Latest News via Woodford Community Council e-Newsletter
The WCC is now issuing e-mail newsletters and newsflashes to keep residents updated on the latest news in the community.
SUBSCRIBE to this service or view past newsletters here.
Click on a heading to go straight to the individual news items.
Call for Committee Members
Protect Yourself from Burglary
Woodford Neighbourhood Plan is Made (including referendum result)
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) Updated
North Cheshire Garden Village (NCGV)
Woodford Neighbourhood Plan (WNP)
Join us to fight the green belt grab
Rally to Save Greater Manchester’s Green Belt
Statement on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
Save Our Greenbelt Walk
Save Our Greenbelt
Cheshire East Local Plan – Revised Local Plan Strategy Consultation
Last Ever Vulcan Flypast
Exhibition - Vision for the Future of Woodford
Last year, the committee felt that a review of the WCC constitution was timely because Woodford has evolved and grown rapidly recently. After careful thought and scrutiny, the committee concluded that a few minor changes were needed to make it more inclusive and to bring it up to date.
In the revised constitution, all residents of Woodford who are aged 18 years or over are automatically members of the community council, which is run by the Management Committee. The role of WCC in facilitating liaison between residents and developers and promoting integration of old and new communities is included. It also acknowledges the formation of Woodford Neighbourhood Forum (WNF) and the preparation of the Woodford Neighbourhood Plan, which is now part of the Stockport Development Plan. It notes that the Community Council is working in harmony with WNF in aiming to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of Woodford by:
- Actively encouraging all the Members to participate in the activities of WCC for the improvement of Woodford.
- Encouraging the goodwill and involvement of the wider community.
- Fostering community spirit and encouraging civic pride.
WCC will also work with WNF in promoting implementation of the policies and aspirations, which arose from consultation with residents.
Since the number of volunteers prepared to sit on the committee has fallen, the quorum for meetings has been reduced from 6 to 5 and the minimum number of meetings per year has been reduced from 5 to 4.
We are pleased to report that the revised, more inclusive constitution was approved at the AGM in November 2019 and can be viewed here.
We are exploring ideas for an event at the Woodford Community Centre where the various local community groups can introduce themselves to new and existing residents. We are also looking into any potential to improve the footpaths around Woodford so that the countryside in our beautiful rural village is more accessible for all.
Call for committee members
There are 15 places on the Management Committee and there are currently vacancies. We would like to invite anyone over the age of 18 living in Woodford to come to a meeting and see if they would like to get involved. Should you wish to find out more please send an email to: email@example.com.
Woodford Community Council is funded by sponsorship and we thank Avro Heritage Museum and The Deanwater Hotel for their continued support, which helps to maintain our website and support our activities. Should you know of anyone who might like to sponsor us please email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like to donate money we have a Just Giving page. Click here.
Protect yourself from burglary
Tips for improving security
Greater Manchester Police have an information pack which provides comprehensive information on measures you can take to help to protect your home from burglary. It can be found here.
Woodford Neighbourhood Plan is Made
95.8% said “Yes”
The WNF Management Committee is delighted to report that an overwhelming majority of voters voted Yes to the Woodford Neighbourhood Plan, so it will now be used by Stockport Council to help decide planning applications in the Woodford Neighbourhood Area.
In detail the results were:
- Number of eligible voters: 1171
- Number of votes cast: 452, which represents a 38.6% turn-out
- Number of Yes votes: 433 (95.8%)
- Number of No votes: 19 (4.2%)
- Number of rejected ballot papers: 0
We have done better than average with this result (data from MHCLG).
Over 750 successful neighbourhood planning referendums have taken place across the country.
- The average turnout is 32%
- The average ‘yes’ vote is 89%.
WNP is the first neighbourhood plan to be adopted in the borough of Stockport.
WNP is the second neighbourhood plan to be adopted in Greater Manchester (Standish in Wigan was the first).
The WNF Management Committee would like to thank Forum members, residents, local councillors (Brian Bagnall, John McGahan, Mike Hurleston and David Meller), council officers and our MP, Mary Robinson, for all their support and various contributions along the way.
This edition of the WCC Newsletter is dedicated to the memory of StephenTaylor, who initiated the Woodford Neighbourhood Plan project in 2013 and was our first chairman. He sadly died in 2014 and is very much missed by the Forum committee and the community.
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) FROM HERE DOWNWARDS TITLE ARCHIVE
A spatial plan is being prepared by Greater Manchester Combined Authority for the whole Greater Manchester region, which comprises ten boroughs: Stockport, City of Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Wigan, Bury, Bolton, Oldham, Rochdale, and Tameside. GMSF will guide development across the region and also provide the context for the preparation of updated Local Plans by the ten individual authorities. Planning officers in each local authority have been assigned the task of preparing the draft and analysing the responses to consultation. In order to proceed, GMSF needs unanimous approval by the 10 boroughs.
- The consultation on the revised GMSF closed on 18th March.
- The Greater Manchester Combined Authority GMCA reports that there were 20,000 responses.
- The response from WNF is here. Our MP Mary Robinson’s response is here.
- All responses will be made public online in due course.
- The responses will be analysed and a further draft GMSF is expected to be presented for public consultation in the autumn, when there will be another chance to have your say.
- This will be followed by a public examination of the draft GMSF by a Government Inspector, which will be another opportunity to submit comments. Stakeholders will be invited to make representations at the examination.
- Any amendments required will be made by the GMCA, the final GMSF will be approved by the Inspector and adopted by GMCA. GMCA expect to be at this stage by the end 2020, but many experts predict that the timescale will be longer.
SGMGB was formed in 2017 to give residents a combined voice after widespread public outcry at the proposed Green Belt losses around the region. It is a fully constituted body, with 48 member community groups, including Woodford, and has gained acceptance as a stakeholder in the development of GMSF.
- Andy Burnham and Anne Morgan (lead planner with GMCA) accepted an invitation to attended a meeting on 2nd February 2019 for two representatives from each component community and answer their questions.
- Several suggestions were submitted by Woodford, including a shorter plan period to avoid inclusion of Green Belt sites and robust policies to enforce the use of previously developed land first.
- SGMBG submitted a response to the consultation on the revised draft GMSF on behalf of all the component groups, including Woodford.
North Cheshire Garden Village (NCGV)
NCGV was named as one of the Government’s fourteen flagship garden villages in 2017 and is one of the sites for development in the Cheshire East Local Plan which was approved in July 2017, despite opposition from residents and their elected representatives in surrounding areas, who raised concerns including Green Belt loss, overdevelopment in the local area and exacerbation of traffic congestion. It occupies a large site formerly in Green Belt between the western boundary of Woodford, the A555 and the A34 bypass. Although part of the site was previously developed as an RAF base in the 1940s, it has been colonised by nature and now provides habitats for protected species. Part of the site was designated as a Local Wildlife Site by Cheshire Wildlife Trust in 2016. The development proposals include 1,650 new homes, commercial premises and a school in a garden village style setting.
- The Government has announced that it will provide more than £21 million to develop infrastructure for the garden village.
- The Government has also provided £150,000 of funding to Handforth to help develop plans for the new garden village.
- Master plans were exhibited in January and a hybrid planning application was submitted to Cheshire East Council in May, comprising two parts:
(1) Outline planning application for preparation and building.
(2) Full planning application for initial preparation and infrastructure.
Save Woodford’s Green Belt is an informal group of residents, formed around the members of Woodford Community Council, Woodford Neighbourhood Forum and the Woodford War Memorial Community Centre, dedicated to fighting the declassification of Woodford’s Green Belt. It is a partner in Save Greater Manchester Greenbelt, an umbrella association representing over 30 local Save the Greenbelt groups across Greater Manchester. It supports housing on Brownfield sites and seeks to protect all Green Belt for future generations. It is a formally constituted organisation. You can view its Facebook page here.
You can visit “Save Woodford’s Green Belt” Facebook page here and post comments to let us know your views on GMSF.
On Saturday, 1st April 2017, Woodford residents joined people from all over Greater Manchester to protest against the GMSF plans to build on vast swathes of Green Belt land across the region. Some 1,500 people gathered in front of Manchester Town Hall to remind the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, prospective mayoral candidates and local councillors of their vigorous opposition to these proposals, which they believe were based on flawed population forecasts and inadequate use of previously developed sites.
Help to prepare for Round 3 in the campaign to save Woodford’s Green Belt
In order that we are prepared when the revised GMSF documents are published sometime later this year, we are particularly looking for residents or close supporters who have expertise in the following:
- Press and PR
- Journalism and broadcast media
- Relevant local government experience
- Detailed analysis of technical documents
- Fund raising
If this could be you, or indeed if you are just enthusiastic to contribute, then please contact us on email@example.com to make our team more effective.
A joint statement on behalf of the Stockport Labour Group, The Stockport Conservative Group, The Independent Ratepayers Group and the Stockport Residents Group has been issued following the meeting of Stockport Council held on 19th January 2017. Click here for the full statement.
This Protest walk, organised by the Save Stockport’s Greenbelt group took place on Saturday, 14th January 2017. Hundreds of Stockport residents joined in, converging on the Town Hall for a spirited rally in defence of our Green Belt.
For further information and more photos, click here.
Save Our Greenbelt
This protest walk was organised by High Lane residents, who have set up a very active Facebook group, which can be accessed here.
Alternatively for those without Facebook, visit the Save Stockport’s Greenbelt website here.
Proposals rip the green heart out of Woodford
Details emerged on 20th October of plans to take 238 hectares (nearly 600 acres) of Green Belt out of the heart of Woodford to make way for 2,400 new homes. The area to be removed from Green Belt is shown in pink in the map below. It is a large area on either side of Chester Road, bounded by Old Hall Lane, the Aerodrome and Bridle Road in the south and by Church Lane, Moor Lane, Jenny Lane and Woodford Road in the north.
Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – Woodford Opportunity Area shown in pink.
NB Click here to open a full size version of the map.
This is part of a new joint plan for the whole of Greater Manchester (Greater Manchester Spatial Framework), which proposes to take large areas of land out of Green Belt across Greater Manchester to make way for new homes plus commercial development and the infrastructure to support it. The draft plan has been devised by council executives and officers representing each of the 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester. It has been two years in the making and there have been two rounds of informal consultation, but elected councillors and MPs have only recently seen the details of the draft plan. The combined authority leaders reviewed the draft plan on 28th October and voted in favour of proceeding to consultation on the proposal from 31st October to 23rd December.
The proposals will remove large areas of land from Green Belt in neighbouring communities in Greater Manchester as well. The following map illustrates the potential cumulative effect of Cheshire East Council and GMSF proposals within a short radius of Woodford.
NB Click here to open a full size version of the map.
Further information and the draft GMSF document can be found via the GMSF website. Click on the link to the documents, then on Draft GMSF October 2016 Consultation in the table and then Read and Comment on Document. Information relating specifically to Woodford can be found in Section 28 Allocations, Subsection 28.8 Other Allocations and finally 28.8.20 Woodford. Paper copies can be viewed at Stockport Town Hall and Bramhall Library.
Cheshire East Council’s (CEC) Local Plan has major implications for Woodford. It would leave Woodford surrounded by some 5,000 new homes within two miles of Woodford Church. This includes the already planned 920 homes to be built on the ex-BAe Woodford aerodrome site. The developments will result in massive incursions into the Green Belt in Poynton and Handforth.
This map shows the extent of the proposals:
Red sites, 1, 2 and 3 are the sites CEC proposes for development for 1,950 dwellings. Yellow sites 4, 5 and 6 are CEC proposed safeguarded land for future development, which could result in a further 1,350 dwellings (at 30 per hectare). Sites 7, 9 and 10 are approved and building is in progress: 145 homes in Woodford, 175 homes, plus a 108 unit Care Village in Handforth and 204 homes in Wilmslow. Site 8 is owned by Harrow Estates and the subject of an outline planning application for a further 775 homes and a 100 unit Care Home. In addition, there will no doubt be further plans for housing on the MOD site, within site 1 next to Total Fitness, scheduled for closure and redevelopment in 2022.
More details, including a larger scale map may be downloaded here.
The Consultation ended on 19th April 2016 but the CEC revised local plan and comments submitted can still be seen by clicking here and scrolling down to ‘Read document and view comments’.
Specific responses submitted by Woodford Neighbourhood Forum, Cheadle MP Mary Robinson, local ward councillors and SMBC can be found on the links below. It is disappointing to see that the response submitted by SMBC differs markedly from the views of Woodford residents and indeed of our elected councillors, particularly with regard to justification for removal of land from Green Belt.
The last flying Vulcan, XH558, soon to be retired, made her last flight over Woodford on Saturday 10th October.
All 136 Vulcans were manufactured at Woodford so this was a most poignant moment in the history of aviation.
For further information, click here.
Exhibition - Vision for the Future of Woodford
On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015 Woodford Neighbourhood Forum organised an exhibition to provide a review of the work that has been undertaken to date in developing the proposed Neighbourhood Plan. Members of the WNF Management Committee were on hand to answer questions and discuss the various matters raised. Approximately 150 residents and visitors from neighbouring areas attended the exhibitions over the two days, including Cheadle MP Mary Robinson and local councillors Brian Bagnall and Mike Hurleston. Click here to access further information on the WNF website.
To discover a selection of past news items and information regarding Woodford and our community in our archives - click here.