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Wednesday 13 February 2013

Council starts a fresh conversation on the need to plan for Tatton’s future


Cheshire East Council is using the release of a report on the proposed BeWILDerwood children’s adventure area at Tatton Park to raise wider local awareness of the ‘Tatton Vision’ and how it sets out to secure the historic estate’s future as a much-loved local and visitor amenity. 

The concept of a new visitor attraction at Tatton Park is a key element of the ‘Tatton Vision’ – which is already being brought to life through other investment in areas such as the stableyard project and Tattondale Farm.

This vision aims to create a self-sustaining Tatton Park which offers an enhanced visitor experience for both local people and visitors from further afield for many years to come.

Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: “Tatton Park is currently one of the region’s premier visitor destinations, welcoming over 800,000 people each year.

“The Vision will build on the investment being made in Tatton and the commitment of the Council to secure the estate and its proud heritage for future generations.

“We are choosing to move forward with the BeWILDerwood attraction as we feel it would be sympathetic to the park’s natural woodland environment. Additionally, we are confident it will attract new family groups to Tatton, create new jobs and open up a part of the estate that was previously inaccessible to the public.

“There is a range of groups in the local community that want to secure the future of Tatton. Now is the time for all of us with an interest in its future to work together to achieve this.

“The current planning application will shortly be resubmitted and I would encourage people to engage with us during the consultation period to let us know their thoughts.”

As part of its commitment to open and transparent decision making, the Council has chosen not to challenge the Information Commissioner’s findings that a confidential Cabinet document should be released to the public. The report looks at the business case for the BeWILDerwood project.

The authority had previously decided not to release the report on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

In rare circumstances, the Council needs to keep sensitive business information confidential, initially, to allow negotiations to take place and get the best deal for local taxpayers and residents.

Councillor Macrae added: “We understand the interest in this matter but we have taken the appropriate advice at all stages of the process and have acted fully within this.

“The Information Commissioner has accepted this but we felt it was important to clear the air, so that we could start a fresh and more positive conversation about the best way to secure Tatton’s future.”

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