town centre able to compete with and complement the neighbouring towns and villages. The multi-function should include and encourage provision for residential use in the town centre and ensure that sites with potential for development or redevelopment to aid diversity of the centre, will be identified.

The plan should investigate the long term aims of the main pedestrian generators, which form the backbone of the current structure, namely the larger retail businesses, the leisure centre and Wilmslow High School particularly in respect of their relationship with public transport. This will ensure consideration is given to ensure convenient access for pedestrians within the centre.
The Plan needs to identify current need for change and ensure flexibility so that the town can respond and adapt to future needs. This will ensure convenience of access for pedestrians, cyclists and all modes of transport with appropriate levels of parking provision. Further aspects of transport are considered below.
The Neighbourhood Plan should recognise the importance of the smaller shopping areas within the Parish, such as Chapel Lane, Lacey Green and Summerfields which will continue to meet local needs and those of future developments.
The Plan should encourage improvement in the visual setting and character of the public domain of the centre. This may be by means of introducing urban design ideas which can be developed to suit the different scales for the elements of the town centre.
The Neighbourhood Plan should encourage an increase in the use of town centre premises for community activities.

H TRANSPORT

The Neighbourhood Plan should explore the range of potential changes to the road network aimed at improving all aspects of traffic movement in and through the town by assessing and assigning existing and future traffic projections to the road network for the base date and 2030.
The Plan should ensure that in all aspects of planning, sufficient provision should be made for increased demand for off road parking.
The Plan should ensure discussions take place with service providers regarding extensions to their service network which will cater for new development proposals.
The Plan should encourage the provision of a central transport facility, such as a rail and bus interchange, whilst ensuring that this does not impact adversely on users or the ease of access to the town centre.
The likely impact of HS2 on the current local and express train services from and to Wilmslow and the station’s reduced importance in the future, needs to be addressed in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The implications of the Neighbourhood Plan transport proposals should be assessed whilst in draft form and appropriate options for adjustments should be considered. Likewise the proposals should assess the implications of developments proposed beyond the Parish boundary.

I COMMUNITY

This should be an all embracing consideration in every aspect of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan should open opportunities for developments that would further the sense of community within Wilmslow whilst retaining the best of current facilities. Such areas will enable people of various ages and interests to convene safely both formally (e.g. special interest groups) or informally.

J HERITAGE

The Neighbourhood Plan should respect and enhance the heritage assets and pay regard to the information provided and maintained by the Wilmslow Civic Trust and similar interest groups.
The Neighbourhood Plan should promote the visitor value of the heritage assets.  

 

THE WILMSLOW CIVIC TRUST NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2017

A Happy New Year to all our readers. Following our new title – the Wilmslow Civic Trust – we have a new logo, for which we thank Rosemary Stubbs.

logo

Our Winter Programme began with an interesting and well-illustrated talk by Anna Russell who described in detail the plans for the redesign and expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport. This was very well attended despite the last-minute change of venue.

The programme continues with:

Wed. 18 January 2017 Wilmslow 1916

Ray Acton will look at the ways in which the village responded to the stresses and strains of a long war.

Wed. 15 February 2017

The Lindow (Workhouse)Trust. Richard Briggs (Chairman) and Jacqui Bilsborough (former clerk) will explain the Trust's background and its continuing work to relieve poverty. This is an interesting story of how a body founded in Wilmslow in 1773 has held on to its purpose within the growth of the Welfare State.

Wed. 15 March 2017

A short AGM will be followed by a talk, given by Brendan Flanagan, on recent developments at Tatton Park and future plans for this National Trust estate.

Wed 19 April 2017

The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan. Brian Donohoe will give a talk and lead a discussion on developments to date and on future plans. Throughout this planning process, full consultation with the public is essential. It affects all of us. This is a good opportunity to have your say.

All meetings start at 7.45pm at Wilmslow Library. Refreshments. Public welcomed. Non-members £2 at the door.


For latest developments, check our website, now redesigned following good work by Jill Dodson and Rob Sharpe.

www.wilmslowcivictrust.org.uk

Registered Charity:500319


Subscriptions

The annual reminder is despatched with this Newsletter. Subscriptions from Annual Members for the calendar year are now due by 8th February 2017. Subscriptions not received by the AGM on 15 March 2017 will result in lapsed membership.


AGM: 15 March 2017 at Wilmslow Library

The Executive Committee members are: Stuart Kinsey(Chairman), Roger Bugler(Treasurer), Ray Acton, Rhona Beenstock, Hugh Cannings, Chris Fasciato, Martin Hoyle , Keith Osborne, Rob Sharpe and Peter Stubbs. All are eligible for re-election. A seconded written and signed nomination for any of these positions would be welcomed and should be in the hands of the Chairman(contact through 01625-529739) It should show full names, addresses and tel. numbers of both nominee and proposer.


Design Award Nominations

Given that one of our purposes is to improve our community's environment, we hope that members will draw to our attention the design of any building or part thereof completed in 2016 which is considered to be a pleasing and appropriate addition to the Wilmslow scene. This would be considered by the Executive Committee for a Wilmslow Civic Trust Design Award. Closing date: 30 April 2017.


Neighbourhood Plan

Our representatives(Hugh Cannings, Martin Hoyle and Rob Sharpe) inform us that feedback from the first public questionnaire should be available early in 2017 and that the emerging ideas which affect the town centre and facilities should form the basis of a second public consultation – probably in the Spring or Summer, 2017. We are already considering a special meeting for members to express their views and there will be another opportunity on 19 April 2017 (see Winter Programme, above).


Planning Applications

Recent objections to the following have been made by the Trust: 16/5382M 'Rosegarth, 51, Adlington Road and 16/5610M Car Wash by the King's Arms, Alderley Road.

We are very disappointed at the result of the Inspector's examination of the Local Plan and will continue to work for an improved outcome.

Editors: Ray and Kath Acton.

NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2016

Welcome to the first Newsletter under our new title adopted at the 2016 AGM. We hope that it will give a clear idea of what the Trust aims to encourage. 

We thank Christopher Dodson for his services as Chairman and at the same time welcome him as the Wilmslow Town Council representative on our Executive Committee. We are pleased that Cheshire East Council has appointed Craig Browne as its representative. We welcome our new Chairman, Stuart Kinsey.

Our Summer Visits Programme (2016) proved varied and popular, with visits to Gawsworth Hall, Avro Woodford, Old Wilmslow (History Walk) and the Salt Works Museum at Marston,nr Northwich. Our publicity is reaching out globally; the History walk attracted a lady from Canada, though it is possible that she had crossed the Atlantic for additional reasons.

Our Winter Programme will as usual be held at Wilmslow Library at 7.45pm. Admission is free to members, £2 for non-members. The programme of talks ranges over Wilmslow Past,Present and Future. Please make a note of the dates:- 
Wed. 19 Oct 2016 : Manchester Airport Anna Russell, Head of Communications at the airport, will talk about plans for future development. 
Wed. 18 January 2017 : Wilmslow 1916 Ray Acton will look at the ways in which the village responded to the increasing stresses and strains of a long war.
Wed. 15 Feb 2017 : to be detailed in the January Newsletter.
Wed. 15 March 2017 : AGM and Speaker (to be detailed in the January Newsletter).
Wed. 19 April 2017 : The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Talk and discussion led by Brian Donohoe, Neighbourhood Plan Chairman. (See item below).

Our Summer Visits Programme (2017) will run from June to September and consist of visits and a new History Walk in Wilmslow. Further details in the newsletters of January and May, 2017.

The Cheshire East Local Plan : the Inspector’s Hearings have been resumed and those concerning specific site allocations in Wilmslow are scheduled for 13-14 October.

The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan is occupying around 30 local people (including 3 members of the Trust’s Executive). It covers the whole of the parish and seeks to plan to meet local needs and aspirations in housing , transport, natural environment, education, employment, leisure, health services and town centre facilities. 
For more information please see http://www.wilmslownp.org.uk
Members should book Wednesday, 19 April 2017 (see Winter Programme, above).

Our archives currently occupy a filing cabinet which is about to lose its space. Could any member please give it a home? If you feel you are able to help, please ring Stuart Kinsey on 01625-529739.

We are keeping the annual subscription at £10 (family £15) which, seen alongside rising costs elsewhere, represents really good value. Members are reminded that their membership is on a calendar year basis. Any late payment for the current year should be made to the Treasurer, Roger Bugler, 1, Lacey Grove, Wilmslow, SK9 4BJ – cheques being payable to ‘The Wilmslow Civic Trust’.

Our new A4 poster is about to be displayed locally, featuring an image of the Friends’ Meeting House, Bourne St. Our free Trail Maps are still available at several locations including local libraries.

We were saddened to hear of the death of Barbara Bell, widow of Professor James Bell. Barbara will be remembered as a tireless worker behind the scenes, helping to make our meetings successful.

Ray and Kath Acton.

 

NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2016 

We are publishing our Spring Newsletter earlier this year so that members may have longer notice of events. 

It also gives details of the forthcoming AGM on 16 March. We have included a nomination slip for you to nominate a person for the Executive Committee vacancies. This committee meets in members’ homes on Tues evenings about 9 times a year. At its most recent meeting it covered the proposed name-change(see below), membership recruitment, the programme of events, the progress made in listing Heritage Assets, participation in the Wilmslow Show, an update on the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan (see below), planning application issues, our participation in the Wilmslow Partnership and our website. 

The Executive Committee consists of the Chairman –Christopher Dodson, the Secretary – Christopher Evans, the Treasurer – Roger Bugler; Ray Acton, Rhona Beenstock, Hugh Cannings, Christopher Fasciato, Martin Hoyle, Stuart Kinsey, Keith Osborne, Rob Sharpe and Peter Stubbs. Members serve a 12 month term.

The Committee has several projects in hand and would welcome offers of help from any member wishing to make a difference to the life and appearance of our town.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
THE WILMSLOW TRUST AGM: 16 MARCH 2016 NOMINATION FORM

I wish to nominate…………………………………………………………….of……………………………………………………..
………………………………………………..(tel…………………………..) for election to the Executive Committee.
Signed……………………………(proposer)………………………………(seconder)…………………………..(nominee)
Name,address,tel. no. of proposer…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Please return slip to Stuart Kinsey,12,Harefield Drive,Wilmslow SK9 1NJ by 9 March 2016. 



The 55th Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 16th March at Wilmslow Library at 7.45pm. The following proposals will be put to the meeting:- 
1. To amend Item 1 of the Constitution: ‘The name of the Trust shall be The Wilmslow Trust’ to read ‘The name of the Trust shall be The Wilmslow Civic Trust’
2. To amend Item 6 of the Constitution: ‘The Officers shall consist of the President, Vice President, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer’ to read ‘The Officers shall consist of the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer’.
Election of Officers: Christopher Dodson (current Chairman) and Christopher Evans (Minuting Secretary) are not seeking re-election. Executive nominations(see form overleaf) most welcome.


Winter Programme
Wednesday 16 March 2016 AGM followed by a talk by Catherine Mackenzie on what the Wilmslow Business Group sees as its aims in the future of the town.
Wednesday 20 April 2016 ‘The Cheshire East Local Plan’. Adrian Fisher (Cheshire East)

Talks are held at Wilmslow Library(7.45pm). Non-Trust members: £2 at the door.

Summer Programme, 2016

Tues. 24 May. Private guided tour of Gawsworth Hall. 2pm. £6 pp(max 24), followed by optional tea on self-pay basis. Closing date: Fri. 20 May. Contact Stuart Kinsey

Tues. 19 July. Visit to Avro Heritage Museum (Woodford). 10.30am. Guided Tour and Vulcan Flight Deck Experience. Under £10,to be confirmed.Simple lunch options to purchase in Museum Café. Limited numbers; book soon. Closing date: Tues. 12 July. Contact Stuart Kinsey as above.

Tues. 9 August History Walk led by Ray Acton. Parish Hall carpark, 7pm. Short distance; easy going. Previously unexplored areas. 14 max. Book early: Ray Acton

Thu. 15 September ‘The Lion Salt Works Museum’, Northwich. 10.30am. Guided tour (£8) at 11am after purchasable refreshments. Tour lasts 1-1 ½ hours. Some steps and uneven floors. Purchasable lunch around 12.45 at the Salt Barge Inn. Lunch choices and directions later to members and guests choosing this event. Please book by Friday 15 April at the latest. Contact Keith Osborne

Ray and Kath Acton.

NEWSLETTER - JANUARY 2015

We are pleased to announce that our membership now exceeds 260. 
Over 40% of members can be contacted by e-mail. 

There is much talk of change in Wilmslow, both in the centre and in more outlying parts. The Trust, as a widely-respected local voice, remains determined to continue to influence change in the interests of all who live and work in the town.

Winter Programme. 
At our first meeting, Ray Acton showed how Wilmslow adapted to the first year of the Great War and how that experience was to be but a gentle introduction to the huge impact of the war from 1916. The programme continues with:-

Wed. 20 Jan 2016 ‘ Macclesfield Town Development’: Ken Smith, Chairman of Macclesfield Civic Society. This could be very instructive in the light of current debates on Wilmslow town centre.

Wed. 17 Feb. 2016 ‘Our Health Services’: Jerry Hawker, Chief Executive of Cheshire East Clinical Commissioning Group. This is a chance to learn about how our health services are planned and purchased, with a welcome opportunity to ask questions.

Wed. 16 March 2016 There will be a short AGM, followed by ‘The Wilmslow Business Group’: Catherine McKenzie will show what the Group is seeking in Wilmslow’s future. A good opportunity to raise issues that are all too familiar – the ‘future of the High Street’, rent levels and the domestic/office/ retail balance spring to mind.

Wed. 20 April 2016 ‘The Cheshire East Local Plan’: Adrian Fisher, Strategic Planning Manager, Cheshire East Council, will talk about the development of the plan to date and its particular impact on Wilmslow.

All talks are held at Wilmslow Library (7.45pm) and are open to the public. Non-Trust members: £2 at the door.

Summer Programme 2016 

The first event will be a ‘private’ guided tour of Gawsworth Hall on Tues,24 May at 2pm. Cost: £6 pp (max.24) followed by optional tea on self-pay basis. 

With sadness, we announce the death of Dr Ron Brunskill, OBE, Hon. Fellow and former Reader in Architecture, University of Manchester. His great interest was vernacular architecture and the historical use of building materials. He supported professional bodies and local societies alike in such widely separated places as Sussex and the Lake District. He was a modest man and an inspiring tutor. His ‘Brick Building in Britain’ (Gollancz, 1990) remains a major publication in helping us to understand our public and domestic buildings.

The Partnership Group. 
We continue to play a prominent role in this new group which is embarking on a number of schemes to improve the appearance and facilities of the town. 

The Trust will once again have a stall at the Wilmslow Show in July ,2016. 

A group on which we are represented is taking the first steps towards a Neighbourhood Plan which will cover aspects and areas of the town not directly covered by the Cheshire East Plan. 

Our website is gradually gaining the attention of members and non-members. Visitors to the site can find news items that come up between the publication dates of our newsletters(which themselves can be read on the website).

Annual Subscriptions. Renewal letters and forms are being sent with this Newsletter either as hard copy or in electronic form. If you are renewing on hard copy, it would be helpful if you could enter your e-mail address so that we can reduce future delivery costs. Thank you.

‘Remenham’, Bedell’s Lane. As we compose this newsletter, the decorative slates are being stripped from the roof of this Victorian house as the site is prepared for the construction of apartments. The house was built in the 1870s for Alexander Bedell, the son of a Scottish landowner who had moved south to the village of Remenham, near Henley-on-Thames. Alexander moved to Manchester and succeeded as a cotton and linen manufacturer. He bought the Remenham plot-which stretched almost to the King’s Arms- from his friend John Jenkins of Fulshaw Hall with whom he attended the nearby chapel. Alexander also supported Morley Chapel of 1869. His first wife died in 1875; his second in 1942 after 48 years of widowhood. His grave is at St John’s Church, Lindow. 

 

NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2015

We welcome all our members – and particularly our new members – and hope you find our programmes of interest. The Trust continues to influence local planning decisions and encourage good building design. 

Our Town Trail Map – available free at local libraries – is proving very popular, as are the Summer Town Centre Walks. 

The Trust has its own planning ideas for the town centre and welcomes suggestions from members and the public who have particular concerns (Tel 01625 – 525068). Our Summer Visits Programme prioritises venues not generally open to the public. We work as a body and alongside other groups to try to prevent unnecessary development on the Green Belt and have frequently shown the potential of local brownfield development. We are represented on Cheshire East’s (CEC’s) Advisory Committee for Lindow Common and have played a part in securing improvements at Wilmslow Railway Station. 

Our website is well worth a visit, not least for its collection of Wilmslow images and recent Newsletters. 

Newsletter Distribution. To reduce costs and hold subscription rates, we are sending this newsletter by e-mail to the growing number of members (now over 100) for whom we have received e-mail addresses. If, as a member, you have such an address and wish to help, would you please send it to your Editors, along with your postal address? Thank you. Your name and address will be used only within the Trust.

A New Development. A provisional body – the Partnership Group – representing various town interests (including the Trust, Transition Wilmslow and the Business Group) has been set up. Initial funding for administration will be provided by CEC. This new body aims to initiate town centre projects. 

Summer Programme, 2015. Ranger Paul Hughes steered an intrepid group around parts of Lindow Common unvisited since the Bronze Age and indicated a range of plant and insect life otherwise easily missed. 
A refreshing visit was made to Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport. All participants returned safely and in a good frame of mind. 
In August, Ray Acton led another Town Centre Walk and is planning a new ‘Then and Now’ route for next summer. 
Members visit the transformative Whitworth Gallery extensions on September 10th. Thanks to Keith Osborne.

Heritage Assets The Trust is suggesting to CEC a few amendments to the current ‘local list’ and is proposing several additions. After discussions with the CEC Design Officer, we will publish our suggestions.

The Wilmslow Show The Trust’s re-appearance did much to remind visitors of our purpose and recruited new members. Many thanks to all helpers, especially Stuart Kinsey.

Memorial We are working on the design of a memorial to the work of Alan Turing (1912-54), the cryptographer, who lived for some years at ‘Copper Folly’, 43, Adlington Rd (see our Trail Map). It has been suggested that the installation of a plinth memorial on Parsonage Green (rear of Starbucks?) could be a project for the new Partnership Group (above).

The Romany Walkway (or the Romany Memorial Gardens; see Trail Map). Once the home of Romany’s vardo (caravan), it is the last vestige of the ‘gentleman’s pleasure ground’ fronting Green Hall. We are aware it is in need of attention – and could be another town centre project.

The Winter Talks Programme
All meetings are held at Wilmslow Library at 7.45 pm, Wednesdays. Members attend free of charge; non-members are welcomed (£2 at the door).

Wednesday, 21 October, 2015. ‘Wilmslow at War’
An illustrated talk by Ray Acton on the reaction of Wilmslow people to the first year of the Great War (1914-5). What were the Scouts guarding? Who were the men in pith helmets? Who were Max Weber and Alphonso Windelinkx? What would the Suffragettes do? Was it ‘business as usual’?

Later talks will be at the Library at 7.45pm on 20 January, 17 February, 16 March and 20 April 2016. Details in our next Newsletter.

If you know of a good speaker on a relevant topic,please let us know (01625-526547)

We now have over 250 members. Have your say through the Trust. If you are not yet a member,then £10 (£15 per family) will secure membership for a year (Tel 01625-525819).
Editors: Ray and Kath Acton

NEWSLETTER - MAY 2015

It is with much sadness that we report the deaths of two greatly valued members of the Trust and its Executive Committee. Professor James Bell was a founder member in 1961, in a successful campaign to prevent the absorption of Wilmslow into Greater Manchester. He was an accomplished architect and tutor, rising to the Head of the School of Architecture at Manchester University (1977-83). He served the Trust as Chairman, President and Honorary Life President. We remember his gentle authority, his listening ability and his help given to Executive members, especially in the areas of design and planning.
Robin Sibthorpe came to Wilmslow in 1978. He and Audrey served the Trust for many years as Membership Secretary and organisers of Newsletter deliveries. Robin took particular pleasure in organising cheese and wine at the AGMs – which, as with all his other tasks, he handled with great efficiency and a sparkling good humour.

Design Awards. Having made three awards for buildings completed in 2013, we are looking for nominations from Trust members and non-members for completions in 2014. If you have seen a worthy design, please let us know asap, so that our sub-group can pay a site-visit (Martin Hoyle 01625 – 525068).

The Wilmslow Trust Town Trail Map. Demand continues for this free document which not only helps the readers find their way around the town but also provides a brief history of many of its buildings. Available at Wilmslow Library. Further information and images are on our website.

Executive Committee. We are pleased to announce the election of Rhona Beenstock to the Committee(no ‘glass ceiling’ here!) The Committee continues to examine contentious planning applications and welcomes any such matters being drawn to its attention by members and the public.

Conclusion of the Talks Programme. Members enjoyed three most informative talks (Jan-Feb-March). We are most grateful to Birgitta Hoffman for stepping in at the last moment for the temporarily incapacitated Ray Acton and taking members through some discoveries about Wilmslow in World War One. The short talk following the AGM in March was a useful introduction by Ranger Paul Hughes to the Lindow Common Walk on May 21st.

Our Website now carries the Newsletter. It would help our funds and distributors if more members were to agree to receive their Newsletters in this way. If you would like to change, please discuss it with Jill Dodson who has kindly agreed to become our web link person. (01625 – 528829).

Heritage Assets
(a) Nationally Listed Buildings. There are 37 buildings in Wilmslow(exc. Styal). All are Grade 2 or 2*, except St Bartholomew’s(Grade 1). To see, google: british listed buldings.
(b) Conservation Areas. There are 4(exc. Styal). Google: cheshireeastplanning and type in conservation areas; go to conservation area maps.
(c) The Local List or List of Heritage Assets. There are over 50 items listed – historic buildings, landscapes, parks… even a milestone. While this list does not possess the legal power of (a) and (b), it can reinforce arguments used in planning application discussions. A potentially overbearing house-in-garden development was recently defeated at appeal, thanks in part to a ‘historic garden’ contention. It is important therefore that we do not lose part of our heritage through oversight. Your Executive is asking everyone who reads this Newsletter to
1. Check the Wilmslow buildings and areas in (a) and (b) above
2. Look at (c) (simply google: Cheshire east local list) and send in any suggestion for inclusion in (c) that is not already listed in (a) (b) or (c) to Ray Acton (01625-527198) by 31 July 2015. Many thanks.
The Wilmslow Trust will then submit amendments Cheshire East for inclusion.

Alan Turing Memorial. The Trust has initiated the idea of a memorial in the town centre and members of the Executive are working on a design.

If you care about Wilmslow, why not join the Trust (£10 per year or £15 for family: call 01625-525819)? Look for us at the Wilmslow Show. Read our Summer Programme and join us on our visits.
Ray and Kath Acton
Editors

 

NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2014

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Clive Bassil, a member of the Trust’s Executive Committee. Clive contributed much to the current debate about Wilmslow’s future and worked hard with some success to bring about improvements to the appearance of the town centre. As an effective group member he expressed his positive ideas with clarity, vigour and humour. He is greatly missed.

Our summer programme concluded with a very successful visit to Knutsford and our winter programme began with an excellent presentation by Ruairidh Jackson on Airport City. Our meeting at the Wilmslow Guild was addressed by John Scott who had many interesting things to say about the Peak National Park Authority which, inter alia, has to balance the often-conflicting views of walkers, drivers, farmers, quarrymen and power providers. The low attendance was of some concern and is being discussed by Committee members.
Our forthcoming presentations see Eleanor Underhill, General Manager of the National Trust estate at Styal updating us on all the latest developments (Library, 7.45, Wed. 21 Jan), Ray Acton showing how Wilmslow fared in the shock of World War One (Library, 7.45, Wed. 18 Feb.) and Paul Hughes, Ranger, updating us on developments on Lindow Common. This last meeting will include the Trust’s AGM; see below (Lib, 7.45, Wed. 18 March)

All these meetings are open to the public. Non-Trust members pay £2 at the door.

Christopher Evans has agreed to be our Minuting Secretary.

The Wilmslow Trust Design Award Plaque (2013) was presented to Waters Corporation at its Altrincham Road headquarters in November 2014. If you are aware of a building completed in 2014 that might qualify, please let the Design Awards Group know (Tel. 525068).

The Wilmslow Trust Trail Map was launched in late November and is available(free) at the Libraries, the Leisure Centre, the Airport, Quarry Bank (Styal) and Earlam’s coffee shop (opp. The Ship Inn, Styal). Please hurry to obtain your copy (and one for a friend!).

Our website  has truly brought us into the 21st century. We are working hard to keep it right up to date. If you wish to see images of all the buildings on the Trail Map, you will find them on our website.

The Cheshire East Local Plan has not received a warm welcome from the government Inspector. Cheshire East Council has had to re-shuffle its team to tackle the issues raised and make what are euphemistically referred to as ‘adjustments’. Among many issues, that of insufficient emphasis on development of brownfield sites has long been a criticism made by the Wilmslow Trust. It remains to be seen over the coming months whether CEC gives these sites a meaningful priority for development over greenfield and Green Belt land.

THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING : 18 MARCH, WILMSLOW LIBRARY, 7.45.

The current membership of the Executive Committee is:-

Lifetime Hon. President : Professor James Bell 

Chairman : Christopher Dodson

Vice-Chairman : Stuart Kinsey

Treasurer : Roger Bugler

Minuting Secretary : Christopher Evans

Membership Secretaries : Audrey & Robin Sibthorpe 

Other Committee members : Ray Acton, Hugh Cannings, Chris Fasciato, Martin Hoyle, Keith Osborne and Rob Sharpe.

All are eligible for re-election except Professor Bell, and Audrey and Robin Sibthorpe(who are standing down).

A seconded written nomination for any of these positions would be welcomed and should be in the Secretary’s hands by 4 March 2015 (Chris Evans, 2, Burford Crescent, Wilmslow SK9 6BN).

Trustees : We are currently exploring whether to amend the constitution from ‘three named persons’ to ‘the following three officers’.

 

Nov 2014

Waters Award for Building Design

Link to WIlmslow.co.uk article

 

2012

Wilmslow Vision

Cheshire East Council have produced their Wilmslow Vision report and below are our responses, submitted to the Council.

Key Issues

Vision Review

 

Key Issues

1. Few would disagree with the Vision statement or the goals and objectives for achieving the Vision.

2. This is then seen as a suitable context for assessing specific options for sites primarily for future housing.

3. Housing needs are based on what appears to be an arbitrary assignment of housing from the estimate of total need for C.E.

4. No figures are given for the housing needs arising from the growth of the town’s indigenous population. Mention is also made of the need to identify some “safeguarded” land post 2030, but no figure is given.

5. The document refers to land use assignments. But only housing is considered - employment is to be considered later.

6. Without assessments of the needs and land required for other uses e.g. employment, community uses, open space and landscape setting or for options for improving the transport network, there is no rational basis for assessing the comparative merits of the housing sites identified.

7. No attempt is made to set Wilmslow into a wider context eg the development of the Woodford Airfield site, or the completion of the Airport link road.

8. It is important that Wilmslow continues to develop and accommodate local housing needs. If these are significant and cannot be accommodated on brownfield sites then it is suggested that rather than  “rounding off”,  other options are examined which are aimed at having less impact on crucial parts of the road network, e.g. the Town Centre.

9. Previously a significant number of derelict sites were identified in the town. No explanation is given as to the reasons for their exclusion.

10. A major incursion into the Wilmslow Green Belt would be required if 1500 houses were to be accommodated. Such an incursion would not be compatible with Policies in the National Planning Guidance.

11. The Town Centre Principles are flawed. There is an absence of base data and an understanding of its Structure and Character and many of the Principles are not well founded, e.g. the Alderley Road shared surface scheme.

12. Some of the Opportunity Sites identified for the Town Centre have no basis for inclusion until a parallel planning study involving a Lifestyle Centre has been completed and consulted upon.

13. As regards Infrastructure Priorities - essentially a first stab at a wish list - it is impossible for residents to identify priorities without some idea of relative costs and benefits. Some projects appear out of the blue, some are ill defined and others are premature prior to the completion of the above planning study.

 We agree that is essential that Cheshire East completes its Local Plan on time to provide a context for development decisions and planning approvals in its towns. But housing assignments for Wilmslow cannot be made from this document.

May 2012        

 

 REVIEW OF THE VISION  DOCUMENT

 INTRODUCTION

1. Reference to the purpose of the document is a little unclear The views of the local community are in fact those of selected stakeholder groups, councillors, and the very limited reactions to the Place Shaping Consultations 2011.

2. The development options are limited essentially to housing.

3. Reference is made to the next steps but no information is given as to how Cheshire East (CE) will inform the public of the outcome of this stage of the Local Plan Development process.

4. The “Town Strategy” is extremely misleading.  It implies that it is a comprehensive statement of the town’s future development options.  This is clearly not the case. Only the possible future housing sites are considered.  Thus it is a flawed document and can in no way provide a “comprehensive steer” to the content and direction of the CE Local Plan or a comprehensive evidence base.

5. Reference is made to CE looking at the Town Centre in more detail. Can the public be advised as to the composition of the team and whether a consultant is to be used? Also, can Wilmslow be represented on the selection process?  Hopefully the team will include an experienced Urban Designer.

6. A list of Background Material is referred to. It would have been helpful –as     part of the context for the Vision- if key factors had been summarised to provide a data base for this document, e.g.

a. The Cheshire Retail Study.

b. The local transport plan.

c. The Open Space Assessment. 

d. The Strategic Housing Market assessment.

 7. Wilmslow is located on the edge of a major conurbation. Significant projects, e.g. the completion of the Airport link road and the redevelopment of the extensive Woodford Airfield Site, provide important but missing parts of the context for developing the Wilmslow Vision.

8. As the Vision greatly impacts on the existing Green Belt, it would have been helpful to have shown the existing Green Belt Area on Figure 2.

                                                                                         

BACKGROUND

1. The background information is inadequate and thus makes it an impossible task to comment on the validity or otherwise of the Housing    assignments as well as the Town Centre Principles. The following should have been included.

a. the extent of the Green Belt. (see above).

b. existing employment areas.

c. an analysis of the existing commuting pattern.

d. existing traffic flows and capacities of the key elements and hotspots       of the town’s road network.

e. the local centres, e.g.  Summerfields and Chapel Lane, Wilmslow.

f. schools, their catchments and capacities.

g. the main open spaces, parks and recreation provision.

2. Some initial assessments could have been presented of alternative development patterns/options and how they might  help to balance up traffic flows in the road network and minimise the impact of further growth of congestion in key areas, e.g. the Town Centre.

 

 VISION AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

1. Vision 2030. is a statement of the “ideal” that most Wilmslow residents      would sign up to.  But some reference to the difficult economic context and its impact on delivery should have been included here.

2. The Objectives are really Strategies for achieving the Aims.

3. The Aims and Objectives (component 5) illustrate the impossible task that CE has set the Wilmslow residents to assess the implications of the housing target and the merits of the allocations to option sites.  With no illustrations offered as to the future development of the highways and public transport networks and an assessment made of the implications of developing in certain locations, the public is unable to assess the merits or otherwise of the residential allocations shown in section 5.

 

 MEETING HOUSING AND EMPLOYMENT NEEDS

1. We agree that the development of Wilmslow has to contribute to the housing needs of the growth of the indigenous population and new residents, providing that in doing so, key aspects of the Vision eg reducing congestion in the Town Centre are not prejudiced.

2. The suggested allocation for new housing is in the order of 1500.  Does this allocation reflect the  demands of the possible quite different age profile of Wilmslow households compared to that of Cheshire East as a whole and thus new household formation levels in the town?

3.Whilst we agree on the need for an element of affordable housing, the document fails to refer to the strong and growing demand for down-sizing from larger houses to smaller town centre and vicinity accommodation.  Emphasis on such a provision would help to create movement in the whole market and result in some freeing up of property for first time buyers (the filter process).

4. The providers of affordable housing, e.g. private house builders and housing associations, will look to a variety of locational needs. The assumption that all sites should accommodate some affordable housing does not necessarily reflect these needs.

5. The suggested 16% increase in households arising from 1500 houses will impact significantly on traffic generation and congestion particularly on the East West elements of the road network.  It would also impact on key elements of the social infrastructure, e.g. the High School. Can the school accommodate the resultant increase in pupils or will a new school be required?

6. What is the likely impact of large scale housing development proposed just beyond Wilmslow’s NE boundary (Woodford Airfield) on the town’s housing needs and transportation network?

7.No reference is made to the major brownfield sites close to and within Wilmslow which, if developed, could help relieve the threat to Green Belt areas in Wilmslow. The document also seems to flying in the face of recently published National Policy Guidance.

8. There is a lack of information about the amount of Safeguarded Land to be identified and the process and the time scale of any Green Belt review and public participation therein.

9. Despite the heading, this section has nothing to say about the employment needs of an increased population in Wilmslow. Where will these needs be satisfied?  What will this mean in terms of increased traffic generation on the road network?  Wilmslow may, as the report suggests, be well positioned to capitalise on its location and accessibility but not at the cost of increased congestion particularly in the Town Centre.

 

LAND USE OPTIONS

1. The heading is misleading as this section refers only to land use needs for housing.

2. It is impossible to consider numbers and locations for housing without a clearer picture of future employment needs to be accommodated locally.

3. Similarly it is difficult to estimate land use for housing needs without clear reference to the needs for, e.g., schools, open space and local centres.

4.The options presented are a continuation of a” rounding off –tacking on” development strategy.

5. Wilmslow is well served for NS traffic movements but the key is coping with increased EW movements particularly in and around the town centre

6. The potential sites assessment could have included options for development which because of their locations would have less impact on increasing congestion in the Town Centre. As further appraisal is anticipated it is important that the search is more comprehensive.

7. Fig.4 is incomplete; key roads and some areas of existing housing are missing.  Whilst the capacities of possible new housing areas are shown there are no figures for sites F&H.

 

TOWN CENTRE PRINCIPLES

1. Whilst the Town Centre figures strongly in the Vision statement, the purpose of this section is not clear. Is it a preliminary exercise to provide a context for the proposed Town Centre Plan and initial public reaction to the Principles, or is it an attempt to provide a context for a quite different ongoing exercise involving the provision of a” lifestyle centre” as reflected in the opportunity sites identified in fig. 5?

2. Reference is made on page 7 to the Cheshire Retail Study 2011.  What were its key conclusions and why are they not included in this section as an important context for the future of Wilmslow Town Centre?

3. There appears to have been no systematic mapping or analysis of 2 key elements of the Town Centre.

a. STRUCTURE- land use activities and access.

b .CHARACTER-its buildings and spaces.

 In particular there is no assessment of the existing traffic flows and movements and the likely changes in these resulting from the  housing development.  How much additional parking is projected and how will it be accommodated?

4. No consideration has been given to the possible need for short term initiatives to help the town centre resist the impact of the economic down turn.  How vulnerable is the Centre; is it better placed than others ; how might it respond ? This should be addressed in the Town Centre Plan.

5. No mention is made of the important role of the Town Centre location for accommodating housing aimed at down-sizing referred to earlier.

6. Fig 5. In the Town Centre Principles, illustrates the apparent lack of understanding of the existing and likely future context, e.g. traffic movement and flows and how the constraints these are likely to impose on options for much needed environmental improvements.  The all embracing shared surface principle, presumably similar to the Poynton High Street example, is likely to be an inappropriate option for Wilmslow.

7.  Opportunity sites are included without any explanation as to how and why they would become available. If they were included because they are linked to an ongoing separate Town Centre Redevelopment assessment, their inclusion is premature and they should not have been referred to in the Vision Document. Their inclusion can only lead to responses to the Questionnaire being led to false conclusions.

8. The Hawthorn Lane/Grove Street intersection is shown as a potential town square.  Such a proposal would require the retention and reinforcement of Wilmslow Town Centres “dumbbell structure” (key anchor locations and related retail spine ) major changes to traffic flows and the introduction of a public element in this location.

9. How would a “Hopper Bus”(referred to in section 7) be accommodated?
This does not appear in the Principles Plan Fig. 5.

10. Most residents would agree with some of the priorities listed but their relative merits in terms of comparative costs, benefits and feasibility would play an important part in any process of prioritisation.

11.  As a first shot at starting the debate prior to the preparation of a Town Centre Plan section 6 has some merit.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES

1.    The Wilmslow Vision is not a comprehensive set of development        proposals for the town. It is therefore an inadequate basis for defining a set of infrastructure projects. Put as a “wish list” most would be in favour of the Potential Projects listed.

2.The build up of available funds for such projects is likely to be slow and reflect the constraints of the current economic climate.

3. Some projects are not well defined, e.g..

a. Renewable energy project in Wilmslow Park,.

b. Small units for start up businesses.

4. Potential Projects 10, 11, and 13, should not have been included as they require the outcome of an ongoing exercise which is yet to be published and commented on by Wilmslow residents.

5. The lack of detail for the projects listed means that no relative costs or benefits can be given thus it is impossible for residents to give a rational response in terms of priorities.

6. The Local Plan should reflect the current economic development climate as well as looking ahead to some rosier times.

7. In the meantime the focus in Wilmslow should be on drawing up a list of urgent short term measures to improve the local environment particularly in the town centre.

The Document states it has three purposes. A Vision for Wilmslow - Section 3 - is comprehensive. The views of the Workshop representing the public are referred to and  possible ideas  for the Town Centre aired. However the main purpose is to consider options for Land  Use,  primarily Housing. The Document does not present a sound basis for selecting from the options presented.

In view of the strength of the concerns emerging from the Wilmslow Residents it is hoped that Cheshire East will consult openly about the conclusions drawn from this Consultation exercise prior to the development of the Local Plan.

May 2012

 

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