Windmill Wood saved from development

The Parish Council recently met with the new owner of Windmill Wood to hear what was planned for the site.  We were very pleased that the new owner’s primary focus will be actively managing the woodland with an aim to make the woodland more biodiverse. This work will include the restoration of the wetland area, including a pond, that the new owner wants to restore to a healthy state and allow it to become a refuge for wildlife. We understand that the work will include the selective thinning of trees, coppicing and the removal of some of the invasive rhododendrons, which will allow more light to filter through to the woodland floor, allowing a greater diversity of other plant species to thrive.

This is positive news given Cheshire has one of the lowest coverage of woodland (4% half the national average). This wood is identified within many historical maps such as John Speed’s map of Cheshire, Ollerton in 1600, windmills are shown within the wood. One of our long standing residents also recalls a windmill within the woods. Christopher Saxton’s map in 1577 also illustrates woodland in Ollerton in this area. There are many veteran trees within this ancient wood and ponds which provided wetland habitats for the resident wildlife. 

We have asked about public access to the woods and we are pleased able to confirm that the 3 footpaths through the woodland, Knutsford FP19, Toft PF11 and Toft FP4 will be improved by the owner and, of course, remain fully open. Users of these paths are reminded that the woodland is privately owned and that there is no general public access away from the public rights of way. Windmill Wood is designated a SBI site and recognised by Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust. This is why its protection is so important and the positive proposals should be supported. 

The Parish Council will keep parishioners abreast of developments as and when information is shared with us by the landowner.

We see these proposals as a positive contribution to our wonderful countryside.   

It’s Christmas tree light time!

Our young Parish Christmas tree seems to be growing with gusto and vigour, getting bigger every year. Situated on the corner of Oaklands Road and Marthall Lane it’s time for the annual “switch on” of its lights.

With free mince pies, cakes, mulled wine and soft drinks it’s a chance for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit, sing some carols and have some fun.

The switch on will begin at 2:30pm on Saturday the 2nd of December. Everyone is invited!

Windmill Wood for sale

The 35 acres of Windmill Wood (Toft Woods) is being offered for sale by Fisher German by on-line auction on 23 August.

Toft Woods has been used by generations of Knutsford, Toft and Ollerton residents for family walks and dog walking, bird watching and youngsters exploring. Scout groups and visitors make extensive use of the woodland. It is an important asset used extensively by the community.

Parishioners may be aware that many attempts have been made to seek planning permission for these woods: paint ball games, build additional properties, split into smaller lots, timber extraction etc etc.

The woods are now being marketed on the grounds that “Leisure and recreational uses sympathetic to the woodland setting are likely to be explored by potential purchasers”.

Although the woods benefit from Green Belt protection, certain types of development are permissible, including “…..changes of use for outdoor sport or recreation….” (NPPF para 150).

New owners could well seek to limit the ability of the users to roam through the woodland and confine the use to the three public footpaths which intersect on the land to be sold. (Knutsford FP19 from Goughs Lane; Toft FP11 from Chelford Road; and Toft FP4 from Seven Sisters Lane).

In view of the potential threat to access, Knutsford’s Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green, has launched a crowd-funding website to enable the community to purchase the woodland as a charitable trust to keep the woodland open, fundraise for improvements and ensure it is managed by the community for the community. The target is £200K and there’s 16 days to go. Full refund if the target is not reached or the bid is unsuccessful.

If you feel moved to support this cause (it has raised over £7000 in less than 24 hours) please visit:

Green Bins

Cheshire East Council has announced it will charge residents £56-per-year for green bin collections. The fee is the highest in the North West.

Cheshire East Council says the changes are being made to address a £20m funding gap it currently faces. The council estimates the changes will raise around £4m.

Council documents show a reduction to the recycling rate is expected as some households choose not to pay the subscription. Plans were approved by the environment and communities committee on Thursday, July 27.

The council says other options for raising funds were considered, including reducing black bin collections from every two weeks to every three, and a further reduction in the provision of household waste recycling centres.

Four of Cheshire East’s eight neighbouring local authorities do not charge for garden waste collections. The charge is £16-per-annum more expensive than Cheshire West & Chester’s £40-per-year introduced in February 2022. 

Nearby Stoke-on-Trent City Council charges just £15-per-year for its garden waste collection subscription. A total of 21 of the 39 North West local authorities currently charge for garden waste collections, with the subscription costing £37.80 on average.

Cheshire East residents will be able to pay their garden waste collection subscription from October this year. Those that do not pay will see their green bin collections cease in December 2023.

Manor Lane Road Closures

The parish council has received the following information regarding Manor Lane’s road closure…




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Cheshire East Borough Council in exercise of its powers under Section 14 (2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and of all other enabling powers issues this notice temporarily to prohibit traffic in the following length of road:-

Manor Lane, Chelford Ward, Knutsford, WA16 8RD for its full extent.

The alternative route will be via the following streets: – Seven Sisters Lane, Chelford Road

Location Map –

Pedestrian access to any premises situated within the temporary closure will be maintained at all times. Cyclists will be required to dismount in order for access to maintained. Vehicular access will be maintained for emergency vehicles and residents where possible.

The closure is necessary for works to be carried out by BT.

It is anticipated that the works will take place on the following date(s): Thursday 21st September 2023.

This notice will become operative on Thursday 21st September 2023 for a period of 5 days or for such less time as is necessary to enable the works to be completed.

If you have any enquiries relating to the works please contact Sunbelt Rentals on telephone number 0370 050 0792.

Christmas Tree Lights Switch On!

For the first time since 2019 we’re able to congregate together for the switch on of the parish’s Christmas tree lights.

With free mince pies, cakes, mulled wine and soft drinks it’s a chance for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit, sing some carols and have some fun.

Located at the corner of Marthall Lane and Oaklands Road.

The switch on will begin at 2:30pm on Saturday the 3rd of December. Everyone is invited!

Sunshine and smiles greet jubilee celebrations

A fantastic time was had by all at The Hall at Marthall’s jubilee celebrations.

The hall was decorated beautifully, and festivities began at 1pm with tables laid with amazing home made cakes and sandwiches.

It proved so popular that at one point with the car park, Sandlebridge Lane and lay-by were so full of cars an adjacent field had to be opened to allow drivers to park.

The brilliant brass band played as squealing children enjoyed the unlimited use of two bouncy castles and free face painting.

At 3pm the beer, wines and cider began to be served. The initial rush was so enthusiastic that in the first 15 mins over 70 pints were served. Visitors had a selection of 8 cask beers, 3 ciders and 4 wines sold at just £5 for 3 drink vouchers, after which you could buy any drink for just £1.
One gentleman who bought 6 pints and 2 glasses of wine later that evening for £8 exclaimed “I’ll never buy a round that cheap again!”
At 7pm the superb and ever popular band Buzzard played two sets of a medley of hits from acts including David Bowie, Foo Fighters, The Clash, Undertones and The Housemartins.
The later acting as a cue for visitors to start dancing… a trend that then continued to the end of an excellent night and a magnificent day.

Jubilee Celebrations at The Hall at Marthall

Save the date! Saturday the 4th of June, the villages of Ollerton, Marthall, Snelson and Little Warford are holding a party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

To held in the fabulous modern venue of The Hall at Marthall (Sandlebridge Lane, Marthall, WA16 7SB) there is loads of parking, ample space inside and hopefully (weather permitting) lots of grassy space outside to soak up the sun and celebrate.

Starting from 1pm there will be:

  • Afternoon Tea
  • Brass Band
  • Ice Cream
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Fancy Dress Competition
  • Face Painting

Then as the afternoon goes on, at 3pm the beer and cider festival starts, which is only £5 entry and includes 3 free pints.

Subsequent pints are just £1 each!

Featuring the following beers and ciders

  • Madhatter’s – Raspberry Cider (5.5%)
  • Madhatter’s – Strawberry Cider (5.5%)
  • Madhatter’s – “Nine Holes” – Dry Cider (6.0%)
  • Tatton – “Lazy Haze” – Summer Pale Ale (3.7%)
  • Tatton – “Gold” – Robust Golden Ale (4.5%)
  • Mobberley Brewhouse – “Boom Juice” Tropical IPA (3.6%)
  • Mobberley Brewhouse – “Bunji” Session Pale (3.8%)
  • Red Willow – “Feckless” Best Bitter (4.1%)
  • Red Willow – “Wreckless” American Pale Ale (4.8%)
  • Beartown – “Kodiak” Pale Session (4.0%)
  • Beartown – “Bluebeary” Blueberry Session (4.0%)

Then as the sun starts to set, we have a live band playing at 7:30pm along with a BBQ to help soak up some of the beer and cider.

Everyone is welcome.

We want your feedback on our Neighbourhood Plan

For the past four years Ollerton with Marthall Parish Council has been preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish. This is in line with government policy under the Localism Act of 2012, which encourages the production of such plans to give localities a meaningful say in the planning rules of Cheshire East’s Local Plan.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

  • A Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for every resident to have a say in how Ollerton with Marthall Parish Council should develop up to 2031 to meet local needs.
  • Neighbourhood Plans are important planning documents. When completed and accepted, the plan will have legal status for planning purposes. Cheshire East planners must use the plan, alongside their local plan, to determine planning decisions of future development in the parish.
  • The Neighbourhood Plan must conform to the principles and strategies of the Cheshire East Local Plan and although our plan cannot stop future development, it will give us a major say in influencing and shaping that development.
  • There are lots of Neighbourhood Plans in Cheshire East underway or completed. They are being used successfully to help decide planning applications and have been used to fight appeals.
  • A Neighbourhood Plan can allocate sites for development and can have a number of policies covering planning issues such as housing, local character and design, the natural environment, community facilities and more.
  • The plan is a community plan not a Parish Council Plan, although the Parish Council had overall responsibility for the process

Why has a Neighbourhood Plan been produced?

  • We are blessed to live in a beautiful area of rural Cheshire and we want to use the plan to protect the natural environment, wildlife sites, trees, footpaths and dark skies we enjoy.
  • Preserve the heritage of the parish maintaining local distinctiveness and character.
  • Ensure that housing is built on previously developed land, not “green belt” and new houses provide smaller houses that are actually needed by locals.
  • Protect green spaces and community facilities.
  • Improve transport and safety and to facilitate cycling and walking.
  • Support the rural economy and agriculture and new small businesses.

What’s next?

  • We will be posting letters and questionnaires inviting you to look at the Neighbourhood Plan and provide any comments you may have. There is also a replied paid envelope for you to post back the questionnaire.
  • If you would prefer to send your comments electronically you can do this quickly and easily using the following link
  • The Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed online at
  • We will be holding sessions for the public to come and discuss the Neighbourhood Plan at Marthall Village Hall on the following dates, where we will be happy to answer any questions you have

Tuesday 17th May 2022 1pm - 4pm

Wednesday 18th May 2022 7pm - 10pm

Please ensure that all your responses are posted before 7th June or sent electronically before the 12th of June.

We look forward to answering any questions you may have and reading your responses.

Ollerton Conservation Area Consultation Begins

The Cheshire East Council Environment and Communities Committee has approved to proceed to a public consultation for the Ollerton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan.

Letters will be sent to residents/businesses within the boundary, including any proposed new boundary changes and invited to attend surgeries where a Conservation Officer is present to talk through the proposals.

There is also the opportunity to have phone calls with the Conservation Officer if a face-to-face meeting is not possible. The information will be provided in Knutsford library for view and on Cheshire East Council’s website. The consultation will be advertised in the local newspapers and a planning notice placed in a central area within each Conservation Area.

Following the public consultation period all comments will be considered, and changes made to the documents, as appropriate, before a final version will be presented for approval by the Environment and Communities committee.

A draft version of the appraisal document can be found below