ANGRY residents are calling for the Secretary of State to determine the council’s application for works at Poynton Pool reservoir rather than Cheshire East as the local planning authority.

Campaign group Friends of Poynton Pool (FPP) has contacted the council over what it describes as ‘highly irregular’ actions by the planning authority and believes the Secretary of State should now make the decision on the proposal.

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service today: “The application has been, and will continue to be handled in accordance with normal procedures of the local planning authority."

The dispute over whether the £1.38m works proposed by the council are necessary began more than a year ago.

Knutsford Guardian: Poynton PoolPoynton Pool (Image: Geoff Jennings)

Poynton Pool is classed as a large high-risk reservoir, which means an uncontrolled release of water could endanger human life.

The council, as landowner, has a legal obligation to carry out works to ensure it is safe and, following a safety inspection, submitted a planning application to do work to prevent possible future flooding.

FPP, with the support of experts, has continually argued the proposed works, which includes removal of more than 30 trees to enable improvements to the dam between the pool and London Road North, is excessive.

It argued the works are based on a ‘flawed’ study and there are less harmful alternatives available.

The group has now contacted the council saying it is seeking legal advice over what members describe as ‘highly irregular’ actions by the planning authority.

Knutsford Guardian: Poynton PoolPoynton Pool (Image: Andy Robinson)

In a letter emailed to the council’s planning department, which can be viewed on the planning portal on Cheshire East’s website, FPP spokesperson Mike Ellison said some amended documents had been uploaded to the planning portal and others removed.

“This is highly irregular and you can be assured that we are looking into the legality of the process you are implementing ,” said Mr Ellison.

He added: “This is now a substantially revised application and at the very least it should be re-consulted.

“This application should be referred to the Secretary of State for determination.”

Mr Ellison said the community of Poynton opposed the planning application on the grounds ‘the proposed solution to a small, yet overstated, risk is wholly disproportionate in that it will destroy a highly valued public amenity’.

“At every stage of the process, from inception to the submission of the planning application, the public has been ignored,” he said.

More than 1,700 people have formally objected to the application submitted by Cheshire East Council and 5,820 residents have signed a petition.

The petition was presented to last month’s meeting of the economy and growth committee and dozens of objectors turned up.

The meeting descended into chaos and had to be temporarily adjourned with Cllr Chris O’Leary (Sutton, Con) at one stage calling for committee chair Mark Goldsmith (Wilmslow, Ind) to be replaced for disrespecting members of the public.

The Poynton Pool planning application, number 23/4152M, was expected to be determined next Wednesday but Cheshire East told the LDRS it is now likely to be considered by the strategic planning board on March 27.