The proposed Gresty Oaks development of 880 houses is on land bounded by Crewe Road, Rope Lane, Gresty Lane and the A500, mainly in the Parish of Rope in my Ward. I am very disappointed that the Cheshire East Council (CEC) have not decided this application in the required time and it is now going to be decided by appeal in Bristol and then by the Minister. The application will still come to the Strategic Planning Board, probably at the end of January/beginning of February, for them to decide if they are to oppose the appeal. The final decision on the appeal is being taken by the Minister because it is such a large strategic application. If the Council opposes the application, the public inquiry into it would probably be around May 2014. It would have been far better if the decision had been made by CEC Councillors who know the area rather than distant and remote inspectors and Ministers who do not know the area.
If this application was passed it would almost double the population of the Rope Parish which is simply unacceptable. It would virtually destroy the Green Gap and the beautiful open countryside between Rope and Shavington and would be the latest step towards joining Crewe up with its surrounding villages. Most people are aware of the ugly urban sprawl in places like Stoke on Trent and we do not want that on our doorstep. Rope Lane is the main route to Shavington High School and Crewe Road is the main route into Crewe. Both roads are congested and dangerous now at peak times. To have over 1600 cars a day added to the traffic movements can only lead to horrendous highway congestion and add to the accident and pollution problems. The developers are promising infrastructure investment to serve the proposed huge increase in the population of Rope. Unfortunately we know from experience in Crewe and Nantwich that community facilities promised often don't materialise until years after the houses have been occupied, if at all.
In summary there are good planning reasons to refuse this application even though there is not a 5 year housing supply and a Local Plan in place. I strongly feel that applications like this should be refused. It is detrimental to the open countryside, impinges massively on the green gap between our towns and is unsustainable.
Brian Silvester (Photo attached)
Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)
Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor
Cheshire East Council
Tel/fax 01270 567757