Tuesday, 12 February 2013


 In a call to arms  reminiscent of  Lord Kitchener's famous  poster "Your Country Needs You" of World War One, Goostrey Parish Council  finally is urging villagers to examine  the proposed Cheshire East Local Plan. Last week households were leafleted by the council with the call "Your Village Needs YOU..." to comment on the plan at two information sessions this week in the village hall tomorrow (Wednesday) between 4pm and 8pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm.  Large scale maps of development sites to home possibly 1,000 newcomers will be on view.
 Not only that councillors will be on hand to discuss the issues and the fact that Goostrey is one of 13 parishes designated as a Local Service Centre. I guess in planners  speak that means it has a population and area large enough to absorb a massive increase in population in one big speculative estate and on smaller developments. But as I implied in my previous blog the term LSC must have been coined by a faceless Whitehall mandarin.
 The arrival of the council's leaflet must have come as a bit of a surprise, if not shock, to  many villagers, despite the good offices of a new website LoveGoostrey set up by a group of concerned residents to make people aware about the impact of the proposals.  It appears that few of us ordinary folk were "in on" the plan which could so easily have slipped through without comment before the deadline of February 26.That's less than two weeks away ! 
 Yet I learn that  several potential developers are in  advanced state of negotiation with Cheshire East Council and landowners.But I have to give credit where it's due - the parish council acted fast when it was realised  that so few people in Goostrey were aware of the local plan due to a lack of publicity.  It was certainly not a hot topic on the village's hourly bus - always a good source of local gossip - or around the bar at the Crown or Red Lion.
 Like LoveGoostrey, I would not want to be accused of being a Nimby as I think there is scope for the village to grow in a far more modest way over the years but, as said previously,  land by and large should  be earmarked only  for local needs,
 But as the parish council says in its leaflet: The future of your village is in your hands !

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