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Jodrell Bank concerns halt Cheshire housing scheme

Published: Thursday, 1st December 2016

Javid refuses appeal for 119 homes in Cheshire, highlighting the harm to the efficiency of the radio telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory as critical in his decision…

The threat of interference to the operations of nearby Jodrell Bank Observatory proved crucial in the dismissal of an appeal by Gladman Developments over its proposals to build 119 homes on a seven-hectare site off Main Road in Goostrey, Cheshire.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, rejected the proposal in line with the recommendation of the planning inspector who held the recovered appeal. The scheme had earlier been rejected by Cheshire East Council.

In his decision letter the Secretary State agreed that “there would at least be some additional interference resulting from the proposed development”.

Javid acknowledged that the council had a housing land supply shortfall. That, though, was “a local issue”.

The decision letter added: “Jodrell Bank Observatory is a facility of international importance, such that its protection from the identified harm transcends the current housing land supply circumstances. He considers that the harm to the efficiency of the radio telescope carries substantial weight against the proposal.”

Commenting on the North West Place website, Gary Halman, managing director of HOW Planning said: “The appeal was dismissed by the SoS despite the lack of a five year supply of houses, which elsewhere in the borough has generally been enough to win permission on many greenfield sites.

“Here however the circumstances were very specific, as this is a site within the consultation zone for Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope and the impact of new homes on the efficiency of this world class radio astronomy facility was a critical issue.

“It can’t be read as sterilising all development in towns where growth is planned and needed. But it will certainly be an added hurdle to overcome and the onus will be firmly on developers and applicants to demonstrate their proposals are acceptable where these lie within the zone, and where Jodrell Bank’s influence is now all the more powerful.”

Read the recovered appeal: land off Main Road, Goostrey, Cheshire

Read the North West Place article

Roger Milne