Parish Council gets first glimpse of “Future Airspace”

Parish Councillors have been taking part in Stage 2 of Manchester Airport’s “Future Airspace” engagement meetings.

At this stage there isn’t too much to report, the airport have produced a set of proposed “envelopes” in which flights will take place. You can see these in the image above under “Proposed Routes”.

There is a potential increase in flights over the parish, but until we see the routes it’s impossible to be certain. What we do know so far is:

  • Flights will generally continue in a straight line for longer before taking off, and potentially climb quicker. This means that Tatton Park for example will see less overhead flights (as can be seen above) as the planes won’t be allowed to bank right as quickly
  • There is a potential for East Bound flights to come over our parish. We have suggested to the airport that this isn’t necessary as it saves no time and there is already a route over South Manchester. This route also includes the large planes (A380 and 777) that go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi so should continue going over built-up areas instead of rural areas like our parish.
  • Over 35% of flights head South and those flights could come over our parish, but the “envelope” for these flights is from Northwich to Nether Alderley so it’s impossible to say if we’d be affected yet. Currently small planes flying south are allowed over our parish but this could switch to larger planes in future
  • Manchester Airport’s own design criteria state that planes can’t “turn suddenly” and yet they’re trying to maintain the route over Marthall. We’ve suggested to them that this contravenes their own guidelines.

We expect to see more concrete routes in early 2022 and we will keep parishioners informed. If you have any questions please email the clerk or come along to a council meeting and we’ll do our best to answer your concerns.

Council makes official complaint to Manchester Airport

We’ve had a lot of residents, especially in the north of the parish, complain about recent flights of large planes over their houses. Whilst we know that Manchester Airport have had technical problems for 10 days from 10th to the 19th of October, our compliant actually extends beyond those dates because we can’t see any reasonable excuse for the flights.

The Parish Council is concerned that Manchester Airport is “testing the waters” for their upcoming “Future Airspace” project by sending planes over our parish and waiting for complaints. This concern is shared by neighbouring parish councils, including Snelson and Chelford who have also registered complaints.

The letter has been sent to the Managing Director, Karen Smart.

We would in the meantime encourage any residents who have been disturbed by these flights to contact the airport directly using the following link

Dear Ms Smart,

As you’re obviously aware the recent failure of the navigational aids has forced many of your planes to fly in non-standard departures. 

Whilst the recent crescendo of large planes over our parish is easily explained by this failure, this letter concerns the preceding 5-6 weeks, during which a constant and steady stream of large aircraft also flew over our parish on a daily basis for no apparent reason.

Throughout September a constant flow of large planes used the LIS flightpaths. Most did so during periods of calm and clear skies. The planes also came over at a time when other aircraft preceding or proceeding the errant one, flew on an expected flightpath, which if caused by navigational problems, were very specific and intermittent.

Whilst we would like an explanation for these NSDs, we primarily wish to register a complaint on behalf of the residents in our parish who were affected by the noise and disturbance these planes caused during this period.

DR Sports offer holiday fun at Ollerton Park

Are you looking for something for your kids to do this summer? D R Sports are running a series of sessions at Ollerton Park for kids.

The sessions held at Ollerton Park are as follows:

  • Thursday evening 5pm – 6pm £5/child from any school in the areaAll children aged 6-11 for 3v3 football. Ollerton and Peover areas particularly welcome – come and play football or just make friends!
  • Thursday evening 6pm – 7pm £25/child or £30 for 2. 1 to 1 football and/or goal-keeping session available Age 5-13
  • Sunday morning 10am – 11amAll children age 4-7 from any school in the areaIf you have a child that is 3 – please email Dave. Football £5/child. Ollerton and Peover areas particularly welcome – come and play football or just make friends!
  • Sunday morning 11am – 1pm. 1 to 1 football and/or goal-keeping sessions available. Ages 5-13 £25/child or £30 for 2

All parents/carers to please register on the D R Sports website for both track and trace and contact details for last minute changes due to weather conditions. 

Payment is made on the day – pay as you play – no contract or commitment.

Email: Mobile No. 07739424270
Please follow on Facebook to keep up to date with special offers and extra clubs.

Chelford Road Verges on the dangerous

Tree round and soil left try and block public highway

The Parish Council has been trying in recent years to get the “grass” verge between Manor Lane and Windmill Wood turned into something safer and easier for pedestrians to use with little success.

This situation has been exacerbated in recent months with repeated attempts to block the verge with large mounds of soil and tree trunks. This causes pedestrians, some with prams and small children to face either trying to cross a busy road or walk into the path of vehicles, both on a notoriously dangerous bend.

Several local residents have alleged that the perpetrator of this illegal activity is the owner of Windmill Wood, using a mini-digger to move materials from the wood to discourage people from using the footpath.

It is worth noting several things:

  • The land is owned by Cheshire East Highways, not any local residents for their personal use
  • This is considered “fly-tipping” which is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court
  • This is a public right of way, if this was in any doubt, there is a Post Office post box on the land.
  • The footpath through Windmill Wood is a public footpath and has been since the 1800s

The Parish Council have complained to Cheshire East Council repeatedly about this issue over recent months but the perpetrator continues to re-offend. We consider the behaviour of the perpetrator completely unacceptable and a danger to life.

If you see any evidence of obstruction of the highway or fly-tipping, please contact Cheshire East Highways to report it on the following link The more people that complain the more likely CEC will make the perpetrator reinstate the verge and not re-offend.

Parish Christmas tree brings cheer but no party

18 months ago our parish Christmas tree was planted and almost exactly a year ago we had out inaugural “switch on party”. Carols were sung, mince pies munched, gathered together in the cold over 30 parishioners congregated, chatted and laughed to celebrate the new tree and look forward to Christmas.

Looking at the picture below from 2019, that all seems like a lifetime ago. After one of the strangest and most gruelling years people have faced for generations, it’s a shame that we couldn’t have some solace with a second party this year.

As we look towards Christmas and the New Year we can only hope that 2021 brings more joy than this year, and colourful glow of our little parish Christmas tree is a beacon of hope and cheer.

Christmas “switch on party” 2019

CE Highways lackadaisicalness causes crash

A serious crash occurred on the junction of Pedley, Pinfold and Marthall Lanes at 8:30am on 1st December 2020. After several earlier near-misses from other vehicles, a mini-bus from a nearby old people’s home skidded on black ice into a hedge. Fortunately the bus contained no old people at the time.

Moments later as the driver and her assistant got out of their vehicle a large lorry carrying aggregates skidded, hit their mini-bus, and slammed it through the hedge. Both ladies in the mini-bus and the driver of the lorry escaped shaken but unharmed.

Cheshire East Highways were originally informed of the problem two months earlier on the 7th October. A drain from a rain gully had become blocked and cracked, resulting in the grid acting as a “spring” and spreading water all over the road, even when there had been no rain. To make matters worse it was the site a massive raw sewage spill 8 years earlier, so the water was foul and a health hazard.

Despite the fault being logged by various parishioners, numerous phone calls, including over 7 calls to the Cheshire East Emergency Hotline and several emails being sent nothing had been done over a month later. So on the 9th of November, having seen numerous near collisions of cyclists and motorists the previous weekend, parish councillor Nick Speakman again rang Cheshire East Highways emergency phone number but this time recorded the call, so concerned was he that this would result in a fatality.

During that call he stated. “Cyclists are swinging out to avoid it into oncoming traffic… we’ve had air ambulances here in the past for cyclists being hit head on by cars in just this situation…. beside which, if it’s not sorted soon, we’ll have frost and then there’ll be even more accidents”

Cheshire East Highways sent an officer, Josh Holden, later that day who said, “There is no rain gully” and closed the job. Councillor Speakman persisted with a further call to the Emergency Hotline and when later pressed as to how he denied the existence of a gully, the officer said “well I couldn’t see one because of all the water… but I’ve since looked on Google Street View and you can see one”

“I couldn’t see the rain gully… because of all the water”

Josh Holden, Cheshire East Highways

Numerous dates were set to sort it, no one came out, and each time the job was closed again.

By the 19th of November residents had decided to take matters into their own hands, risking their own safety on 60mph road and tried for two weeks to pump the water away but to no avail.

Ironically two days before the crash a Cheshire East Highways officer arrived on the scene and said it would be sorted with “at least some signage” by the following day, Monday the 30th of November. Residents removed their pumps, no one came, we subsequently had the first frosty morning of the winter and the results can be seen above.

We contacted both Simon Davies, Head of Cheshire East Highways and Councillor Laura Crane who is in charge of Highways and Waste for comment but received no replies.

Ollerton with Marthall Parish Council will meet on Thursday the 3rd of December to consider lodging a formal complaint with the Chief Executive of Cheshire East.

Boohoo owner breaks lockdown with “golf party”

Mahmud Kamani owner of the Boohoo fashion company and owner of Ollerton Manor has allegedly flouted lockdown restrictions by holding a “golf party” on his property.

Following a scandal earlier this year that wiped £1B off Boohoo’s value after accusations of worker exploitation and breaking of Covid-19 restrictions, it appears that on Sunday the 15th of November a “golf party” was held flouting lockdown laws.

Earlier in the day a security guard was stood on Chelford Road directing traffic to the event with a sign labeled “Knutsford Golf Course”. Ironically the entrance to the field, driveway and alterations to the pavement and highway were all done illegally and are currently the subject of one of numerous “enforcement orders” Cheshire East Council have taken against Mr Kamani.

As the sun started to set cars started to leave the venue, and to avoid problems on the notorious accident blackspot of the nearby crossroads, the security guard helped to guide the visitors onto the fast moving carriageway.

A nearby resident said “I heard gardeners working this morning to clear the leaves to the entrance, using leaf-blowers… but I had no idea it was to host this” another resident commented “It appears that it’s one rule for us and another for Mr Kamani… AGAIN!”

Below is a diagram of the illegal building work

Ollerton Nursery housing is approved

Despite the long standing protestations of local residents and parish councillors, Cheshire East Planning Committee yesterday voted 9-1 to approve the plans for new housing on the site.

Dating back to 2016 this site had an application for 26 dwellings which was deemed “an inappropriate form of development” and “environmentally unsustainable”. An appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in 2017 was refused for much the same reasons. An application was eventually approved in 2018 for just 10 dwellings.

The parish council listened and read the concerns of the local residents and decided to object on 2 main areas, “infill” and “drainage”

We realised that houses would be built on this site and we wanted those houses to enhance the area and integrate into the parish in a workable and sustainable way, long after the developer has moved on to other projects.

Therefore we tried to prevent the application growing into filling the earlier rejected application’s ambitions by stealth. As a result we requested that conditions were applied that prevented further infill building on open parts of the site, with the removal of permitted development rights and all 106 and open green spaces adhered to by the developer.

This was rejected by the Planning Committee

“[residents’ concerns] are based on fear rather than substance “

Councillor Alift Harewood

Secondly we spoke about the concerns of residents around drainage.

The application didn’t take into account or even mention the surrounding residents’ septic tanks. All the existing surrounding properties drain into the nursery site and there was no consideration at all of this on any drainage strategy documents. We pointed out how devastating this could be to those neighbouring households.

Cheshire East Highways said that “they have concerns regarding the surface water drainage strategy which will need to be resolved prior to any construction” and that the applicant needs to “submit a Land Drainage Consent application with detailed engineering specification”. Neither of which had been done.

United Utilites questioned the applicant’s drainage strategy, stating “No development shall commence until a surface water drainage scheme has been submitted”… indeed, United Utilites pointed out that the developer has simply “provided options rather than a drainage strategy”

These concerns need to be addressed properly, fully and comprehensively before approving this application.

“It appears all that all the concerns about drainage have already been addressed… although I haven’t seen the new drainage proposals”

Councillor Tony Dean

Again these requests were rejected by the Planning Committee and the Planning Officer. Indeed the developer simply stated, without any evidence, that the Parish Council hadn’t got all the facts and these concerns were addressed.

We stressed that residents are understandably concerned that they are going to face future issues around general surface water drainage, as the area of Ollerton Crossroads is notorious for flooding now and more importantly they are concerned at the complete disregard for their needs regarding septic tank drainage.

Finally we pointed out concerns about tree removal and the dangers of the entrance of the site, but again these were largely ignored by councillors on the planning committee.

It was clear that Planning Officer Paul Wakefield was keen to approve the application and councillors seldom override the officer’s recommendation. Disappointingly, it was also clear from questions that many of the councillors on the committee either hadn’t listened to what had been said, hadn’t read the comments from local residents, or weren’t paying attention. Several of them asking questions about details that had been clearly iterated both in the meeting and online.

“You’ll be pleased to know I won’t be saying very much… I invite you to read the parish council’s objections”

Councillor Marc Asquith

Our own Cheshire East councillor Marc Asquith (Conservative – Chelford) had 5 minutes to state the case of locals but instead simply said “You’ll be pleased to know I won’t be saying very much… I invite you to read the parish council’s objections” using just 22 seconds of his 5 minutes.

It is worth pointing out that Councillor Iain Macfarlane (Independent – Wilmslow West and Chorley), uniquely, not only took the time to visit the site, but also clearly had read the comments of residents and indeed reiterated them. However he still voted for the application

Councillor Paul Findlow (Conservative – Prestbury) asked the Planning Officer “I’d suggest that an infill of properties would be likely to be approved” realising that the approval of this application would easily lead to further development. He subsequently was the only councillor to vote against.

Councillor Alift Harewood (Labour – Macclesfield West and Ivy) said the concerns of residents were “based on fear rather than substance” she then eagerly and mistakenly approved the application long before being asked by the Chair for her vote.

The list councillors who voted against is;

Councillors Liz Brathwaite and Brendon Murphy lost their internet connections so had to abstain.

You can watch the proceedings here

Barn fire rages for over a week

One of three large barns on Marthall Lane spontaneously caught fire on 22nd September, at around 1pm.

At it’s peak 14 fire engines attended the scene and in order to manage a high volume pump from Ollerton Crossroads initially a 4-way traffic light system was installed. By the following day Marthall Lane had to be closed to prevent traffic interrupting Cheshire Fire’s activities.

Marthall Lane closed from Pedley and Pinfold Lane

Farm machinery was used to move unaffected hay bales away from the fire. Three branch holders were used from the high volume pump to create a water curtain to stop the fire from spreading to other barns and to prevent them from sustaining heat damage from the flames.

Due to the extent of the fire and the fact that it was contained to the barn, a decision was taken, with the support of the Environment Agency, to allow the affected hay to burn off.

Barn still ablaze after 3 days

The fire raged for 9 days and eventually after dousing the barn continuously and some rainy weather the fire was deemed extinguished.

The barn, owned by the Fielding family has been badly damaged and it is thought around 8,000 bales of hay were lost.