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Cheshire West and Chester Council is carrying out a study of the Green Belt around the city to assess how well it meets its designation. In Guilden Sutton, this involves land between the A41 and A55.
The Parish Council believes, in line with the adopted Parish Plan, there should be no further development in Guilden Sutton where this would be inappropriate in the Green Belt. The Council's view on the Green Belt, which it seeks to protect, was notified to the borough council in May, 2012 as follows:
Thank you for the opportunity to offer views on the assessments you have made so far on how well the areas of Green Belt land around Chester meet the five objectives of including land in the Green Belt as set out in the new National Planning Policy Framework.
So far as the land under review in Guilden Sutton parish is concerned the Council wishes to make the following comments:
Checking the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas. Due to its immediate proximity to the built up area of Chester, the Council believes the existing Green Belt boundary is correctly drawn and has made an invaluable and continuing contribution to achieving this objective in an area where there are historic pressures for development. This is graphically illustrated by the number of SHLAA sites within the parish which would appear to increase the overall amount of housing by a factor of at least four placing unacceptable pressure on existing infrastructure and facilities.
Preventing neighbouring towns from merging into one another. Given the relative proximity of the built up areas of Chester and Ellesmere Port and the pressures rehearsed above, the Council believes the existing boundary has been extremely successful in contributing to this objective and should be retained.
Assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. Development plans for Guilden Sutton drawn up in the late 1960s placed great weight on maintaining the open countryside surrounding most of the parish and largely drew the new village envelope extremely tightly around existing roads. In particular, valuable views out were identified for protection in a huge sweep from the Green Belt to the west and the Gowy Valley to the sandstone ridge and towards Beeston. The existing Green Belt boundary should therefore be retained as it successfully assists in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment.
Preserving the setting and special character of historic towns. In addition to the open aspects referred to above, open Green Belt space on the fringe of the parish offers spectacular views towards the city of Chester and the Clwyd range. This contributes greatly to the setting of the historic city and therefore the existing boundaries should be maintained to allow this to continue.
Assisting in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land. The Council believes the initial drawing of the Green Belt boundary close to the urban area of Chester has made an invaluable contribution to the focus on urban regeneration and the recycling of derelict and other urban land within the city which as a result has seen a great deal of new sustainable house building in recent years.
This purpose is therefore also successfully met.
The Council invites the conclusion that Green Belt land within the parish and the existing Green Belt boundary make an extremely strong, durable and successful contribution towards meeting all five purposes for including land within the Green Belt. It urges the borough council to maintain this particular part of the Green Belt around the city as existing.