Talking West Cheshire

Council quashes public misconceptions over proposed Redgrave Institute

6 June 2012

Cheshire West and Chester Chief Executive Steve Robinson today (Wednesday) quashed public misconceptions over the Council’s position on the proposed Redgrave Sports Science Institute.

His intervention was prompted by the concerns of some Chester Councillors that their residents believed that CWAC supported the bid to site the facility within the proposed student village between Mollington and Blacon.

Said the Chief Executive: “Suggestions that this authority or any of its officers have indicated support for a site-specific suggestion with regard to the Redgrave proposal are totally unfounded.

“Everyone in Chester – a city with a fine rowing tradition – wants to see this top class facility established. But this Council has not even considered a planning application – let alone lent its support to any specific site.”

In February, Mr Robinson wrote to Bell Developments with regard to unauthorised use of the Council logo on a vision document for the proposed sports complex requesting the company not to use the CWAC logo on any further literature.

“At that time I made it perfectly clear that as the planning authority it would be totally wrong for the Council to endorse or criticise any proposal that had not yet been the subject of the accepted democratic process,” he said.

“That position has not changed, simply because no planning application, either for a student village or sports facility, or combination of both, has yet been considered.”
Added Mr Robinson: “I understand that the University of Chester supports the location of a Sports Science Institute – but not at the proposed student village site.

“Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler, has also suggested further talks with Sir Steve and his representatives on site options for the institute and I see no reason why we cannot join together in these discussions.”

In the meantime CWAC is expecting an imminent planning application for a combined student village and Redgrave sports facility from Bell Developments.

Said Mr Robinson: “Council officers have been very clear and consistent in their informal planning advice – that the site is within the Green Belt where the proposed development would be defined as ‘inappropriate development’.

“For inappropriate development to be approved, very special circumstances would need to be demonstrated by any planning applicant sufficient to outweigh Green Belt policy and any other planning objections to the scheme.”