Little Bollington Parish Meeting

A556 Site Compound

Cheshire East Council approved the application for extended use of the site compound on the A556/A56 near Bowdon roundabout. The compound is to be used for a Smart Motorway project on the M56.The planning consent is for a temporary period of 3 years and requires that the land is reinstated to agricultural land at the end of the approved period with all hard surfaces removed.

Councillors on the CEC Strategic Planning Board insisted that the green belt status must be protected. The planning officer made clear that there is no change of policy from the local plan which defines this land as green belt. The applicant's original proposal to "retain the tarmac and hard standing in perpetuity" was not included in the planning permission.

Local people had expressed great concern at this planning application. Most accepted that using the existing compound, rather than digging up more green land, is sensible. But they were concerned about the proposal to retain the tarmac and hardstanding “in perpetuity”. They were also concerned that the application did not specify a period of time or end date, and did not provide an undertaking to restore the land to farmland at the end of the temporary use. And it made no reference to the green belt status of the land.

The Planning Officer’s report to the Board addressed these concerns. In addition to the planning conditions, the report states:
The proposed development would constitute inappropriate development in the Green Belt which by definition would be harmful. There would also be harm to the Green Belt as a result of loss of openness and encroachment, as well as some additional harm to the landscape. However in this case it is considered that very special circumstances exist to clearly outweigh the harm caused namely:
1. The compound is required in support of a major infrastructure project and meets all the requirements for a compound – and is already set up as such.
2. There are no preferable alternatives sites available, and all alternatives are in the Green Belt having equal or greater harm on openness.
3. The site is of a temporary nature.

Jonathan Barnes of Pegasus (consultants to TEM) spoke to the Planning Board. He explained the reasons for the application and assured the Board that the land will be restored to its former agricultural use after the end of the permitted period. The condition on the planning permission is in the Notice of Decision and states: “The use hereby permitted is temporary. It shall discontinue and the land returned to agricultural use, with all existing hardstanding and structures removed from the site, on or before 30 September 2021. The land shall be restored in accordance with a scheme of work submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.”

The planning application and decision and related documents can be seen online here:


The long awaited new broadband service for Little Bollington and Dunham Massey has finally gone live. There were some initial teething troubles but local people who use the service report fast broadband speed – up to 30 Mb/sec. Voneus offers customers advice and support. They can be contacted on 0800 007 3344. However there have been several reports of extremely slow call response times, failure to call back, and unhelpful responses. At this point it is not known whether these are temporary problems due to the level of demand. For further information, please contact John Sheehan, who leads the project to bring better broadband to the village. 07942 800419

HS2 Consultations

The government has opened public consultations on two aspects of HS2 Phase 2b, ie the section from Crewe to Manchester. One is the draft environmental statement, which describes the potential environmental effects of building and operating Phase 2b. The other is the draft equality statement, which looks at the potential effects of the construction and operation of HS2 on people with protected characteristics. To support these consultations, there will be information events attended by specialists from HS2 Ltd, including one at High Legh Village Hall on Fri 30 Nov from 2pm to 8pm. Both consultations close on 21 December 2018. The Environmental Statement and the Equality Impact Assessment Reports will be submitted to Parliament alongside the hybrid Bill in mid-2020.

Remember, Remember

..... the 4th of November! Yes The great Guy Fawkes barbeque will be held again this year on Sunday 4th November. Come down to the Community Orchard on Park Lane from 6pm. Bring some drinks and food to roast on the barbeques. Baked potatoes and marshmallows will be provided. The local gossip will flow like wine. And it’s all free! Thanks to Paul Barker for organising.

And also Remember .....

Remembrance Day this year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. As part of the commemorations Little Bollington School host The Bridgewater Singers on Friday 9th November at 7.30pm. They will perform a varied programme of songs of Conflict and Peace from the war to the present day. Tickets are £5 including refreshments and are available from the school office, Holy Trinity Church or the Parish Clerk. Proceeds will go to school and the Royal British Legion.

A cascade of poppies will be constructed in the school hall. All residents are invited to place a crafted poppy on the cascade (poppies will be available in school) and write a remembrance or prayer for a donation to the Royal British Legion. The school will be open from 3.30-4.15pm on Wednesday 7th November for local people to call in and do this. Your poppy will be returned to you after the display is dismantled.

The National Trust is also holding events to mark the occasion. Dunham Massey was transformed into a hospital for wounded soldiers in WWI. The hospital ward has now been recreated as it looked all those years ago. There are displays about Penelope, Lady Stamford, and her decision to open the house as a hospital, and the stories of the women who helped 282 soldiers recover there. Some of the surviving photographs of the hospital have been stationed in the locations where they were originally taken.

On Sunday 11 November we are invited to join in a special armistice event with the lighting of a beacon in Dunham Massey Park. There will be readings from the war poets, songs from local school children, a brass band and a special commemoration lighting display. There will be a lantern walk from Little Bollington into Dunham Massey Park. Holy Trinity Church and Little Bollington School will join the parade and all local residents are invited to participate.

Please do support these excellent events in our community. All are welcome. See the notice boards and email for further news of the events to mark this important anniversary.

Finally, there’s a chance to hear another highly rated local choir. Warrington Male Voice Choir will perform at All Saints Church, Thelwall on Saturday 20 October at 7.30pm. Tickets on the door.

Contact:   Parish Clerk: Mike Reed, 25 High Field 07766 083765