Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, has today made a shock decision not to hold a public enquiry into the development plans of Woodford Aerodrome, despite being encouraged to by the local MP, Councillors and hundreds of residents.
In a letter to the MP for Cheadle constituency, Mark Hunter, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis explained:
‘We remain committed to giving more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believe that planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible. The call-in policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively.
‘I have decided not to call in this application. I am satisfied that the application should be determined at a local level.
‘I appreciate that this is not the preferred outcome for you. It is now for Stockport Council to determine the application.’
Commenting on the decision, Mark Hunter said:
“I am at a loss as to why the opposition of Woodford residents, and those in nearby Bramhall, to these plans are being ignored by Mr Pickles and his Planning Minister. It’s nothing short of a snub to local people.
“I have supported local residents from the outset; the size and scale of the proposals are just too large and they could permanently damage the unique characteristics of Woodford Village.
“It is hugely disappointing that the Government have decided not to take a closer look at this, or forced a rethink. This is an early Christmas present the people of Woodford definitely did not want.”