Role of the Parish Council
Twemlow Parish Council (TPC) exists to serve and promote the interests of the whole community of the Parish of Twemlow. The Council comprises 7 Councillors and the Parish Clerk, and holds seven meetings each year at Terra Nova School in the Parish.
To maintain Twemlow as a desirable and attractive rural parish in which to live, offering a good quality of life for all residents and businesses. Any future changes or developments shall be determined for the long term benefit of the whole community.
Background on the Parish
The Parish of Twemlow is situated in the Dane Valley Ward of Cheshire East Council – and is approximately 18 miles south of Manchester. It borders the villages of Goostrey, Holmes Chapel, Lower Withington and Cranage. The parish comprises 92 homes and 167 electors, who enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the Twemlow countryside. Twemlow Green is seen as the centre of the Parish.
The two largest employers in the Parish are Terra Nova School, a well-regarded independent co-educational school offering day and boarding options for children from age 3-13, and the Yellow Broom – a prestigious restaurant which also opens as a delightful café in the summer months, and is licensed as a venue for civil weddings.
Whilst agriculture used to be a large source of employment in the Parish, the number of full time working farms in Twemlow has now diminished to just four. There are, however, a growing number of small businesses operating from residents’ homes.
The Twemlow railway viaduct over the River Dane built in 1841 is a key feature of the Parish on the boundary with Holmes Chapel. It is a Listed Building and carries the electrified railway from Manchester – Crewe.
The internationally recognised Jodrell Bank Observatory – and its iconic Lovell Telescope - is located within approximately 500 metres of the boundary of the Parish. It is now also the HQ of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation, co-ordinating the telescopes in Australia and South Africa.
A 30 mph speed limit has recently been introduced along the A535 in Twemlow and along the lanes. Recent data recording along the Macclesfield Road, Goostrey Lane and Twemlow Lane has shown that the speed limit is not being adhered to and further enforcement measures are necessary.
At TPC’s request, a speed detection unit was installed by the police on Twemlow Lane and Goostrey Lane to remind motorists of the new 30 mph limit.
The lanes of Twemlow are used by many cyclists, including for regional and national Time Trial competitions. Without improvements to and maintenance of the road surfaces, there are considerable risks of accidents and injuries.
-TPC has agreed to buy a speed gun and is arranging for a number of volunteers to be trained to use it to enforce the 30 mph limits.
-TPC will seek to ensure that weight restrictions on HGVs on Twemlow Lane and Goostrey Lane are respected.
-TPC will continue to press Cheshire East Council to improve road surfaces in Twemlow, particularly the junction of Twemlow Lane, Goostrey Lane and the Macclesfield Road
Twemlow housing has been characterised by ribbon development along the Macclesfield Road, Goostrey Lane, Twemlow Lane and Forty Acre Lane. The growth in housing over the last twenty years has been modest, with only one or two additional houses at a time having being permitted along the lanes.
More recently, three houses were granted planning permission in a barn conversion at Bank Farm in 2005. The development at Twemlow Manor Fields, passed on appeal, and built in 2013, comprising 13 homes, was permitted on open countryside due to the specific exemptions covering affordable housing. This was despite strong objections by Jodrell Bank Observatory about interference to its work by such a development less than 2 miles to the south of the observatory.
The Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones told Twemlow Parish Council at its meeting on 16 September 2013 that no further housing development in Twemlow would be required. Despite this assurance, and objections made by the Parish Council, a further development of 10 houses at Hiverley was, however, approved in principle in August 2015.
Planning permission was refused in August 2015 for a proposed large scale Anaerobic Digester waste and power plant at the former MoD site behind Twemlow Lane/Goostrey Lane, after the Environment Agency refused it an environmental permit in July 2014.
-TPC will seek to control the pace of housing development in the Parish, to maintain it as a settlement distinct from adjacent parishes such as Goostrey and Holmes Chapel.
-TPC will object to uncontrolled speculative developments – particularly any put forward at this time while no agreed Local Plan is in place for the whole of Cheshire East.
-TPC recommends that, if any further housing is required in the Parish, “brownfield” sites should be prioritised for housing over any “greenfield” sites in open countryside.
-TPC will support the efforts of Fiona Bruce MP to introduce a 2 mile exclusion zone for any developments around the Jodrell Bank Observatory.
Twemlow residents are accustomed to driving to the adjacent local service centres of Goostrey and Holmes Chapel for access to nearly all basic services. The only services available in the Parish of Twemlow are: a well-regarded Independent School, a prestige restaurant, a postbox and a broadband box. Twemlow is not a sustainable location in which to live without a car.
It is also worth noting that the Primary School in Goostrey and Comprehensive School in Holmes Chapel are full, and the Health Centre in Holmes Chapel is under severe pressure due to increased housing developments in and around Holmes Chapel.
There is no pavement from Twemlow Green to Goostrey Railway Station. A pavement would serve commuters travelling by train from Twemlow to work, parents walking primary children to Goostrey Primary School as well as children walking to school buses on Goostrey Lane. It would also serve those using the public bus service to Holmes Chapel.
Approved by Twemlow Parish Council 21 September 2015
Annex 1 - Spending Priorities and Budget for 15-16
The precept for 2015-16 is £3,750