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Sunday 25 September 2016

'Hands Off Wistaston' residents group



Wistaston residents are shocked and angered by the decision to allow planning permission for 300 houses on land off Church Lane, known locally as Witter’s Field.

The field is a much loved part of Wistaston that helps to give the area a semi-rural feel. Many people enjoy walks across the field and, as Green Gap land, local councils had been clear that this should be left free from development. This is a sentiment echoed by many across the parish who fought the proposal, including the residents group Hands Off Wistaston (HOW). HOW spokesperson Peter Wainwright said:

“This decision is a huge blow for people in Wistaston. Thousands of us have signed petitions and objections to this development. We’ve spoken against this proposal along with the Parish Council and Cheshire East Council. It couldn’t be clearer that this development is not what the community wants.”

The decision to allow planning permission was taken by the Government after the developer, Gladman Developments, appealed against Cheshire East Council refusing planning permission.

This is the second such appeal, with Gladman losing a previous decision on the same site in early 2015 – shortly before the last general election - when the previous Government refused planning permission. This u-turn has left many bemused and annoyed. Peter commented:

“The Housing Minister has, sadly, shown himself to be the ultimate NIMBY – opposing a development in his own patch in London because it would ‘significantly change the character of the local area’ but sees no issue in forcing 300 houses on Wistaston against wishes of the vast majority of local residents and others. Yet again us ‘little people’ aren’t listened to by those in the corridors of power.”

The decision can potentially be challenged at the High Court, which Hands Off Wistaston will be hoping Cheshire East Council can pursue if legal grounds for a challenge can be found.

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