Westminster Park Residents Association

Bringing our community alive

February 20, 2017
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Annual General Meeting

NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS OF WESTMINSTER PARK RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

AGM TO BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 12TH APRIL 2017 AT 8PM IN WESTMINSTER PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE

The above AGM is to be held to report on the Association’s activities in the past year and elect Committee Officers and members.

If you wish to raise any matters or propose anyone to join the Committee please let the Secretary, Penny White, know by Wednesday 22nd March 2017  c/o WPRA postbox, Al Dente, Westminster Park shops.

February 20, 2017
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Last chance to have your say on parking in Cheshire West

Good Morning

I would just like to point out that there are just a few more days to have your say on parking in the borough.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s 12-week parking strategy consultation will close on Friday, 24 February.

There are a number of other ways to have your say:

Please go online to: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/parkingstrategy
Email: parking@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 7024
Write to: Parking Services, Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE

The new Parking Strategy will be finalised in the middle of the year.

Many Thanks

Best Wishes

Razia

Cllr Razia Daniels
Deputy Lord Mayor of Chester

Handbridge Park Ward

February 9, 2017
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Parking Strategy Review Consultation  

We wish to draw residents’ attention to a Borough wide review of parking policies. It is aimed at addressing parking problems in some areas and increasing parking revenue in others.

Westminster Park residents may wish to look at the proposed removal of the “FREE AFTER THREE“ arrangements as a way to increase revenue or Charge for Disabled Badge holders…

There are also a number of other ways to have your say:

The general consultation ends on 24 February 2017 and the new Parking Strategy will be finalised in the middle of this year.

Razia Daniels

Neil Sullivan

January 19, 2017
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Quiz night and Rotary open evening

Come along and find out about Rotary activities in our community and and overseas. We always welcome new members or friends of Rotary.

Saturday 28 January, 7.30 for 8.00 pm

£5.00 entry, including light supper and some lovely raffle prizes

Westminster Park Community Centre

All proceeds go to Hospice of the Good Shepherd

January 15, 2017
by Mary Pole
0 comments

Gardening Club 2017 programme

Friday 10 February. Garden visit.

Winter Garden at Dunham Massey, Woodhouse Ln, Altrincham WA14 4SJ

The maturing winter garden is the largest in

Britain with serpentine paths leading between borders thickly planted for texture and colour.

Meet in the Visitors Centre at 12.45 pm for 1 pm tour.

Entrance free for National Trust members, £8 for non members. £3 fee for the guided tour for members and non members. Refreshments are available on site.

 Wednesday, 22 February 2017.

An Evening with Bob Flowerdew

Organic gardener, television and radio presenter.
Including cheese and wine and a Q&A session.
Organised by Burton and Rossett Horticultural Society at Darland High School, Chester Road, Rossett, LL12 0DL.

Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start.
Tickets £15 each from Mary Pole,

marypole@zcl-uk.net, 674439

 

Wednesday, 29 March at 8 pm. Spring Talk.

Plant propagation

Our speaker is Andy Lambie, lecturer in Horticulture at Ness Gardens.

Community Centre. Tickets: £3 at the door.

Bar, light refreshments, plant and seed swap. All WP residents welcome

Monday 22 May. Garden Visit.

Sandymere Gardens, Middlewich Road, Cotebrook, CW6 9EH

16 landscaped acres of beautiful Cheshire countryside with terraces, walled garden, extensive woodland walks and an amazing hosta garden.

The gardens are owned by John Timpson and we will have a guided tour by the head gardener, Rachael Pemberton. We will receive a booklet to take home which gives a personal insight to Mr Timpson’s journey developing Sandymere into the garden it is today.

Meet at 1.50 pm for 2 pm start, cost £6.

Refreshments not available.

Saturday, 8 July. Community Fayre.

All donations of plants for our regular stall at the Westminster Park Community Fayre will be very gratefully received. Held at the Community Centre.

Wednesday, 9 August. Garden Visit.

Walled Gardens at Norton Priory, Tudor Rd, Windmill Hill, Runcorn WA7 1SX

Meet at 2 pm for 2.15 pm tour. Park at museum car park and walk to walled garden. Tour will last about an hour.

Cost: £7 for the whole site including gardens and tour. Refreshments are available on site.

Thursday 28 September. Garden visit.

Wollerton Old Hall, Wollerton, Market Drayton TF9 3NA

The gardens will not be open to the public during our visit.

Meet at 1.30 pm.

Cost: £11.25 including an introductory talk by one of the gardeners, a walk around the 4 acre garden and homemade cream tea.

 Wednesday, 11 October, 8 pm.

Autumn Talk.

Organic vs Inorganic Gardening

David Toyne, Royal Horticultural Society ‘Master of Horticulture’, Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture, Horticultural and Garden Consultant & Lecturer

A talk on the pros and cons of ‘the natural way’ and using ‘chemicals’ to achieve success in the garden.

Tickets: £3 at the door.

Bar, light refreshments, plant and seed swap. All WP residents welcome.

 

November 22, 2016
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Press Release: Tuesday 22 November 2016

 

Westminster Park gearing up for Lights Switch-on

The annual Lights Switch-On at Westminster Park will be performed by the Sheriff of Chester this year and will take place on Monday 5 December at 5pm

This great local community event will get started at 4.30 pm, with the Sheriff arriving at 4.45pm.  Following the Lights Switch-on, Belgrave Primary School choir will be entertaining the crowd with some Christmas songs.

There will then be an opportunity to enjoy hot dogs, mince pies and mulled wine in the festive atmosphere and look at the festive season offerings in the excellent local shops.  For the children, there is a visit to Santa’s Grotto.

November 17, 2016
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Response from Westminster Park Residents’ Association to the Wrexham Road Development Proposals – November 2016

1. Introduction
1.1 The WPRA was formed in 1998 to represent the interests of around 1200 households in WP as defined by Lache Lane, all roads to the East of Lache Lane and roads off Green Lane. It is run by an executive committee and works closely with local councillors.

1.2 Over 300 people from WP and surrounds attended the consultation with the developers (Paycause) between 2:00 and 8:00 pm. on 19 October. They were able to talk to senior people from Nathaniel Lichfield, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey as well as highways, drainage and landscape specialists. Some plans were also on display and attendees were encouraged to provide feedback on forms provided by Paycause. A draft Development Brief, prepared by Nathaniel Lichfield, was made available.

1.3 WPRA manned the entrance, taking notes of names, email addresses and distributing its own feedback forms. Public meetings were subsequently held on 26 October and 2 November to enable people to ask questions and state their views. A substantial number were unable to attend the first meeting because of capacity constraints, hence the second meeting.

1.4 This paper has been produced from our discussions at the Consultation and the views expressed by residents on their feedback forms and at the public meetings.

2. Size of the Development
2.1 Many were concerned at the size of the proposed development and the effect that this will have on their lives as WP residents. It more than doubles the size of the existing Westminster Park estate.

2.2 The number of houses has grown from an initial 1300 to, currently, 1450. In his final report, the Inspector said the need was for at least 830 houses. Since the Wrexham road site would accommodate in the region of 1300 houses then this number would accommodate all the needs including flexibility for changing factors. The Policy for STRAT 3 approved by CWAC stated that Chester needed at least 5200 houses with around 1300 houses in the green belt. This seems to have been subtly changed to at least 1300 houses in the green belt, or in practice 1450 houses. Nowhere at the public enquiry or in the Inspectors report does the number, 1450, appear?
2.3 This creeping up of the numbers will exacerbate the unresolved issues with this development, particularly the traffic issue.

3. Traffic Implications
3.1 Little progress has been made by Paycause in defining the improvements required to handle the additional traffic on the Wrexham Road and through the Overleigh roundabout. Yet the draft Development Brief acknowledges that the roundabout is a potential constraint and states that, “measures to minimise and mitigate the impact (of additional traffic from the development) will need to be agreed”. At the Public Enquiry and again in the Inspectors report, it was stated that mitigation and improvement measures could be taken to address this. So far, this seems to have been wishful thinking.
3.2 We suspect that the lack of proposals is because there is no easy solution given that the road over the Grosvenor bridge is single carriageway. This is illustrated by a statement from one of the Paycause directors at the consultation who said “we are unable to do anything about the state of the road network heading into Chester. CWAC allocated the land for housing so all we have to do is to show we have done everything we can within reason financially. We are proposing a new bus route into the site and adding cycle ways but we will not be proposing further enhancements to Wrexham Road unless we really have to, following completion of the transport assessment.”
3.3 The traffic implications were the subject of the greatest number of comments and the need to improve traffic flow was rated highest in the WPRA questionnaire. Major concerns were expressed about the impact of the development on traffic congestion with the developers seeming to be over-reliant on encouraging residents to walk and cycle more with provision of cycle lanes – laudable but probably having limited impact. Specific suggestions were:

• a dual carriageway all the way from the A55/A483 roundabout to the Grosvenor roundabout,
• move Park and Ride out beyond the A55/A483 roundabout,
• add a cycle lane over the Grosvenor bridge perhaps keeping one side for cycles and one for pedestrians,
• improvements to the Wrexham Road including pedestrian crossings.
• reopen Balderton station to enable residents of WP and surrounds to travel by train into Chester or Wrexham.

3.4 The Western Relief road was also recommended for attention and seems to be the best (and probably only) long term solution. It is expensive and has been under consideration for many years but it would help to relieve traffic congestion and should be pursued urgently if gridlock is to be avoided.

3.5 Paycause’s job is confined to building houses and contributing financially to infrastructure development and it is the Council that has responsibility for ensuring that the scheme will work. WPRA opposes obtaining planning permission for this large development until the Council shows how it will deal with the increased traffic.

4. Education and Health Facilities
4.1 A new Primary School was always an integral part of STRAT 3. At the consultation there seemed to be a difference in opinion as to whether Paycause would build the school at a time agreed with CWAC or if Paycause would just make a section 106 contribution for others to build the school. A Paycause Director implied that it would be the latter and a Council representative stated that the Council would be relying on a third party to build and operate it as a Faith or Free school. This is of considerable concern – we could finish up with no school as experienced with the Saighton development.
4.2 The point was apparent from the concerns expressed about the impact of the increased population on existing schools. Whilst the new primary school will take in children on the new development, there is the issue of timing. The draft Development Brief States that the developer will provide the land and make the agreed financial contribution when the 350th dwelling is built and that the school is expected to open with the 700th dwelling. Apart from the obvious likelihood of delays, it is questioned whether the primary children generated by 700 houses can be accommodated by existing facilities, especially as Belgrave school is already full.

4.3 WPRA believes that the school opening should be brought forward to much earlier in the development. This would reduce the cost of temporary measures to expand existing schools and reduce traffic flows – most primary children from the Wrexham Road development will need to be taken to either Lache or Overleigh schools by car through the Overleigh or A55/A483 roundabouts at peak hours.

4.4 Similar concerns surround the timing of provision for a new health centre within the development. This is essential given that existing provision at the Lache and Handbridge centres are close to full capacity. What would not be welcome is building a large centre on Wrexham Road to replace the Lache and Handbridge centres. This would again add to traffic flows and is likely to be impracticable for many people on the Lache estate who do not drive.

5. Access
5.1 The draft Development Brief highlights the benefits of foot/cycle path access between the two communities. Comments from residents suggest that this will be welcomed. It will provide foot and cycle access to WP shops for new residents and access to the school, health centre, pub, etc for WP residents,

5.2 However there is strong opposition to any vehicular access from the new development onto Lache Lane. On previous meetings with Paycause this has always been accepted. Yet The draft Development Brief (Para 3.21) states that, “as the site fronts onto Lache Lane, there may be scope for access to serve a limited number of new properties.” This would be a dangerous precedent. A limited number could become a less limited number in the future thus transferring traffic congestion from the Wrexham Road onto Lache Lane. This point on Lache Lane is also unsuitable for a regular junction since it is on the inside of a blind bend.

5.3 The possibility of bus and emergency vehicle access between the estates was raised – if this was allowed a system, such as dropping bollards, would be required.

6. Boundaries
6.1 Residents on the east side of Fives Ashes Road, Rowcliffe Avenue, Merton Drive and a few in Whaddon Drive will back onto the new houses. Concerns were expressed about the nature of the boundary and the distance to the back of new buildings. WPRA would oppose any reduction in the minimum of 10 metres stated at the consultation and in any proposals to build 3-storey properties along the boundary line.

6.2 The suggestion for a cycle/footpath along the boundaries is not welcome because of the security implications.

6.3 There is also concern about the positioning of the school and playing fields, particularly the floodlit, hard-core pitch. Foot access to the school through Greenacre Road could lead to parking congestion in Lache Lane and the floodlit pitch could generate noise in the evenings.

7. Drainage and Sewers
7.1 We understand that it is proposed to separate surface water from foul sewerage in the development to protect/extend the capacity of the Welsh Water Treatment works on Sealand Road which is being upgraded to cope with all future population growth in Chester.

7.2 WPRA met with Welsh Water in 2015 who stated that the system (pipes and pumping stations) would need to be upgraded to accommodated the new houses and that they would need to undertake a hydrographic survey to establish what is required. We understand that this has been done and that Paycause are working with WW although details of connections to existing systems, and phasing, have yet to be determined. Residents expressed concern that upgrades required are carried out in time to cope with increased use.

7.3 We understand that the controlling body for dealing with surface water is the Environment Agency and that Paycause will need to comply with their requirements. This is likely to include holding surface water in large buffer tanks for release into the Balderton Brook during drier periods at rates no greater than that from the fields at present. Again there is concern that, when the fields are concreted over, flooding could occur in Westminster Park.

8. Other
8.1 Although retirement apartments were rated low on questionnaire responses, requests were made for 1/2 bedroom bungalows within the development to enable people to downsize without leaving the area. There was also a request for houses for supported living in the community. The importance of affordable houses was also stressed to enable first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder although another resident commented that these would affect property values.

8.2 It seems appropriate to review the democratic arrangements. At present the new development falls within the Huntingdon ward which is several miles away. There is a case for making it part of the Handbridge ward.

8.3 The Wrexham Road development along with other expansion in Chester will have an impact on the wider infrastructure of Chester. An example cited, is the Countess of Chester hospital – does it have the capacity to meet the expansion?

Response from Westminster Park Residents’ Association to the Wrexham Road Development Proposals – November 2016

1. Introduction
1.1 The WPRA was formed in 1998 to represent the interests of around 1200 households in WP as defined by Lache Lane, all roads to the East of Lache Lane and roads off Green Lane. It is run by an executive committee and works closely with local councillors.

1.2 Over 300 people from WP and surrounds attended the consultation with the developers (Paycause) between 2:00 and 8:00 pm. on 19 October. They were able to talk to senior people from Nathaniel Lichfield, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey as well as highways, drainage and landscape specialists. Some plans were also on display and attendees were encouraged to provide feedback on forms provided by Paycause. A draft Development Brief, prepared by Nathaniel Lichfield, was made available.

1.3 WPRA manned the entrance, taking notes of names, email addresses and distributing its own feedback forms. Public meetings were subsequently held on 26 October and 2 November to enable people to ask questions and state their views. A substantial number were unable to attend the first meeting because of capacity constraints, hence the second meeting.

1.4 This paper has been produced from our discussions at the Consultation and the views expressed by residents on their feedback forms and at the public meetings.

2. Size of the Development
2.1 Many were concerned at the size of the proposed development and the effect that this will have on their lives as WP residents. It more than doubles the size of the existing Westminster Park estate.

2.2 The number of houses has grown from an initial 1300 to, currently, 1450. In his final report, the Inspector said the need was for at least 830 houses. Since the Wrexham road site would accommodate in the region of 1300 houses then this number would accommodate all the needs including flexibility for changing factors. The Policy for STRAT 3 approved by CWAC stated that Chester needed at least 5200 houses with around 1300 houses in the green belt. This seems to have been subtly changed to at least 1300 houses in the green belt, or in practice 1450 houses. Nowhere at the public enquiry or in the Inspectors report does the number, 1450, appear?
2.3 This creeping up of the numbers will exacerbate the unresolved issues with this development, particularly the traffic issue.

3. Traffic Implications
3.1 Little progress has been made by Paycause in defining the improvements required to handle the additional traffic on the Wrexham Road and through the Overleigh roundabout. Yet the draft Development Brief acknowledges that the roundabout is a potential constraint and states that, “measures to minimise and mitigate the impact (of additional traffic from the development) will need to be agreed”. At the Public Enquiry and again in the Inspectors report, it was stated that mitigation and improvement measures could be taken to address this. So far, this seems to have been wishful thinking.
3.2 We suspect that the lack of proposals is because there is no easy solution given that the road over the Grosvenor bridge is single carriageway. This is illustrated by a statement from one of the Paycause directors at the consultation who said “we are unable to do anything about the state of the road network heading into Chester. CWAC allocated the land for housing so all we have to do is to show we have done everything we can within reason financially. We are proposing a new bus route into the site and adding cycle ways but we will not be proposing further enhancements to Wrexham Road unless we really have to, following completion of the transport assessment.”
3.3 The traffic implications were the subject of the greatest number of comments and the need to improve traffic flow was rated highest in the WPRA questionnaire. Major concerns were expressed about the impact of the development on traffic congestion with the developers seeming to be over-reliant on encouraging residents to walk and cycle more with provision of cycle lanes – laudable but probably having limited impact. Specific suggestions were:

• a dual carriageway all the way from the A55/A483 roundabout to the Grosvenor roundabout,
• move Park and Ride out beyond the A55/A483 roundabout,
• add a cycle lane over the Grosvenor bridge perhaps keeping one side for cycles and one for pedestrians,
• improvements to the Wrexham Road including pedestrian crossings.
• reopen Balderton station to enable residents of WP and surrounds to travel by train into Chester or Wrexham.

3.4 The Western Relief road was also recommended for attention and seems to be the best (and probably only) long term solution. It is expensive and has been under consideration for many years but it would help to relieve traffic congestion and should be pursued urgently if gridlock is to be avoided.

3.5 Paycause’s job is confined to building houses and contributing financially to infrastructure development and it is the Council that has responsibility for ensuring that the scheme will work. WPRA opposes obtaining planning permission for this large development until the Council shows how it will deal with the increased traffic.

4. Education and Health Facilities
4.1 A new Primary School was always an integral part of STRAT 3. At the consultation there seemed to be a difference in opinion as to whether Paycause would build the school at a time agreed with CWAC or if Paycause would just make a section 106 contribution for others to build the school. A Paycause Director implied that it would be the latter and a Council representative stated that the Council would be relying on a third party to build and operate it as a Faith or Free school. This is of considerable concern – we could finish up with no school as experienced with the Saighton development.
4.2 The point was apparent from the concerns expressed about the impact of the increased population on existing schools. Whilst the new primary school will take in children on the new development, there is the issue of timing. The draft Development Brief States that the developer will provide the land and make the agreed financial contribution when the 350th dwelling is built and that the school is expected to open with the 700th dwelling. Apart from the obvious likelihood of delays, it is questioned whether the primary children generated by 700 houses can be accommodated by existing facilities, especially as Belgrave school is already full.

4.3 WPRA believes that the school opening should be brought forward to much earlier in the development. This would reduce the cost of temporary measures to expand existing schools and reduce traffic flows – most primary children from the Wrexham Road development will need to be taken to either Lache or Overleigh schools by car through the Overleigh or A55/A483 roundabouts at peak hours.

4.4 Similar concerns surround the timing of provision for a new health centre within the development. This is essential given that existing provision at the Lache and Handbridge centres are close to full capacity. What would not be welcome is building a large centre on Wrexham Road to replace the Lache and Handbridge centres. This would again add to traffic flows and is likely to be impracticable for many people on the Lache estate who do not drive.

5. Access
5.1 The draft Development Brief highlights the benefits of foot/cycle path access between the two communities. Comments from residents suggest that this will be welcomed. It will provide foot and cycle access to WP shops for new residents and access to the school, health centre, pub, etc for WP residents,

5.2 However there is strong opposition to any vehicular access from the new development onto Lache Lane. On previous meetings with Paycause this has always been accepted. Yet The draft Development Brief (Para 3.21) states that, “as the site fronts onto Lache Lane, there may be scope for access to serve a limited number of new properties.” This would be a dangerous precedent. A limited number could become a less limited number in the future thus transferring traffic congestion from the Wrexham Road onto Lache Lane. This point on Lache Lane is also unsuitable for a regular junction since it is on the inside of a blind bend.

5.3 The possibility of bus and emergency vehicle access between the estates was raised – if this was allowed a system, such as dropping bollards, would be required.

6. Boundaries
6.1 Residents on the east side of Fives Ashes Road, Rowcliffe Avenue, Merton Drive and a few in Whaddon Drive will back onto the new houses. Concerns were expressed about the nature of the boundary and the distance to the back of new buildings. WPRA would oppose any reduction in the minimum of 10 metres stated at the consultation and in any proposals to build 3-storey properties along the boundary line.

6.2 The suggestion for a cycle/footpath along the boundaries is not welcome because of the security implications.

6.3 There is also concern about the positioning of the school and playing fields, particularly the floodlit, hard-core pitch. Foot access to the school through Greenacre Road could lead to parking congestion in Lache Lane and the floodlit pitch could generate noise in the evenings.

7. Drainage and Sewers
7.1 We understand that it is proposed to separate surface water from foul sewerage in the development to protect/extend the capacity of the Welsh Water Treatment works on Sealand Road which is being upgraded to cope with all future population growth in Chester.

7.2 WPRA met with Welsh Water in 2015 who stated that the system (pipes and pumping stations) would need to be upgraded to accommodated the new houses and that they would need to undertake a hydrographic survey to establish what is required. We understand that this has been done and that Paycause are working with WW although details of connections to existing systems, and phasing, have yet to be determined. Residents expressed concern that upgrades required are carried out in time to cope with increased use.

7.3 We understand that the controlling body for dealing with surface water is the Environment Agency and that Paycause will need to comply with their requirements. This is likely to include holding surface water in large buffer tanks for release into the Balderton Brook during drier periods at rates no greater than that from the fields at present. Again there is concern that, when the fields are concreted over, flooding could occur in Westminster Park.

8. Other
8.1 Although retirement apartments were rated low on questionnaire responses, requests were made for 1/2 bedroom bungalows within the development to enable people to downsize without leaving the area. There was also a request for houses for supported living in the community. The importance of affordable houses was also stressed to enable first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder although another resident commented that these would affect property values.

8.2 It seems appropriate to review the democratic arrangements. At present the new development falls within the Huntingdon ward which is several miles away. There is a case for making it part of the Handbridge ward.

8.3 The Wrexham Road development along with other expansion in Chester will have an impact on the wider infrastructure of Chester. An example cited, is the Countess of Chester hospital – does it have the capacity to meet the expansion?

November 16, 2016
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Proposed development on Wrexham Road.

Today is the last day on which you can comment to Cheshire West and Chester Council on the proposed development on Wrexham Road. It is vitally important that you let them have your opinion.

The main concern of the majority of people that we have spoken to is traffic. The development brief does not address the issue of how the extra vehicles coming onto the Wrexham Road will be handled. The traffic in south Chester is already at saturation point as the Grosvenor Bridge physically cannot carry any more vehicles at peak times. The Council must sort out the road infrastructure before it allows any building work to start.

It is very worrying that the development brief in point 3.21 suggests that there will be access for houses onto Lache Lane. This will add yet more traffic to Lache Lane and has the potential to become a rat run from the Wrexham Road.

I am sure that there are many other aspects of this plan that you may have a view on, but you may have a comment to make about the timing of the delivery of the school which will not be in use until Year 7 of the development at the earliest. In the meantime, places will have to be found in other local schools, most probably in mobile classrooms.

You can comment online by registering with the Council or you can email them at: spatialplanning@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Please get your comments in today. They will not be accepted after midnight tonight.

Kind regards
Pauline Brown, Chair
Westminster Park Residents’ Association

November 11, 2016
by Dave Craggs
0 comments

Letter sent to papers from the Residents Association

Time is running out! The CWAC consultation about the proposed housing development on Wrexham Road will close on Wednesday 16 November 2016 and it is vital that you make the Council aware of your opinions as this will affect all Cestrians and commuters in and out of the city.

You should be aware that there are some very worrying alterations to the plans in this development brief (available to view on the Council’s website) which were not on the first plans shown to the public last year.

Top of the list is access from the housing estate onto Lache Lane which will inevitably lead to a rat run through the estate to and from the Wrexham Road. There is no need for vehicle access at all from this estate to Lache Lane as there are three access points from the estate onto Wrexham Road.

Secondly, the traffic, which is already horrendous in the area at peak times, will reach gridlock unless improvements are made to the Chester road network. And this will not only affect travellers south of the Dee – it is likely to affect all parts of Chester.

As we know, if one part of our city gets snarled up, the knock-on effects are widespread. In the latest Local Plan (Part 2) there is yet again mention of the building of the Western Relief road, for which there now seems to be some political will to deliver. However, this should be built before the development of 1300 plus houses, not after it!

Thirdly, the proposed school on the site will not be opened until the seventh year of building at the earliest. This means that school places must be found for a minimum of 163 children before they get a school. In the meantime, places must be found for them in other local schools despite the fact that some of them are full or nearly a mile away. There is already talk of mobile classrooms …

You can comment via the CWAC website or you can email or post your comments – please make your views known before 16 November 2016.

Pauline Brown
Westminster Park Residents’ Association