THE CHUMPER Feb 9, 2020
Special Investigation Exclusive – Issue 52
PLAN SWAP HORROR LEAVES VILLAGE REELING!
Council c***k up reopens Shedgate investigation!
A special investigative Chumper team has unearthed an astonishing cover up that puts Cheshire West & Chester’s Planning Department in the firing line. We can exclusively reveal that the grim, grey galvanised metal shed and car park currently occupying the Playing Field should in fact have been located in a Winsford industrial estate, but due to a planning mix-up, permission was granted to construct them smack in the middle of the Great Barrow Conservation Area.
“It’s true” said an anonymous council source. “At the time the plans came in the Department was really stretched, and an administrative error meant that a basic industrial building ended up in completely the wrong place.”
Pressed further the source highlighted the toxic atmosphere of confusion that led to the mistake being made:
“Around the same time we were getting loads of Planning applications in – and I recall there were two that arrived in the same week. One of them was an obvious Pavilion structure with nice oak cladding, a cafe and kitchen and a lovely open conservatory space suitable for meetings, or perhaps to accommodate a bowling club. It had a combination of natural finishes – slate, brick, wood – entirely suitable as a centrepiece for a historic rural environment. That was the one we thought was going up on Barrow’s ancient playing field.”
In fact, these were the detailed architect’s plans for the new Bluebell Café extension. Meanwhile a £100,000 off-the-shelf prefabricated industrial unit, destined for the badlands of Winsford had been mistakenly nodded through as a “Village Hub, Reinforced Toilet Block & Shop”.
“I know, it’s a bit of a nightmare” commented the Council spokesperson – “But we’ve got to make the best of it, and the plan now in the short term is to use the building as an overspill Quarantine site for Arrowe Park Hospital. It’s got plenty of space for coaches travelling up from Wooton Bassett and of course it’s completely sealed and isolated from the outside world”
Meanwhile the Barrow Parish Council PR machine is moving into overdrive, auctioning naming rights and extolling the benefits of the new “Village Hub & ShedShop”. “All right, so we had to get rid of a few trees and a stretch of old hedge – but you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs” commented a spokesperson. “What we’ve got now is probably the finest and most central car parking facility in any Cheshire village, together with a spanking new community Hub that will make the Village Hall feel really old hat”
Opinion in the village, however, remains sharply divided. Some people are less than impressed with the result of a simple Planning mix up that will have repercussions for many years to come.