More than 30 residents attended the meeting at which the subject of the land at Middlewich Road was again on the agenda.
After some discussion about whether there was any need for more affordable houses required in Cranage, the vote was taken with councillors D Hopley, M Hodge and J Halstead against any sale and councillors M Mackenzie and R Hurst in favour of selling the land.
This does not mean the land is safe, it just means that the parish council cannot re visit this vote for a minimum period of six months.
The Councillors went on to discuss whether they could ensure that the land is protected from developers by means of a deed of trust. Chairman D Hopley stated that he wanted the parish council to pursue this and have something in place by the end of March 2014, which is when the planning permission runs out.
This indeed would be a good line to follow and we hope the parish council do indeed pursue this with some vigour.
The Housing Challenge Fund
Residents raised the issue of the Housing challenge fund in the open forum. The parish council still insist that the application was successful, despite our providing the chairman, just before Christmas, with the e-mails from Cheshire East that which state that no application was made by the parish council and that no monies would have been paid to the parish council in any event. The parish council now claim Housing Association would have given them the full amount of the grant as well as the agreed purchase price of the land.
We are concerned that the parish council might have been misadvised with regard to this application, We believe that such dealings should be open to scrutiny by the residents of Cranage and that, in the interests of transparency and good governance , the parish council should substantiate the claim that the Housing Association’s was committed to giving the £150,000 grant to the parish council.