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Moulton waits for planning decision
A UNITED community is hoping that a planning inspector will decide in favour of the common people after a four-day public inquiry.
The inspector heard the case from Richborough Estates, which is proposing to build 148 new houses in Moulton, and from village groups, which say the area cannot sustain the development.
Clr Tony Rigby, Moulton Parish Council chairman, said: “Our concerns were made to the inspector that the development shouldn’t be allowed on the grounds of sustainability.
“We don’t have any doctors or dentists and our school is full, as is Davenham’s.
“The site is also part of a buffer zone between the villages, which is vital to protect identity.”
He said concerns were raised about the lack of play provision in plans for the site, off Beehive Lane, and fears that Section 106 money, usually paid by a developer towards general infrastructure improvements, would never be seen by Moulton as it would go in a central Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) pot.
“Moulton would get a development it doesn’t want, that residents don’t want, that the school can’t cope with, that has no infrastructure to support it and no financial assistance to manage it,” said Clr Rigby.
“The community is against this and is united in its dissatisfaction.
“What we hope is that the planning inspector will see the common sense argument and come down on the side of the common people.”
Moulton Matters, a community group set up to fight the plans, has also been campaigning against CWAC’s planning process and called it into question with a petition earlier this year.
“The appeal inquiry highlighted a number of issues we have had with CWAC’s planning process,” said Angela Capstick, from Moulton Matters.
“Even the council has recognised these – otherwise why would they have set up a corporate scrutiny team investigation?
“There is a plethora of policies involved in planning and our elected representatives who interpret these on our behalf are let down badly by the lack of evidenced based expert opinion from CWAC’s internal consultants.”
She added: “The planning inspector appeared to be a very fair man and it is hoped that his decision will go our way but if the decision goes against us at the appeal, then our next course of action will be via the government Ombudsman.”
The decision is expected to be announced in about three months.
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