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THURSDAY, 19th JANUARY, 2012.
It's panto time!
Peacocks to close? Readers'ViewsPages22-25 Page 27
What’s on... What’s gone...
In memory of Hayley
Play area plan setback for disabled kids
By Chris Young Acharity that was pinning its hopes on having a centre in Congleton that would “give disabled children a life” has suffered a blow.
Ruby’s Fund had been looking for several years for somewhere to install a sensory play area that would allow youngsters to experience different sensations and textures.
The charity was hoping to use the Congleton Business Centre on Thomas Street, and there had been recent discussions with Cheshire East Council.
As reported last week, the council decided to close the centre, and either sell it or use the land for affordable housing. No timetable has yet been given for the closure.
The charity is named after four-year-old Ruby Parr, who was born with the chromosome disorder Isodicentric 15 which causes seizures. The charity was set up by her mother, Alison, and her friend, Alix Dale, three years ago, since when they have organised fund-raising events to raise around £40,000.
At a meeting of the council’s Children and Families scrutiny committee at Westfields in Sandbach on Tuesday, Ruby’s father, Richard Parr, urged members to change their mind about closing the centre. He said having such a facility in Congleton would end up saving the council money in the long
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He also said that despite being in negotiations with council officers as recently as November, the charity had only just found out about the business centre’s closure.
In the public speaking section of the meeting, Mr Parr said: “Ruby’s mum recognised the need for such a facility and the charity has worked tirelessly and raised over £40,000.
“Ruby’s Fund has been embraced by the people of Congleton.
• —From front page.
Full of eastern promise: Priya Sundar and Dr Rajani Palakkal spiced up the school day for The Quinta Primary School pupils Mackenzie Wainwright and Daisy Dugmore during a traditional Indian dance workshop at the West Heath school. For the story and another photo, turn to page 28. (“Chronicle” photo. 331a/12).
It’s predicted that town needs 3,500 new homes
More than 3,000 homes will have to built in Congleton by 2030.
That’s the figure outlined in a new town strategy created with the help of the local community.
Development options include 1,000 houses in the north west of the town, near Radnor Park and 1,000 houses in the north over two areas either side of the A34 Manchester Road.
have outline permission and 328 houses are under construction.
Other brownfield sites within the town could have a capacity for an additional 780.
The town strategy’s draft document was presented to town councillors for the first time at Congleton Town Hall on 4th January by Rosemary Kidd, spatial planning manager for Cheshire East Council.
tre is to thrive then Congleton is to grow. We have to have footfall.”
Congleton Town Council and
Congleton Partnership worked closely with Cheshire East Council to prepare the strategy.
• —Turn to page 28.
Two smaller sites on the outskirts of Congleton include the potential for 200 properties in the east, off the A54 Buxton Road, and an area south of the town centre for another 300.
Two employment sites have also been earmarked, namely extensions to Radnor Park and Congleton Business Park, as well as two mixed-use sites, in the west, near Congleton High School.
The strategy sets out objectives to meet the future needs of the town to make it “an even better place in which to live or work and enjoy your leisure time” over the next 20 years.
Other goals include enhancing the existing market provision, the evening economy in the town centre, community facilities and public transport links.
Currently, Congleton has areas with planning permission for 553 houses — 92 house proposals have full planning permission, 11
Ms Kidd was keen to inform councillors that no decisions had been taken about the allocation of any of these sites or their potential development.
She described the town strategy, as the opposite of “nimbyism”, as the design process allowed local residents to become very involved.
She said Congleton was one of four towns in east Cheshire, along with Alsager, Middlewich and Sandbach, that had been selected to create a town strategy.
The presentation was generally well received by the six town councillors in attendance but Coun Amanda Martin expressed concerns if there were enough open spaces.
Coun Glen Williams questioned the provision for 3,500 homes, adding: “Obviously, the housing market can and may change.”
Coun Larry Barker praised the strategy, saying: “If the town cen