Royal Oak Planning Application

It has been a long time coming but June will finally bring the McCarthy and Stone planning application for the former Royal Oak site on Commercial Road to Area Committee.

Minor changes have been made to the design of the application to help meet planning officers concerns but it is not yet clear if all of issues that could stop the plans have been met.

The application can be seen on the Council’s website at: http://planning.stockport.gov.uk/PlanningData-live/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=P08J1SPJLSQ00

With the consultation period now closed, interestingly it appears that only four members of the public have put in objections to the plans while eight people have offered supportive comments.

Some of the major areas of contention with the design that are relevant to a planning decision are:

  • The physical size of the new building with 40 units  – is it out of place or overdevelopment or perhaps much welcomed new homes (that potentially frees up bigger homes as older people downsize)
  • The loss of the green space, the old bowling green behind the pub.  If this is accepted there is a standard national formula for compensation that the developer would have to pay the council to invest in other green space nearby.
  • More traffic on Commercial Road !   Given the already very heavy traffic on Commercial Road this is worrying but given the average age of residents in McCarthy and Stone developments this might actually add less traffic at busy periods than the previous planning application for a dozen new houses.

Council officers advice will be vital, as to whether the application has met legal requirements, but it is certainly not clear cut and could come down to individual councillor opinions.

Continuing A6 Drain Roadworks

This weekend should see a number of the latest issues caused by the drains under the A6 being fixed.

The works will run between Chapel Street and Sainsbury including the really bad manhole cover by the entrance to Asda.  That manhole cover was reported to us over the weekend and looked to be in a really bad state with the road breaking up badly around it, the whole thing moving substantially every time a car went over it and it making a lot of noise.

Fortunately, from an examination yesterday, it does not look to be in imminent danger of collapse despite looking and sounding so bad and a fix this coming weekend should sort out the problem.

 

Parking to Cost 50% More in Hazel Grove

Despite the efforts of the Liberal Democrat group with an amendment to the Labour budget that included a call to block the increase in parking charges in Stockport District Centres the increase was approved by a vote in the full council.

The cost of one hour in our council car parks will increase from 20p to 30p.  When you consider that there are some large shopping centres within around half an hour’s drive from Hazel Grove where parking is free this is another blow to our hard pressed local traders.

Traders Under Ever More Pressure Despite A Long History of the Town

“I was disappointed that our amendment to the budget was blocked despite support from local councillors here in Hazel Grove.  Personally I would really have liked to see the increased funds for the business rates staff as well – I know from the local business I work in they are always very busy indeed,” said local Lib Dem Councillor, Jon Twigge.

Stockport Lib Dems pledge to freeze parking charges in district centres

Stockport Liberal Democrats have pledged to freeze parking charges in district centres if they regain control at the Town Hall following this summer’s elections.

Speaking about Labour’s proposals, Cllr Mark Hunter, leader of the Lib Dem Group, said: “Labour are proposing a huge hike in parking charges in some places. In the district centres, they want to scrap the one-hour charge and replace it with a minimum two-hour charge instead, whilst in certain car parks near to railway stations they want to replace the current free parking with hefty charges.

“Labour’s own figures suggest this will mean over a third of the visits to our district shopping centres will cease, which would be a huge blow to our already hard-pressed local traders. The local representative of the Federation of Small Businesses has written to all councillors in protest, highlighting the dangers of this folly.”

Local Cllr, Jon Twigge said, “Here in Hazel Grove, our local shops are already really struggling and we hear about more problems regularly.  Increases in local car park charges like this could be devastating for some businesses.  They might as well put up no shopping signs as implement these huge increases.”

Update on Speeding – Good News

Following my email to the Mayor of Greater Manchester I received a telephone call from a Chief Inspector of Greater Manchester Police about the questions I had raised.  The call was very positive with some good news on Speeding and Dashcam videos.

Dashcam Footage – Operation Considerate

The main web pages on the GM Police website indicate that video from dashboard cameras (Dashcams) can only be sent in using a physical device and only after a crime has been reported via 999 or 101. However, the Chief Inspector tells me there is a new service available as well that has not yet been widely advertised, only via twitter, Operation Considerate.

The instructions on how to use Operation Considerate is at: http://www.gmp.police.uk/content/triage-category?ReadForm&l2=76596&l3=27969

When you have read the instructions you can report cases of moving traffic offenses to an email address: [email protected]

Please note that you must provide all the information described on the web page and that you will then be sent instructions for how to upload the video itself afterwards.

Speeding

The very good news on speeding generally is that Greater Manchester is going to begin to issue radar speed guns to some neighbourhood police officers and PCSO’s. Hopefully, resources permitting, the extra chance of being caught speeding will over time make some people think twice before speeding in our area.

Community Speed Watch

The Chief Inspector was also keen to promote Community Speed Watch. I do know that some people are worried about being seen to be policing their neighbours but the Inspector tells me that Community Speed Watches can be especially useful for cut throughs or rat runs where the local community feel that people from other areas are not respecting their safety.

Community Speed Watch is a national scheme where members of the public can be trained to use radar speed detectors. Drivers caught breaking the speed limit cannot be fined but the police write letters to the owners of the vehicles and where there are a number of offenses can use this to show that police enforcement would be beneficial in the area.

If you would be interested in learning more about Community Speed Watch there is a website at https://www.communityspeedwatch.co.uk. Individual sites have to be checked for safety but if you would like to get involved in the Community Speed Watch and create a new watch you can select Create New Group on the left of the website. And, please let us know if you do so we can support you and let others know who may want to join you.

jon

Road Repairs on Torkington Rd (Overnight Working)

Stockport Council will be carrying out carriageway resurfacing works on London Road from Torkington Road to Church Grove and Torkington Road from London Road to Avondale Avenue. The works started on  the 31st January 2018 and are expected to take approximately 2 weeks to complete, weather permitting. The working hours will be between 8pm and 5am. 

Local Campaigner Paul Ankers said, “This is one of our busiest roads but repairs are vital. I am glad work is taking place overnight. LibDems, when running the Council, prioritised road repairs and schemes like this are part of our £100M investment plan that will still run for another three years.”

During the times stated above it will be necessary to restrict traffic movements along London Road using temporary traffic signals with a road closure notice on Torkington Road. As the work progresses any adjoining roads will also be restricted through closure notices prohibiting traffic entering and exiting onto both London Road and Torkington Road with signed diversions in operation during working times. These measures are in place to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and to allow safe working operations to take place. 

Access to properties and businesses in the working area will be maintained where possible however, they may be restricted for certain periods as the work progresses.

A6 MARR and Carillion Update

With the news of Carillion going into liquidation on the news today there will clearly be large impacts across the country.

The good news for Hazel Grove is that the A6 MARR is run by a joint venture between Carillion and Morgan Sindall, another construction company.  In the short term this means that the project is far less likely to be seriously impacted than if the project was being directly run by Carillion.

We have heard from senior council officers that they expect Morgan Sindall will simply inherit the work from the joint venture and the project should continue with relatively minimal disruption.  The council are in discussions to ensure that work carries on as efficiently as possible.

We will update everyone of any further news or changes to this.

 

A6 Sunday Lane Closures and Diversions Near St Mary’s Way

The years of heavy traffic on the A6, London Road, has taken its toll on the road and the drainage underneath it; the ongoing work associated with the drains under the A6 continues.

 

This time work will be between the junctions with Hatherlow Lane and Grundey Street, that section that passes Wetherspoons.  One lane northbound toward Stockport will be closed on three Sundays as follows:

  • Sunday 14th January
  • Sunday 21st January
  • Sunday 28th January

Also, work resumes on the 8th on St Mary’s Way to complete the major improvements associated with the Town Centre Access Plan.  The most significant effects will be:

  • it will not be possible to turn left from St Mary’s Way into Hall Street (the turn for Marple) for seven weeks from the 8th of January
  • St Mary’s Way will be closed overnight (8pm to 5:30pm) on weekdays for three weeks from the 15th January

Full details of this work are on the council website at:

https://www.stockport.gov.uk/news/changes-along-st-marys-way-as-improvement-works-near-completion

 

 

Action on Speeding

It is hugely disappointing to know that Police resources are so stretched that speeding motorists get so little attention that some people seem to think that they can get away with incredible speeds and dangerous driving on our roads.

Recent announcements by the government that Police budgets are to be frozen this year (with a token gesture of extra money that will actually come out of our pockets if the mayor decides to raise the money) mean there is no likely prospect of things improving in the near future.

But we have not given up !

Today I have written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester asking that Greater Manchester Police should accept DashCam videos, of irresponsible driving, through the internet.

Dashboard Cameras out there allow you to automatically record what happens in front of your car (and some behind as well) for use in evidence if you have an accident or see dangerous driving.  Greater Manchester police should make it as easy as possible for members of the public to report such incidents.

Slimline Connected DashCams

New devices are getting better all the time and I am looking to buy one particular camera that supports very easy uploading of video to the internet to come out – it is due soon !   I look forward to the day when i can easily report dangerous driving to the police and know that something will be done about it!

With the support of the police to make it easy and enough people reporting dangerous driving the small minority that make our roads so dangerous may start to think twice before they risk other people’s lives !

Jon