Dear Cranage Parish Resident.
Can I urge as many local residents as possible to copy and paste the letter below and e mail it to
as a direct response to Cheshire East council’s request for local feedback in terms of it’s Local Plan. In particular relation to the minerals assessment, this can directly impact upon Sibelco’ new planning applications if Cheshire East establish that Rudheath Lodge Farm is not a “preferred area” for mineral extraction.
Name & Address required in order that the feedback is counted
Dear Cheshire East
In relation to the development of the Local Plan I wish to provide the following feedback having read the document relating to minerals and waste.
I would urge Cheshire East to prioritise Option 1 in relation to Specific Sites and to prioritise the extension of existing extraction sites where minerals are concerned.
I would further urge Cheshire East to recognise the significant local concerns raised in relation to Rudheath Lodge Farm in Cranage and the recent planning application by Sibelco for silica sand extraction at the location.
Planning application 16/4724W refers and remains on hold until the applicant re-submits the plan to both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester following robust scrutiny which highlighted a catalogue of local community concerns and errors within the planning processes.
Rudheath Lodge Farm is a wholly unsuitable and unsustainable location to be considered as a Preferred Area, a Larger Area of Search or indeed a Criteria Based Policy as a direct result of the impact upon the local highway, significant disruption to local residents and businesses and the complete lack of any community benefits included.
In relation to the Local Plan document which is available on the Cheshire East website and in respect of Rudheath Lodge Farm pages 14 and 15 are the one’s to skip to and Question 4 in particular in terms of the council will plan ahead ahead for mineral sites.
Cheshire East are asking whether they should identify:
1) Specific sites – This includes extensions of existing silica sand extraction sites – Good news if Rudheath Lodge Farm isn’t eventually identified as a specific site, but bad news if it is.
2) Preferred areas – This is a more flexible option and focuses on viable extraction points regardless of location or suitability. Again we must ensure that Rudheath Lodge Farm is not elevated into this category.
3) Larger areas of search – This provides less certainty as to particular sites or locations. Rudheath Lodge Farm was previously identified as such an area alongside a plethora of other areas across Cheshire. This is good news locally as the previous identification in the previous Local Plan does not mean anything other than silica sand is in existence at the location. It also means that any application to quarry is not a done deal as a result of any previous identification. Sibelco would prefer Rudheath Lodge Farm to be a Preferred Area so we must ensure that this does not become the case as above.
4) Criteria based policies – These are sites that may be put forward during the consultation period. We must hope locally that Rudheath Lodge Farm is not put forward within this option this time around.
I have obtained legal guidance via Friends of the Earth and would now suggest that we develop feedback to Cheshire East that prioritises Specific Sites (Option 1 above) which includes further development of existing sites as the best option for the future
This entire Local Plan consultation in relation to Minerals and Waste is likely to take up to two years to conclude and there are likely to be several consultation periods within that timeframe.
Whilst that may be the case we should include our view that Rudheath Lodge Farm is a wholly unsuitable and unsustainable location for mineral extraction in all of our responses to consultation throughout the entire process.