Five thousand hours of hard ‘work, dedication and commitment’ finally came to fruition last month when Cheshire West and Chester Council gave its approval to the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan.
Members gave unanimous backing to the widely-acclaimed vision for a ‘sustainable and successful’ future for the West Cheshire Domesday Book village declaring the plan – “formally made”.
The first in West Cheshire, it would have been the fifth in England but was delayed when two national housebuilding companies sought a Judicial Review claiming the plan was technically flawed and questioning the impartiality of its Independent Examiner.
But to the delight of the villagers the High Court dismissed all claims against the document after finding that none of the grounds for challenge to CWAC’s Executive to approve the draft plan should succeed.
Parish Councillor Carol Weaver, chairman of the Steering Group that produced the plan told members that every step had been dogged with controversy as developers had challenged its findings.
“We fought every step of the way; sought advice from our officers and mentors. We wrote letters to Government and objected to planning applications we felt were inappropriate.” she said
“The belief and conviction that the Tattenhall Parish Council had in neighbourhood planning was born out when Mr Justice Supperstone issued his judgement on May 9.”
And she added: “We have had our victories and defeats- we have had good days and bad. We have laughed and cried together – we spent over 5,000 hours developing this plan but we got there in the end.”
The Tattenhall Village Plan, which took over two years to prepare, will now stand alongside the Local Plan to guide future developments in the area.
When put to a local referendum it was backed by 905 votes to 38 and recorded a 51.86% turnout easily exceeding previous nation record of 40% in Thame, Oxfordshire.