Westminster Park Residents Association

Bringing our community alive

October 31, 2017
by Jennifer Crew
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Chester’s Western Relief Road

Our Councillors Neil Sullivan and Razia Daniels are working hard to address the inevitable traffic problems that will occur when the Wrexham Road development goes ahead.  They have made representations to Cheshire West and Chester Council and have sent the following letter to the press:

Chester Western Relief Road

For decades there has been an outline plan to build a relief road to the west of Chester, crossing the Dee at Sealand Industrial Estate ,and wholly within the County boundary.

Unfortunately this scheme has never materialised despite key tracts of land being safeguarded in successive local plans.

In the latest Local Plan , the Council are planning to remove  the  safeguarded route due to doubts about whether it is deliverable.

We are working with residents in Westminster Park, Lache and Curzon Park to deal with the planned Wrexham road large scale housing development.

One key concern is that there will be increased congestion on Wrexham road and Overleigh roundabout. This will lead to delays, deteriorating air quality  and frustration.

We also think it will lead to increased traffic on Lache roads such as Circular Drive, Boundary Lane and Cliveden Road.

The Council is now considering working with the Welsh Assembly Government and Flintshire Council on a possible new route that will bypass Chester on the western side, to be built part in England and part in Wales.

This could  alleviate some of the traffic impacts as above but also open up economic growth potential for Blacon and Deeside.

We urge the Council to get on with this project and establish whether there is a viable route without any further delay.

Cllr Neil Sullivan

Cllr Razia Daniels

Handbridge Park ward, Chester

October 13, 2017
by Dave Craggs
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Public Meeting about the Wrexham Road Development Planning Application

We shall be holding a Public Meeting of the Westminster Park Residents’ Association at the Westminster Park Community Centre at 8pm on Wednesday 18th October and urge you all to attend.

Plans for the 1400 house estate were submitted in June and we have now prepared the attached draft response to Cheshire West and Chester Council on behalf of Westminster Park residents which we wish to discuss with you.  You may wish to raise other points about the plans and in order to represent your views as accurately as possible, we would be grateful if you would come along to the meeting.

The plans are available to view at Lache Library or online.  The application numbers are: 17/02453/OUT and 17/02444/FUL.  Please go along to examine the plans and consider any points that you would wish raise.

We attach our draft response which will form the basis of our discussion at the meeting.

If you are not able to attend, you can forward your views to Brian Westcott at 48 Merton Drive.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 18th October.

Yours

Pauline Brown, Chair

Westminster Park Residents’ Association

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October 9, 2017
by Jennifer Crew
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Chester Residents urged to look at Wrexham Road plans and make comment

Press release

For immediate release: Tuesday 10 October 2017

Westminster Park Residents’ Association are urging the people of Chester to look at the plans for the proposed new housing development on Wrexham Road and send their comments to Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The plans were lodged with the Council in June and can be viewed online or in hard copy at the Lache library.  A number of responses have already been received, particularly in relation to the effect that this development will have on traffic in Chester and the surrounding area.

Pauline Brown, chair of Westminster Park Residents’ Association, commented, “A lot of people have still not woken up to the fact that this development will go ahead and it will have a huge impact on the traffic both south and north of the River Dee.

“This new estate will be almost twice the size of Westminster Park and the number of vehicle journeys that it is going to generate will be enormous.  Quite apart from people commuting to work, in the early stages of development, while there is no school, shops or health centre on the estate, people will need to reach all of these facilities via the Wrexham Road on a daily basis.”

Westminster Park Residents’ Association is encouraging everyone to go and look at the plans and consider their own response.  “We are all going to be affected by this development and now is the time to make CWaC aware of our views,” Mrs Brown added.

“As a community organisation, we are asking all Westminster Park residents to have a look at the plans over the next week and to come along to the Public Meeting that we are holding at Westminster Park Community Centre at 8pm on Wednesday 18th October 2017.  We are keen to put forward a response to the Council that is representative of our residents’ views and hope that they come along in force.

“Although traffic impact is a big issue, there are also other aspects of these plans that people need to look at including how the development will affect the provision of education and healthcare in the area, how the drainage and ecology of the area will be managed and how the archaeological assets of the site will be conserved.”

Residents are also encouraged to put forward their own individual comments on the plans. The plans can be found on the Cheshire West and Chester website.  There are two applications at present:

17/02453/OUT | Part A – (full permission) for 509 dwellings and associated infrastructure (including playing fields / open space); Part B – (outline permission – all matters reserved apart from access) for a local centre (comprising supermarket (Use Class A1); other shops (Use Class A1); cafe/restaurant (Use Class A3); public house (Use Class A4); health centre (Use Class D1); and nursery/creche (Use Class D1) plus an outdoor play area) and an element of a primary school with associated playing fields (Hybrid application) | Land At Wrexham Road Chester

17/02444/FUL | Construction of an ecological mitigation area for the translocation of great crested newts | Land Off Lache Lane Chester

Caption: Chester residents examining the Wrexham Road Development Plans in Lache Library.

October 9, 2017
by Jennifer Crew
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Westminster Park residents fight on to save their green space

Press Release

For immediate release: Monday 9 October 2017

Residents of Westminster Park have been dismayed once more by new notices attached to lamp-posts informing them that Dee Valley Water have applied to the Department of Transport to change the use of the green space on Fir Tree Avenue enabling them to build a new water pumping station.

This latest move comes ahead of the Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee meeting next Tuesday 10th October to consider the planning application for the pumping station.

Local resident Steve Barnwell said, “Green spaces on the Westminster Park estate were designed as public amenities not to be built on in the future.  Land registry documents for 1969 show that this land was ‘dedicated to the public for ever’, and yet Dee Valley Water want to ride roughshod over these orders.”

Dee Valley Water have applied to the Department of Transport for a highways stopping-up order which will in effect change the ownership and purpose of this open green space.  Currently it is owned by Kier Group and is designated as highway with public access.

Steve Barnwell is also very disappointed by the response of Cheshire West and Chester Council to the planning application submitted by Dee Valley Water.  “This green space is designated in CWAC’s Local Plan as an important part of the ‘Green Network’ in Chester (CDLP – ENV 19). The urban corridor along the A483 Wrexham Road into Chester should have a green buffer along its length.

He is also concerned that this will set a precedent for future building, “Quite apart from the noise and vibration that we are going to suffer, and the loss of an important local amenity, if the construction of this pumping station is allowed to go ahead, what is to stop another developer or utility company from building in the green buffer zone?”

Anyone wishing to object to the stopping-up order have until Thursday 12th October 2017.  They can email the Department of Transport at nationalcasework@dft.gsi.gov.uk quoting case number: NATTRAN/NW/S247/2995 – Fir Tree Avenue Chester.

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August 5, 2017
by Jennifer Crew
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Fir Tree Avenue Residents furious with “high-handed” Dee Valley Water

Residents of Westminster Park are furious at Dee Valley Water’s decision to move ahead with the construction of a pumping station, despite the fact that plans have not yet been brought before the Council’s planning committee.

Only late on Wednesday 2 August this week, did householders on Fir Tree Avenue receive notification that preparatory work will start on Monday 7 August to construct the pumping station on a grassed area with mature trees situated between Fir Tree Avenue and the Wrexham Road.

Plans for this work, however, have only just been submitted to the council and have yet to be considered by the Planning Committee.  Further to objections by residents, local Westminster Park councillors Neil Sullivan and Razia Daniels have called the plans in for closer scrutiny.

Fir Tree residents, Stephen and Carolyn Barnwell are incensed by the arrogant attitude of Dee Valley Water.  “This last minute notification is typical of the high-handed way in which this project has been conducted,” fumed Stephen.  “Back in April, without any consultation, and without any intention of applying for planning permission, Dee Valley posted a notice on a nearby fence informing us of their intention to build a pumping station the size of a double garage opposite our house.  Further to our objections, they have submitted plans to Cheshire West and Chester Council.

“However now, with breathless arrogance, they have decided that they do not need to wait for planning approval and will proceed anyway,” he added.

From the first, residents have questioned why there is a need for the pumping station, and why it needs to be situated in Fir Tree Avenue.  Dee Valley Water claims that it is necessary to meet OfWat’s requirements for resilience in the water supply, but residents are sure that it has more to do with ensuring that there is a good supply to the proposed housing development further down Wrexham Road.

The residents have instigated meetings with Dee Valley Water, which were also attended by MP Chris Matheson and local councillor Neil Sullivan, to request consideration of other possible sites. Chris Matheson has sent a letter to the Council objecting to the plans.

Brian Westcott of the Westminster Park Residents’ Association believes that this pumping station should not be located on Fir Tree Avenue.  He says that it should be part of the new development on Wrexham Road.

“Dee Valley Water will need to produce a wider strategy for water supply to the area taking account of the Wrexham Road development,” he explained, “and this pumping station should be incorporated into those plans.”

“We are very concerned about the effects of this pumping station so close to local houses, and the damage that is going to be caused to the trees screening the houses from the Wrexham Road,” he continued.  “This area is part of the buffer zone between the Westminster Park estate and the Wrexham Road and we are sure that there are alternative sites in the new development that could accommodate this pumping station and be less damaging to the environment.”

 

Caption: Carolyn Barnwell and Brian Westcott on the site of the proposed pumping station on Fir Tree Avenue.

 

June 28, 2017
by Jennifer Crew
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Plans for Wrexham Road Development submitted

The first of four planning applications to build 1400 houses on the Wrexham Road site have been submitted to CWAC.  Another three more applications are expected in the coming weeks.

This first application contains two parts: Part A which requests full planning permission to build 509 dwellings to the south of the site, and Part B which concerns outline planning permission for the associated infrastructure including shops, a health centre, pub, and nursery.  These plans contain a vast amount of information, in 47 separate documents, which will take a long time to download and read.

The other applications are likely to be a similar size.

It is important that these applications are carefully scrutinised to ensure that the new development is built to the highest possible standards and that it does not have a negative impact on surrounding areas.

You can find details of the applications on the CWAC website at: https://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/online-applications/

Search for reference: 17/02453/OUT.

We already have a subcommittee which will be examining the plans, but in light of the amount of content to be studied would welcome some assistance.  If you have any knowledge and/or expertise in planning matters, construction, drainage, traffic management, environment, education and healthcare provision or any other aspect of land development, we would like to hear from you.  Please ring Jennifer Crew on 01244 680364 or Brian Westcott on 01244 675431.

Jennifer Crew

Brian Westcott