Implementation Group Report to September meeting of WTC
The NP implementation Group was set up by WTC in November 2019 since when it has met regularly to pursue some of the commitments and aspirations set out in the NP.
The purpose of this note is to update the Council on the activities of the group, the membership of which comprises five members of the original NP Group, two town councillors and the town Clerk.
We are working on a Town Centre Concept Master Plan that will capture the key policy objectives in the Neighbourhood Plan and guide future decision making. The Concept Master plan will
Promote a series of coordinated phased improvements in line with the WNP and CE Local Plan objectives.
Develop a cultural and activity programme generating interest in the town centre
Develop a management and promotion strategy
CEC Regeneration team has initiated a Town Centre Vitality Plan process for the nine key towns in Cheshire East and appointed consultants to carry out the studies and prepare recommendations. We have met with the two senior members of CEC responsible for the TCVP, informed them of activities, suggested that through the work done on the NP we could offer a rapid start in Wilmslow and agreed to support their work. The consultants have a contact name from within the Implementation Group and have been sent copies of the WNP and LCA.
Within the NP are six key sites that could be developed within its lifespan. A discussion has been held with the Estates Manager of Cheshire Police on the future of the police /fire station site. It was conceded that they are sat on an under used asset. Local CEC councillors have been contacted to point out that the NP concept for Broadway Meadow is more ambitious than that of just a multi deck car park as recommended in the CE Wilmslow Parking review. Discussion is ongoing with the architect and developer of the Tesco site following the proposal to build a hotel on a key position within the town.
Green Links, Footpaths and Public Open Space
Enhancement and preservation of The Green Links on Broad Walk and Alderley Road is now being actively pursued. Following discussions with CEC, Transition Wilmslow’s Tree group are currently working with Laura Crane at CEC to review proposals to replace lost trees and the continuing management of existing trees on Broad walk. Proposals for trees in the town centre, including a tree survey on Alderley Road are now being developed prior to future discussions with CEC
As a result of increasing concerns on congestion around schools and the safety of children walking and cycling to schools discussions are now underway with both Wilmslow High School and local primary schools to review matters.
Transition Wilmslow is currently liaising with CEC/ANSA on possible sites for a proposed Community Market Garden.
Lindow Moss Landscape
We are pursuing two fronts associated with the Lindow Moss landscape. The Neighbourhood Plan aspires to restoring and interpreting the wider landscape of Lindow Moss as a nature improvement area and in association with neighbouring councils, land owners and other key partners set up a Lindow Moss Partnership that will manage the wider moss land area in the long term. Interest has been expressed by Chorley, Mobberley and Great Warford parish Councils in this aspiration.
In the shorter term restoration of the peat extraction site is looking promising with the commitment of the landowner to embark on a restoration plan. One condition of the planning application granted to the landowner is the setting up of a Lindow Moss Liaison Committee covering work on the peat bog restoration. We have proposed a terms of reference and potential membership of this committee and suggested that it be established in advance of the start of restoration work. This would keep the public and interested parties involved and informed from the outset.
The Group submitted proposals to CEC for safer cycling and walking under
Covid Recovery measures and with the help of local cycling groups
Active Travel Funding proposals (rat runs). Although these have not been adopted in full a 20 mph zone is being trialled in Pownall Park. We continue to liaise with CEC on
the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and are assured that the Southern route from the Rail Station via the High School, Alderley Road and by pass to Alderley Park will be delivered in this financial year.
The Group fully support the concept of Green Links cycling and walking routes around the town and these plans are currently being developed.
The Neighbourhood Plan recommended the introduction of 20’s Plenty traffic calming in residential areas and working with CEC Cycling & Walking Champion we anticipate that the motion will be proposed in October 20.
We look forward to working on future proposals which include the Bollin Valley Cycling and walking and the LCWIP north and west routes.
Railway Station and Viaduct
Discussions are ongoing with Network Rail and Northern Rail on potential improvements to the railway station forecourt and parking areas. Northern Rail are looking at extending the buildings the front buildings and retails outlets within it. Network Rail is producing a Station Development Brief to consult people on priorities. The long stay car park has been identified as a key site for potential development and Network Rail recognise for their long stay the pricing strategy and relationship with Broadway Meadow is key.
Options have been drawn up to illuminate the viaduct on entry/exit from Wilmslow and opening discussions held with Network Rail Asset Protection. A scope has confirmed and is being sent to potential design contractors for assessment and costing.
If appropriate a proposal for a scheme will be submitted for approval to the Council.
A site visit to one of the two conservation areas to be re assessed has been completed. The appointed consultant was accompanied on Bollin Hill by Councillors Stockton and Brooks. Highfield Estate will be visited next and then an assessment of Dean Row with a view to it becoming an additional conservation area.
Government Planning White Paper
The group has been assessing the likely impact of the new Government consultation paper on proposed planning reforms which, if implemented, will bring radical changes to the planning system via a ‘growth’, ‘renewal’ or ‘protection’ zonal approach. It is hoped that the WNPIG would play a key role in the development of design guidance for the key sites.