Report to Saughall and Shotwick Park Parish Council
Cllr Simon Eardley
04 April 2022
Public Right of Way maintenance
I’m pleased to see ongoing progress with the maintenance of PROW within the parish. Colleagues will recall my involvement in PROW route 8 (Little Saughall, off Hermitage Road). RA reported as follows on 24 March 2022 and I’ve seen these works for myself. See attached image. I’ve walked the route now that it is also passable as a result of hedge trimming having been undertaken which is welcome.
“Further to previous emails on the subject, I’ve just returned from replacing the step and uprights on the stile on the above Footpath. It would appear that the landowner has already secured the lower of the two steps, but as the uprights of the taller one were both rotten, I’ve replaced both uprights and the step board. Hopefully that should give it a bit of a longer life. The landowner did say that they’d give it and the one at the other end of the Footpath some [further] attention in due course.”
A fallen tree remains across part of the PROW route towards Bluebell Wood / Dingle Wood and I asked for an update from the PROW team at CWaC who have responded as follows today (04/04/22):
"I’ve got it on my calendar to cut it up on the 13th whilst I’m there checking the notices for the bridge closure (I’ve emailed the contractor concerned this morning regarding the bridge as I believe that it still hasn’t been done)."
I am advised this tree has now been removed.
The proposed HyNet project, specifically the CO2 pipeline works that will have an impact on the parish are taken seriously by both me and CWaC officers. Following recent discussions, I raised concerns about potential flooding on one part of the likely route (where it crosses Hermitage Road near number 139). The response from the HyNet team was as follows:
“Thank you for contacting us and for taking the time to tell us about the flooding and for attaching an image of the flooded area. It is very helpful and we really appreciate it.
In addition to gathering information from those that live and work in the area, we are working with the relevant flood authorities including the Environment Agency and Cheshire West and Chester Council to prepare a Flood Risk Assessment which will be submitted as part of our application for development consent. The Flood Risk Assessment will assess the potential implications of the proposed pipeline on flood risk to people and property, as well as assessing the potential risk of flooding to the proposed pipeline itself.
The route of our proposed pipeline is being designed, as far as feasible, to avoid areas prone to flooding and as part of the Flood Risk Assessment, the project team will consider the development of mitigation measures, particularly during construction to reduce flood risk.”
Following discussion at the last parish council meeting regarding likely highways’ impacts, specifically in respect of any closure to Sealand Road and the knock-on this might have, I raised the matter with the CWaC Director of Highways/Strategic Transport at a regular briefing on 11 March 2022. She is fully appraised of concerns and was party to a ‘scoping report’ produced in January around the likely works. CWaC is not the lead on these infrastructure builds but there is strong liaison underway between CWaC Highways, CWaC Planning and the wider HyNet team. The intentioned is firmly to limit any impact as much as possible, accepting that some will be inevitable for works of this nature. I expect this to be an ongoing point of dialogue.
Shotwick Park Estate ‘disposal’
I am advised by CWaC officers as follows: “The first elements of the legal documents are with the buyers solicitors with both parties making good progress in seeking to complete all due diligence and the transaction as soon as is practicable.”
Footpath obstruction – The Ridings / The Close
The Clerk and I were involved in correspondence with a resident who raised concerns regarding an obstruction to the footpath on The Ridings as a result of hedge growth at 2 The Close which appears to currently be vacant. The matter was logged with CWaC Highways and dialogue undertaken which has resulted in (as of 12 March 2022) the overgrowth being cut back and the route being easily navigable again.
Pear Tree Farm development
Following discussions at the last parish council meeting, I reiterated further concerns to CWaC regarding a number of issues at the ongoing Pear Tree Farm development. In particular, the matter of inappropriate parking on Hermitage Road was emphasised, together with concern regarding the open ‘drainage pond’ area. A copy of my email here:
“Further to my email below, the site was discussed tonight at Saughall and Shotwick Park Parish Council. On my way home I stopped (safely!) to take the attached images which illustrate well my second bullet point below. This is very unsatisfactory parking and dangerous in my view in this location. The first image shows my car lights illuminating the area and the second without shows how dark it all is generally. Whilst clearly vehicles travelling the route will have their lights on at night, because of the nature of the bend in the road here, you could easily be caught unawares.
The parish council also discussed the condition of the road immediately next to the footpath. It would be good to know the timeframe of this to be reinstated properly – it is not in a good condition at all at the moment and so if this could be pursued with the developers urgently that would be much appreciated.
PC members also concurred with my concern about the water in the drainage pond, its colour and the safety hazard owing to a lack of fencing.”
The main planning officer I deal with on this case responded as follows on 09 March:
“I understand your concerns regarding the highway. Our highways team have been in contact with the developer and you should today see some barriers and signage for highway users going up. The developer has also advised that the s278 agreement should be signed by the end of the week and this would result in the highway works beginning and ensure that our highways team can get the work completed to the correct specification. This would include the works for the bus stop and street lighting.
In terms of the pond as it is on private land it is the developers responsibility. Welsh Water will be working alongside the developer in relation to the drainage and I have asked them for an update.
In terms of planning we are still working alongside the developers to ensure that continue to adhere to the requirements of planning conditions, I am waiting to hear back from the agent.”
- Far East Takeaway. Colleagues might recall that a planning application was submitted for an improved air extraction system for this business last year. I have been extensively involved with resident concerns here in conjunction with CWaC Regulatory Services and continue to press them around cleaning and maintenance points which are a considerable issue. Progress is awaited on the planning application itself (which is called-in by me in any case). The latest position as follows (17 March 2022):
“Unfortunately we are still awaiting amended plans from the applicant, in light of the comment which were received during the consultation period, noticeably moving the extraction system so that it projects above the eaves of the main dwelling, whilst reducing the total width down so that visually there is less harm.
We have asked for the exact specifications of the fan fitting system as well as the silences and other attenuation which will be installed to limit the noise and odour.
I have just contacted the applicant to request an update and he has advised that his agent is producing the plans but hasn’t passed them on yet. I have been given the agents details and will relay with him today to chase receipt as I appreciate the matter has been ongoing for a long time now.”
- Land to the rear of Roslyn, Long Lane. This remains unresolved but I am in close touch with the most affected residents. The application remains called-in by me and I will push it to the Planning Committee should the officer dealing with it not recommend refusal. As far as I am concerned, there remain many issues regarding the suitability of this site for the proposed development, mainly around drainage, the siting of the building on site and the impact on neighbour amenity as well as on biodiversity. On the latter point we are waiting for the additional biodiversity surveys to be undertaken which may have a decisive impact one way or another on whether this application is agreed or not. I will continue to keep colleagues informed.
Implementation of CWaC Waste Strategy
Members will recall that this new strategy was agreed last year and CWaC continue to rollout its implementation. Latest developments include proposals to implement charges for the disposal and processing of some types of waste at Household Waste and Recycling Centres. This would have seen a policy of charging (e.g. £3.70 per bag of ‘rubble’ / DIY waste from domestic customers) implemented from April 2022. This has now been stalled as the Places Scrutiny Committee (of which I am Deputy Chairman) have insisted on a review of the policy which is due to take place at a meeting on 11 April 2022. The proposed charges relate to items such as the following: soil, bricks, concrete, tiles, slate, sand, gravel, rocks, stone, paving slabs, ceramics (wash basins, toilets etc), glass and plasterboard.
There is no specific further update from me on the above. CWaC awaits confirmation of government funding from its recent comprehensive bus services submission which may have a positive impact in terms of dealing with the issues we are familiar with. I have supported a resident who approached me regarding an appeal for their daughter’s admission to Blacon High School in the form of a supporting letter to the formal appeal process. The outcome is awaited.
Climate Emergency Fund
As part of CWaC’s commitment to supporting communities to tackle climate change, a third round of their dedicated Climate Emergency Fund has been launched (31/03/22). The funding will provide a financial boost for local organisations and Council projects that can reduce carbon emissions, helping the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045. Applicants are invited to submit bids by the Friday 6 May 2022 deadline for a share of the £50,000 available in the third funding round (this relates to the financial year 2022-23). Further rounds of Climate Emergency funding will be available from 2023 to 2024. The fund has been set up as part of the Council’s work to tackle the Climate Emergency, with local organisations that meet the funding criteria able to bid for a share.
Successful applicants will need to provide evidence that their projects can be implemented swiftly and will make a positive contribution to the borough’s ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.
Eligible organisations include town and parish councils, voluntary organisations, community groups, small charities and other not-for-profit-organisations. Examples of projects eligible for funding include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Renewable energy projects
- Energy efficiency projects
- Heat pump projects
- Zero or low carbon transport
- Waste reduction
- Natural capital/natural environment projects.
- (This event has now been postponed) I intend to support the Saughall Rotary Club planned litter pick in the village on Saturday 9th April and hope that some colleagues on the parish council might also be available to do so. I haven’t as yet seen a confirmed time or rendez-vous point but I’ve also offered assistance with obtaining relevant kit and the collection of bags at the end.
- Long Lane wildflowers. I contacted CWaC Environment officers regarding the ‘in-principle’ agreement to undertake a wildflower planting project here in conjunction with the parish council and am in the process of arranging a meeting to progress this.
- Greenway wildflowers. We await the practical implementation of the proposed scheme at this location which I am told will be very soon.