Cheshire East Council has welcomed the withdrawal of a planning appeal, which threatened the protective zone around the Jodrell Bank observatory.
Developers Aus-Bore Estates proposed the construction of 65 new homes on land off Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel, but have now withdrawn their plans owing to previous decisions protecting the world-renowned Lovell Telescope.
A scheme for 119 homes, at Main Road in Goostrey, was recently turned down by the council and the decision backed by the secretary of state, on the grounds that the development would impact on the protective zone around Jodrell Bank.
The minister recognised that the ‘reasonable protection’ of the observatory was a matter of global significance.
In the light of that decision, Aus-Bore Estates have decided not to pursue their intended appeal against the council’s refusal of planning at Manor Lane in Holmes Chapel.
Manchester University has opposed a number of planning applications for housing schemes in the vicinity of Jodrell owing to the high level of electrical interference generated by modern homes, including computers, mobile phones and other electronic appliances.
The decision to withdraw means that a planning appeal inquiry, due to commence on December 14 for four days, will not now go ahead.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning and housing, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of this appeal which could have threatened the efficient operation of Jodrell Bank”.
“However, we are disappointed that it has arisen at this late stage as it was always very clear that the protection of Jodrell Bank was a significant issue in this case.
“We will continue to work closely with Manchester University and the observatory staff at Jodrell Bank to ensure we safeguard the efficiency of the telescope wherever we can.”
He stated that Cheshire East Council would continue to resist proposed housing schemes that posed a serious threat to the award-winning research centre, which is to play a key role in the Square Kilometre Array, a ground breaking project involving the creation of hundreds of telescopes in Australia and South Africa.
The SKA will open up a new dimension in astrophysics and research.