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Villagers up in arms over housing plans

Packed meeting at Tarporley Community Centre to discuss plans for homes

About 150 residents gathered at the public meeting held in Tarporley Community Centre on Monday to discuss three controversial housing applications(Image: David Holmes)

There was talk of protest and using voting power at a public meeting where residents expressed opposition to hundreds of new homes destined for their village.

About 150 people gathered at Tarporley Community Centre on Monday to discuss plans for 100 homes off Rode  Street, 28 houses on the Daffodil Field and 18 dwellings off Birch Heath Road.

This is in on top of 90 houses being built off Brook Road and 100 given outline planning permission off Nantwich Road.

Tarporley Parish Council called the meeting to help inform its response to consultations by the Cheshire West and Chester Council planning authority with a show of hands proving overwhelming public opposition.

Parish chairman Cllr Ken Parker told  the meeting: “These three applications, if approved, and the other developments  that already have permission, will have  a considerable effect on our roads, village car parking, schools, medical services  and offer little or no infrastructure  contribution.”

If all schemes were approved and built, the extra 370 homes would mean a 30%  plus increase in the amount of housing  in the village in just a few years, said  Cllr Parker. Yet CWaC’s local plan recommended 300 new homes over a  20-year period between 2010 and 2030.

Cllr Jeremy Mills implored: “You need to write to your MP, you need to write to the Prime Minister, you need to write to  Eric Pickles, you need to write to the  councillors, in particular Mike Jones,  the leader of the council and, it may not  be fashionable, but maybe a protest outside Wyvern House with placards.”

Cllr Graham Lees added: “The reason why developments are being allowed is because the borough, the whole of Cheshire West and Chester, is not meeting its development targets.

“I personally don’t think it’s fair that communities like Tarporley and Malpas should be suffering the brunt of the borough’s failure to distribute the building of  new dwellings throughout the borough.”  

Cllr Graham Stewart, chairman of Utkinton Parish Council, said Tarporley must prove the developments won’t  improve the quality of life for people under criteria outlined in the National  Planning Policy Framework.

But he described the CWaC planning  committee members shown on a recent  BBC TV series The Planners featuring various local authorities as ‘amateurs’  and the ‘worst’ on the show.

One woman received a round of applause when she encouraged people to  use their vote wisely, saying: “Stephen  O’Brien MP asked me if I would like to  change my mind when I sent him a  letter saying I wouldn’t vote because of  the development in rural areas.”

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