A village's long-running battle to gain control over housing developments in their community is one step closer to victory.
For the past two years, Tattenhall residents have been working tirelessly to produce the Tattenhall Parish Plan which would give the community the chance to guide the future of their village.
The document recruits and empowers residents, encouraging them to participate and express their views and aspirations for their village, as well as have their say on future housing developments.
Now they have received a welcome boost after an independent examiner recommended a public referendum on the plan, the first to reach this stage in Cheshire West and Chester and only the fourth in the entire country.
Tattenhall’s plan stipulates that future growth based on large scale, inappropriate development will not be supported by the community, and that any new developments must meet the needs of all sections of the community.
The passion and hard work put in by the villagers throughout the two-year project was summed up by examiner Nigel McGurk who paid tribute to the hard work gone into creating a plan for ‘clearly very special place to the people who live and work there.’
“The professionalism, hard work, commitment and passion of all involved has created a Neighbourhood Plan which, in my view, provides for a sustainable and successful future,” he wrote.
Now Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWaC) Executive have until Wednesday, September 4 to decide whether to accept Mr McGurk’s recommendations and proceed through referendum.
With a similar format to an election, all those registered to vote within the neighbourhood area, would be given the opportunity to be involved in the referendum.
Residents would have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and if more than 50% vote ‘yes’ for CWaC to use the Neighbourhood Plan to determine planning applications in the area, they will be required to bring it into force.
CWaC leader Mike Jones said: “We’re reaching a very important stage of the plan.
“It’s amazing how ordinary members of the community have come together and created such a robust and quality document.
“As I said recently, Tattenhall is a village under siege from developer applications and I believe the Neighbourhood Plan will provide a framework for sustainable development.”
The plan has been produced by a Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group including Parish Council members, community volunteers, Cheshire Community Action, and Rural Innovation with the help of CWaC and IBI Taylor Young.
The referendum is likely to be held in October and CWaC will give at least 25 days notice of the date it is to take place.
- ONE of the biggest landowners in the Tattenhall area has welcomed news of the recommendation.
The Bolesworth Estate has withdrawn its planning application to build up to 75 homes at Smithfields in the village, changing proposals to fit in with the Neighbourhood Plan. Matthew Morris said he now plans to submit a smaller scheme for just 28 homes at Smithfields, in accordance with the scale of development that the community can accept.
He said: “We have an opportunity to take the lead and demonstrate to other applicants that small scale development is both deliverable and viable.
Bolesworth and the Barbour family look forward to acting as the delivery partner for what is a ground-breaking document.”