Apparently villagers in Mobberely are becoming ‘suspicious’ that plans for the building of a stable block on Moss Lane may not be what they appear following an application to vary a planning condition.

Residents say that works completed so far already ‘include a 1.8metre high metal fence and the removal of a significant amount of banking and hedging none of which is shown in the plans’.

Some villagers fear the site could become airport parking or a travellers’ site and are urging Cheshire East Planning to ‘investigate this matter urgently’.

Over the decades I have been writing my column I’d say community suspicions have been proved right more times than they have been wrong.

Remember the fiasco that was Lyme Green?

It was the concern of residents that alerted local media to the ongoing works, which suggested a waste transfer station was being built.

It was only the vigilance of residents monitoring the site on a daily basis and their portfolio of photographs that revealed Cheshire East Council had indeed been constructing a waste transfer station without any planning approval of any kind.

Once the local press got involved the story went viral and the work came to a standstill but it all started with ‘suspicious’ residents.

My message to the people of Mobberley is ‘stick with it’.

Public apathy can sometimes see unpopular plans slip through the system.

This site may not become anything more than a stable block but in any event you need to know.

You can’t lock the stable door after developers have bolted.


There’s a trick some political parties use after they solicit public opinion on an unpopular issue before ignoring them.

Local councils claim Government tied their hands and it is they who should take responsibility for public anger.

National Government of course say nothing of the sort and blame local councils for their blatant disregard of public sensitivity.

I was reading that after hundreds of objections the Government has decided not to look into the controversial plans for a quarry in Cranage and Allostock.

Sibelco wants to extract 3.3million tonnes of silica sand from Rudheath Lodge Farm over a 12-year period.

Both planning committees of Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council gave permission for the quarry to be built subject to a possible ‘call in’ decision by the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government.

It feel like a ‘Don’t-Blame-Us’ get-out clause.

Now, surprise-surprise, the Secretary of State etc says: “The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level.”

Forget all those hundreds of letters from local residents, it appears this quarry is going ahead whether residents like it or not.

They all play the ‘Don’t-Blame-Us’ card.

Recent elections in this country show a tsunami of change is gushing towards our political parties.

The arrogance politicians of established parties have shown to voters has finally caught up with them.

Many will be swept away never to return, for which I have but one thing to say... Don’t-Blame-Me.


When I first met Mrs B I was chasing her around her place of work in a gorilla costume.

I wanted to make an impression and it did the trick. We were married two years later.

Thirty years on I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the idea as a surprise for her recent birthday party held in a very nice hotel.

The first problem I ran into was putting the costume on in the car park. It fastened up the back so what’s an ape to do?

I asked a young lady to do it for me. Unfortunately I already had the head on and she backed away screaming…never a good sign.

Knutsford Guardian:

Maybe my gorilla bellowing was a bit too realistic as it created pandemonium in the dining room as my wife fled out into the garden.

“The only surprise I wanted,” said Mrs B behind gritted teeth in the taxi home, “was a birthday cake like normal people but what did I get? A damn great crazy gorilla frightening the life out of everyone.”

Wives can be so unappreciative.

By Guardian columnist Vic Barlow