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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
INCORPORATED WITH THE CONGLETON AND MACCLESFIELD MERCURY
THURSDAY, 22nd JULY, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
Bridestones lowdown Readers'ViewsPages24-27 & 51 Page 37
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Moment with Mercians
Nature reserve owner praised during appeal
Buglawton kids button it for end of term show
By Kelly Harris A Congleton man has fought for the future of his non-profit making nature reserve, at a hearing that will decide its fate.
On Tuesday Leo Deen, who runs the Timbersbrook Project on Pedley Lane, appealed against an enforcement order issued in February y Cheshire East Council, telling him to close it.
The reserve, which attracts hundreds of children each year, is home to several exotic species of animals, but was never granted planning permission by either the former Congleton Borough Council or Cheshire East.
Mr Deen’s project, on green elt land, was last refused permission to be used for educational and recreational purposes two years ago and until earlier this year neither council had attempted to enforce that decision.
Congleton Town Mayor Coun David Brown, speaking at the hearing, said Mr Deen “had demonstrated quite considerable effort in making the site grow and enhancing it.”
The fate of the reserve — which has been open for seven years — now lies in the hands of planning inspector Chris Hoult, who led Tuesday’s appeal hearing at Crewe Municipal Buildings,
At least 20 supporters backing Mr Deen were there and Mr Hoult assured them: “I will take all recommendations into consideration when I make my decision.”
He told the hearing: “The main issues are given that the site is in the greenbelt: whether it is inappropriate, the effect of the use on the greenbelt plus whether the harm to the greenbelt due to the inappropriateness is justified by mixed use.”
Discussing the mixed use, Mr Deen’s planning consultant Richard Gough said that that agricultural was the secondary use of the land and the primary usage was for recreation and education purposes.
One of Mr Deen’s supporters, Malcolm Owen, said: “He’s doing green things on green land, I’m for it.”
Mr Hoult went on to discuss a letter from neighbour, Ivan Smith, who is opposed to the appeal. He said: “I have pinpointed this letter as it says a lot in detail about what is going on in the site.”
The letter explained there were events held on-site including children’s parties which feature face painting, bouncy castles and rides. Other activities include camping.
When asked by Mr Hoult if that was accurate, Mr Gough said it was and added that if he is approached, Mr Deen will allow it as a source of income but events of that nature are not held week in week out.
• —Turn to back page.
These dapper dancers didn’t blame it on sunshine, moonlight or good times, they blamed it on the “Belly button boogie” when they performed their end of term show called “The button box” at Buglawton Primary School. Pictured, from left, are Leon Jackson, Tyler Finch, Jacob Arnold and George Wilson. For the full story and another picture, turn to the back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 2928/10).
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New dementia care centre only a vision
The possibility that Congleton might get its own state of the art dementia care centre could be short-lived.
It is an option being considered as part of Cheshire East Council’s plans for dementia care when the economic situation improves.
But those responsible for adult services are already admitting that the Government’s plans to abolish primary care trusts “could put the spanner in the works”.
If it went ahead, the new centre could provide social facilities for carers as well as respite beds and services for dementia sufferers.
As part of its dementia care plans, Cheshire East Council is considering the closure of Cypress House in Handforth in the coming year and focus on providing more up to date centres.
In the Congleton and Sandbach area it is predicted there will be 1,549 elderly people suffering from dementia by 2016 — which will amount to around 7% of the older population.
The council’s original plans were for a centre in Crewe and one in Macclesfield. However, a third centre based in Congleton has now been proposed.
Crewe’s centre — Lincoln House — has had a £1m upgrade.
The council’s Cabinet, meeting on Monday, voted to develop a business case to go ahead with similar plans for Congleton and Macclesfield.
They heard how the area had one of the highest proportions of dementia sufferers in the country, but this was partly down to a large elderly population.
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