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Meeting Minutes 25 June 2019

Posted in Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Meeting Minutes




PRESENT:Andy LathamChairman
Parish CouncillorsCouncillor C Farquharson
Councillor A D Fennell
Councillor C Hopley
Councillor R Keys
Councillor S Langton
Councillor P Probin
Non-Parish CouncillorsAndy Champion
James Hall
Matthew Robinson
Stacey Rutter
Present, In Attendance and Absent at Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Meeting


Members were reminded that as the Minutes of the Steering Group meetings were stand-alone documents, it was important that declarations, and conflicts of interest, were declared at each meeting and recorded so that members of the public could be assured that there were no undeclared interests at any meeting.

Parish Councillors were asked to make any declarations of interest (in accordance with the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct) and non-Parish Councillors were asked to declare any potential conflict of interest owing to a connection with the business of the Steering Group or any item on the agenda.

Mr J Hall declared an interest in the proceedings on the basis that he was an employee of the Cholmondeley Estate. 

Mr M Robinson declared an interest in the proceedings on the basis that he was a representative of the Cholmondeley Estate.

Mr A Champion and Mr A Latham each declared an interest in the proceedings on the basis that   they were tenants of the Cholmondeley Estate. 

No other declarations were made.


11.1 Approval of the Minutes

RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 May 2019 be approved as a correct record.

11.2 Matters Arising

There were no matters arising from the minutes.


At the previous meeting, the results of the consultation questionnaire were received. Matthew Robinson had undertaken to draft a synopsis of the main issues raised by consultees and to share these with Lucy Hughes from Cheshire Community Action.

Lucy Hughes, who was in attendance, had been invited to attend this meeting to offer advice and guidance on the next steps. 

A copy of the synopsis prepared by Mr Robinson was submitted, and he spoke to the document.

Members were of the view that whilst most of the document represented what had been raised in the questionnaire, the last paragraph, titled ‘Response’ was Mr Robinson’s own suggestion about how the objectives could be achieved. 

A Member commented that the synopsis should provide a clear overview of the responses from a quantitative perspective to allow the community to understand the consensus. 

The Member also commented as follows:

  • None of the discussions were in the public domain and for this reason an approach should not have been made to Cheshire East Council to discuss potential housing in the parish. [It should be noted that unless specifically excluded (for appropriate reasons), all matters discussed at Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group meetings are in the public domain; moreover, members of the public are entitled to attend if they wish.] 
  • The questionnaire had been designed to elicit the overall views of the community, following which it would be possible to identify themes which could inform the next questionnaire to be issued. She considered that the synopsis did not achieve this. The Member herself, had prepared an alternative synopsis and this could be considered by the Steering Group at a future meeting. 

The reference to discussion with Cheshire East Council about planning matters was in respect of Matthew Robinson’s contact with CEC at which time he had been advised that an additional 30-50 homes would be acceptable for the parish; however, Lucy Hughes reminded the Group that the Draft Plan must conform with the National Planning Policy Framework and referenced PG6 which related to planning in open countryside; 30-50 homes would not be acceptable in planning terms.

No decision was taken in respect of the synopsis and Members went on to consider the next item of business.


The Steering Group was invited to consider –

  • A date for the public meeting to raise awareness of the Plan and to seek volunteers to assist in the process. (It was agreed at the last meeting that this would be in July/August; however, as this is often peak holiday time, Members were asked to take this into consideration when agreeing a date.) 
  • The venue for the event.
  • The format of the evening.
  • Documents to be provided at the event. It was suggested in the Project Plan that a short section could be written to explain the background to the Plan and the demographics of the area. 

Lucy Hughes suggested that a drop-in session be held and that the event be ‘highly visual’ to include, for example, speech bubbles, post-it notes, pie charts, to make it less formal and encourage participation. Ms Hughes undertook to provide some examples of other groups drop-in events, which would be helpful to Members in preparing for their event.  The post-it notes would allow participants to suggest what they would like to see in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Councillor Sarah Langton undertook to prepare an A5 flyer advertising the event and would arrange for it to be printed. Members would hand-deliver to each household and the event would also be advertised via social media.

It was also suggested that the invitation should be welcoming and, perhaps open with a ‘thank you’ to those who had completed the first questionnaire; and call it a ‘community evening’ whilst at the same time, making the purpose clear.

Other suggestions were made, and it was agreed that the Group should meet informally two weeks prior to the 10 September 2019 to discuss the detailed arrangements for the event.

The Clerk confirmed that if refreshments were to be provided, the Parish Council would be able to fund this. If estimated costs could be provided to her, she could start the process of making a grant application to Locality UK and include those costs in the application.

RESOLVED: (a) That an informal meeting of the Steering Group be held on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 at Andy Latham’s house at 7.30 pm;
(b) That a Drop-in session be held on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 from 3.00 pm – 8.00 pm in the Tea Rooms at Cholmondeley Castle; 
(c) That Councillor Sarah Langton design and print the invitations to residents; and 
(d) That Members arrange to deliver the invitations to each household in the parish, 10 days before the event.


There was no fixed date for the next meeting of the Steering Group. Arrangements would be made following the event on 10 September 2019.

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