Graham, Tom and Ian

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Tory Handforth housing plans would increase Kingsway traffic by 25%

by Lib Dem team on 16 July, 2015

traffic-sign-6617_640The latest estimates are that plans by Conservative Cheshire East Council to build over 2,000 homes on green fields near Handforth Dean would see traffic on the already-congested A34 increase by a massive 25%, leading to far longer queues and far more pressure on the Kingsway/Gatley Road junction – already one of the busiest in Greater Manchester.

Our former Lib Dem MP Mark Hunter consistently opposed these plans. Cheshire East appear to want to build all their new houses right on the edge of the county where they won’t affect Cheshire East residents but will have a massive effect on people living in Cheadle, Gatley, Cheadle Hulme and Heald Green. The Lib Dem team continue to oppose them.

The plans have been criticised by the planning inspector as Cheshire East Council failed to properly look at brownfield sites before deciding to build on fields by Woodford and Handforth Dean.

Despite it being a major election issue this year, our new Conservative MP Mary Robinson has yet to say a single word on whether the plans by her party colleagues to jam our roads with even more traffic have her support.


17 Responses

  1. Bruce says:

    What about all the extra traffic when Barnes redevelopment is finished?

    Or the Woodford redevelopment.

    Lib Dem inspired chaos?

  2. robert cohen says:

    It started with the by-pass, which was ill conceived at the start by virtue of it forcing traffic through roads simply not designed for this level of use. Then the shopping and business centres see added, along with various small developments over the years. The Barnes and Woodford developments are being fuelled by the additional pole tax (oops, council tax – just reminiscing on a fair system) that will be generated to pay for our services, such creating cycle lanes and paths that are used by few who don’t pay to use them! There’s no going back now I’m afraid.

  3. Bruce says:

    These 2000 houses are not going to be built overnight – also the new airport road will ease traffic presumably.

    Iain – as regards the Woodford site – are you prepared to create an online petition like you did against Cheshire East?

  4. Garry says:

    Not only are Stockport allowing Woodford aerodrome to be built on which only has access from normal roads, pushing traffic into already congested Bramhall ramhall or Poynton . There is also a housing development on the A34 at Cheadle Hulme which at the time of building was not brownfield.. Meanwhile there are empty mills next to Stockport bus station sat boarded up. Not a very good argument.

  5. David Maycock says:

    Robert Cohen is right never change now to late, cycle lanes waste of space only ever see cars parked in the ones i see ?
    A34 junction will only get worse you have virtually a motorway type road being accessed by two single lane roads was never going to work. What was the idea of A34 bypass any way it was only going past Handforth, Wilmslow, by opening it up before Stockport and Airport bypass’s its funneling in traffic from a lot further a field now. As a resident of Gatley i have to plan my day as between 8am till 9-30am then 3pm till 7pm its traffic chaos with school run and workers traffic.
    Last month i went out at 7pm to go to Chads theatre for 7-30 start Finney lane clogged up again, i was late.

  6. Alan Gent says:

    We have been the victims of a lack of joined up thinking since the bypass was first conceived and that continues to be the case. Any suggestion that SEMMS will help is a folly.
    As with so many planning applications like the proposed housing, not enough stringent conditions are put on their building. For example, if these houses are deemed essential, then a condition should be that the developers pay to transform the A34 junction into an underpass, together with on and off ramps for local access and egress. This was an option when the bypass was first mooted and I well remember the cost as being an estimated £250,000; small potatoes now, but a huge cost then. We have to have a planning system that supports and enforces integrated solutions.

  7. Halifax says:

    Iain – judging by the responses, it would appear that you strongly oppose and criticise Conservative housing development, but display a deafening silence when it come to thse proposed by the LibDems.

    I’m sure, like always you’ll fail to address and respond to awkward questions.

    The LibDems are responsible, and continue to be responsible for the chaos that is the Kingsway Junction.

  8. Iain Roberts says:

    Halifax and others: I’ve said this quite a few times before (every time it’s raised in fact) but I’m very happy to state it yet again.

    We are not opposed to housing developments. We need more houses. We need to do our best to ensure they’re built in the right places and with the right infrastructure.

    Woodford aerodrome is, as the name suggests, a previously developed site, so it could always be redeveloped. The debate was not about *whether* there should be development there but *what* should go there. The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road is a key piece of infrastructure that enables housing on the site.

    Barnes hospital is north of the Kingsway junction and, as most traffic goes into Manchester in the morning and out in the evening, avoids putting extra strain on the junction as well as saving a fantastic building that would otherwise fall into ruin.

    Contrast that with the Tory approach to Handforth Dean. Did they look at building in town first? No. Did they properly look at brownfield sites? No. Did they have a plan to deal with the increased traffic? No. (The relief road won’t do it – it was never designed to carry that extra traffic).

    Is it just the Lib Dems saying it? No. The independent inspector has strongly criticised the Tory plans and sent them back to the drawing board.

    We’re not saying all building on green fields is wrong – of course not. We’re saying that a spatial plan should look at brownfield first and greenbelt last, and should not just decide to build thousands of houses on a field (owned by Cheshire East council) without any regard to the other issues.

    We’re also saying that *if* these plans go ahead, there *must* be proper plans to mitigate the effect of all the extra traffic so the A34 doesn’t grind to a halt even more than it does today. This is what has been done for Woodford, for Barnes and for other developments in Stockport.

  9. Halifax says:

    Iain – Re Barnes Hospital. How will traffic turn right into Manchester? There used to be a right turn from Broadway onto the A34 some years ago, but this was closed as it was considered dangerous.

    Therefore, turning right onto the A34 from Barnes will be dangerous, so guess where that traffic is coming? Alternatively they will need to a be a traffic light controlled junction or roundabout for Barnes.

    I know we this shouldn’t be discussed, but perhaps if we didn’t have a net gain in population of between 2-300,000 people every year since 1997, we wouldn’t need so many houses.

    And whilst Woodford Aerodrome was a previous development it wasn’t a development that had several thousand commuters. I di not believe you can mitigate for this – the cars from that development will be going somewhere, and that somewhere for many will be the A34. As my Cllr, I would have wanted you to oppose that development, and I guess many of your constituents would also have wanted you to do so. And it is the constituents of Cheadle and Gateley you are supposed to represent

  10. Iain Roberts says:


    If you were to check the plans for Barnes Hospital you’d see how the right turn will work – the key point being that because of the new flip-flop lights there will be a safe turn past stationary traffic to get to the central area.

    You may be right about population increase, but if we didn’t have that population we’d also be a country with an ageing population, a smaller working population (so less taxation coming in), a collapsing NHS, a collapsing higher education system etc. etc. Plus a lot of the need for additional houses is due to people wanting to change the way they live with smaller family sizes.

    As for Woodford Aerodrome, I have to say that there was a very long period of consultation on the development and I had no more than a handful of residents contact me about it. Perhaps a bit late for you to ask me to oppose it when Eric Pickles has already given the scheme his blessing and agreed for it to go ahead!

  11. Halifax says:

    I ask you to oppose it when it was first proposed, and you made it clear that you were not going to oppose it, as it would have little impact on Cheadle! I assume that you were supporting other LibDems colleagues, rather then your constituents

    I take it the 2-,300,000 net increase per year do not use the NHS, Education and will not age.

  12. Iain Roberts says:

    Halifax – no, I was supporting constituents. My own view was that if we were going to have to build houses somewhere in Stockport then a previously developed site with a new major road being built next to it was probably a sensible choice. I listen to *all* my constituents before taking a view.

    On the additional people coming in, they will use the NHS and education – and they’ll work and pay taxes to cover the costs. The fact is that the lifestyle we want to live relies on a certain sensible level of immigration to sustain it. That’s one reason why business leaders and universities are up in arms about Cameron’s latest plans to limit immigration by more than is good for the country.

  13. Halifax says:

    I agree with sensible levels of immigration, but a net gain of 2-300,000 every year since 1997 is not sensible. And it is something we have never voted for, as it has never been mentioned in any manifesto (if it has please let me know)

    The point about immigrants paying tax to cover the costs is very debatable. Many if not most immigrants are low skilled and will therefore pay little in (if anything) but take a lot out (NHS, Education, Working Tax credits etc). And the demand on housing, which is affecting many arrears is clearly a problem. By all means let welcome the skilled, but we don’t have room for everybody.

    Sensible immigration is something that I agree with, but what we have isn’t sensible.

  14. Halifax says:

    Iain – With reference to your earlier posts, you say that you listen to all (not sure why you put *s before and after all) you constituents.

    So can you please confirm that the constituents of Cheadle and Gatley supported the Woodford Housing development.

  15. Arthur lampkin says:

    As to the housing what we need to be building are 1 or 2 bedroom houses/ flats so that younger people can get on the Housing ladder, even studio flats would be good for first time buyers. When will councils and government realise this and stop building so many 3, 4 or 5 bedroom houses, these are only for people already on the ladder.

  16. Neville says:

    I agree with Alan’s earlier post. I have also been going on about this since the by-pass was first proposed.
    He states: For example, if these houses are deemed essential, then a condition should be that the developers pay to transform the A34 junction into an underpass, together with on and off ramps for local access and egress.

    What are the chances of getting this as a condition?

  17. Stuart Thompson says:

    All the above responses look like a well-orchestrated letter-writing campaign to put the Tory point of view. There has been no input from Mary Robinson to attempt to defend the indefensible policies of the Cheshire West Tories. It was ever thus. I learned not to waste stamps and writing paper when Tom Normanton and Stephen Day were our MPs as they never answer my questions. I have sent two emails on separate matters to Mary Robinson and not had the courtesy of a reply, never mind an answer. What a difference when Patsy Calton and Mark Hunter were at Westminster. One could expect an acknowledgement within a couple of days, and a well-reasoned argument within a couple of weeks. They did not always say what I wanted to hear but at least they had the courage to set out the facts to make me aware of the complexity of some of the issues.

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