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Local Plan: ‘Important questions are not being asked’
A MEMBER of the stakeholder panel that looked into the draft plan for Knutsford’s future has told the Guardian he believes the ‘right questions have not been asked’ in the survey.
Knutsfordian Paul Webster, a former strategic planner, highlighted why the town was not being asked about aircraft noise – especially as it affects much of the town – and voiced his concern about why the town centre boundaries were being changed, particularly around Egerton Primary School.
“I’m not sure why nothing is being proposed to reduce aircraft noise at night in the draft strategy, for example, as already is in place to reduce night noise disturbance at Heathrow,” he said.
“Some green belt land is also to be ‘safeguarded’ for possible development ‘well beyond 2030’ but we’re not told where this might be proposed, nor how much land.
“Nor is the public asked explicitly for its views.
“Egerton Primary School and area is suggested for possible inclusion in the designated town centre and the questionnaire asks whether people agree or disagree with the potential amendments to the town centre boundary, and for their comments.
“But it’s not stated what will happen to the school and area if redeveloped.”
But Paul added it was important that the residents take part.
“A response is made to development often when it’s too late but this is an opportunity to help change that,” he said.
“Strategies and public consultation are common.
“The draft Knutsford Town Strategy is important, as is its questionnaire and it is worth at least a few minutes’ time if you are interested in the evolution of Knutsford, its size and shape and what goes on here.
“The town’s distinctiveness is recognised. And for example in looking at site-specific green belt release of land for housing and other development, some areas are shown as being preferred and you may or may not agree with those areas.”