Village Projects - Further Information
Below are articles describing various activities in which the Parish Council is engaged. Some of these are projects to provide village improvements and others are to work to try to solve problems in the village.
These articles will be updated occasionally but where work is currently on-going information will also be found under the 'Latest News' section of the web site.
Traffic Transport & Pedestrian Safety Holmes Chapel
Due to many concerns in the locality over Traffic & Transport issues, a working group of volunteers formed, headed by parish councillor Mike Blomeley. This group have worked over the past 18 months to produce a comprensive report detailing issues in Holmes Chapel relating to traffic and transport, as well as pedestrian safety. A survey of many residents views, carried out during the summer months of 2017, is also incorporated into the report.
This report has been presented to senior Cheshire East officers in March 2019, with a view to highlighting the concerns of the locality and request that attention to them be given by Cheshire East, our principal authority. It was also presented at our recent Annual Parish meeting on 19 March.
The report can be read using the links below.
Holmes Chapel beyond 2030
Following on from the neighbourhood Plan which was passed into law in 2017, further work has been done to seek to protect Holmes Chapel for the future Beyond 2030, the date to which the Neighbourhood Plan applies.
This document was recently showcased at our Annual Parish meeting, and can be read via the link below
Dementia Friendly Village
The Parish Council are very supportive of the Holmes Chapel Partnership initiative in making Holmes Chapel a Dementia Friendly village. As a result of this initiative, several Councillors and an officer recently benefitted from an informative talk from local Volunteer Mrs D Davidson. The outcome of the evening was that the attendees all agreed to become "Dementia Friends"
We are also assisiting the partnership with the design and administration of the planned sensory garden, at the entrance to the precinct, close to the Fire station. This project forms part of the drive to make Holmes Chapel dementia Friendly, and is hoped will be an assett for those living with Dementia and their carers. For more information on the Sensory Garden, see separate article.
Improvements to the Conservation Area
The Holmes Chapel Parish Council, working with the Local History Group of the U3A, is keen to raise awareness of the Conservation Area in the village. The historic heart of the village surrounding St. Luke’s church contains a range of interesting buildings, all with their own story to tell. The more we make people aware of the area the more visitors will come to the benefit of our local traders.
Firstly we are adding four interpretation panels around the area to explain a little about the history of the village. Draft versions of these were on display in the library during March 2018 to consult residents views on the proposals. They werer also displayed at the Annual parish meeting on 20th March. The Co-op generously donated £1832 from their local community fund to the History Group, which will go towards the panels.
We are now circulating businesses in the area. We want to see if we can work together to improve the overall appearance of the area by ensuring all signage works to the benefit of the business as well as enhancing the heritage character of the area.
Finally, we then want to add street signs in a heritage style. The village centre is surprisingly lacking in signs so we hope they will be useful as well as attractive features.
For more infomation click here for the talk held at the Annual Parish Meeting
Memorial bench for PCSO Jill Cope
The Parish Council have been happy to assist the Holmes Chapel Partnership in their desire to have a memorial for former PCSO Jill Cope. Jill, our much loved PCSO, was very instrumental in achieving a skatepark for Holmes Chapel and was actively involved in the fundraising and design of the skatepark. She officially opened the Skatepark last year, prior to losing a brave battle with cancer.
The memorial bench, with a skateboarding theme, has beeen installed at the Community centre beside the skatepark, and was officially unveiled by Jill's children, Lincy-Ann and Matthew, on Saturday 26 May. It was commissioned and funded by the Holmes Chapel Partnership.
Stuart Gammon, chair of the HC partnership "Jill had a special affinity towards the welfare of young people in the village and was a fervent supporter of the Skatepark project. The bench is painted in Jills favourite colour and was created by Steve Stringer of Sam Dales."
The Parish Council have, in the last year, set aside an amount in the annual budget to facilitate the services of a handyman in the village.
This is used for tasks such as path clearing, weeding and tidying, street sign refurbishment and installing new signs.
Comments and complaints received from residents of Holmes Chapel, either via e.mail or by calling into the office, are acting on within the list of jobs, along with larger jobs approved by the Parish Council, such as public bench refurbishment.
The wish of the Parish Council, working with the HC partnership, to enhance the small garden area at the entrance to the precinct, has come to fruition. In the past this space was occupied by three small trees, some laurel shrubs and a lot of ivy! Efforts had been to introduce new plants, but the heavy root mass in the soil had prevented them from flourishing. The plan now was to remove the trees and all the existing shrubbery to give a fresh start.
The garden has now been reformed, introducing a split level into the ground and a small path through the centre. Many new plants and shrubs have been planted, as well as a replacement tree, into the reworked garden, which have been specifically chosen to bring a variety of smells, textures and sound to the area. This is now an appealing improvement for the whole village, but perhaps particularly to those of our community living with dementia.
A garden plan will be available in the library during the late spring / summer 2019 for those who are interested to know what the various plants are.
Holmes Chapel Community Centre
The Community Centre - owned by the Parish and managed on our behalf by Everybody Sport & Recreation - has in its early stages already proved to be a real asset to the village. The Community Centre gym and fitness suite now has over 1000 members, benefiting many village residents.
The second phase of refurbishment at the centre was completed in 2016, opening the updated bar and community room areas, along with the cafe facility. The Skatepark facility was installed within the grounds in Spring 2017, which has proved a valuable asset for the youth in the area, with the skatepark being well used all year round.
Plans for the site are on-going. Work is currently underway to re-arrange the access to the community centre, the first step towards a more holistic upgrade to the car parking at the centre. The fence is being moved across the front of the site, defining the entrance more clearly. In the longer term the car parking at the centre will be optimised to provide further benefit for the community and users of the centre
It has for many years been the wish of the Parish Council to provide a facility for the youth of the village. This has at last come to fruition, with the newly completed Skate park sited at the Community Centre. The project has been funded by generous grants from the Veolia Environmental Trust and the Community Safety Fund, contributions from the Parish Council, the Holmes Chapel Partnership and the Methodist Church, and monies raised by the young people in the Working Group.
The Skate Park was enjoyed by scooter, skateboarders and BMX users during the easter holidays, with the official opening taking place on May 6th 2017. The skate park was officially opened by PCSO Jill Cope, along with the Holmes Chapel Partnership, the Parish Council and the younger members of the community who were involved in the design of the Skatepark.
The Skatepark is free to use, and is open during the normal opening hours of the Community Centre during daylight hours.
Croco Path Improvements
The Croco Path runs alongside the Croco Brook at the south side of the village. It extends from an access point on Selkirk Drive to far end of Portree Drive, providing a rural pathway through this part of the village.
The Parish Council have recently organised improvements to a large section of the path, which was boggy and often impassable, with other sections which were falling into the brook. ANSA were contracted to carry out the works, which were completed mid-April. The objective is to maintain the path as an enjoyable facility and asset for villagers. The newly surfaced path now offers all weather accessibility for this attractive rural area of the Village.
Elm Drive Play Area
The recent installation of a new set of goalposts completes the upgrade to the equipment in this Play Area, which was undertaken along with the Holmes Chapel Partnership. The rural play area is well used by residents in the area, and schoolchildren from the nearby Hermitage School. The goalposts have been chosen as a good size for all ages, and it is hoped will be well used for a long time!
Cllr Street, pictured with the new goalposts and the upgraded play equipment.
The Parish Council were pleased to see the new "Welcome" signs installed at the boundaries to Holmes Chapel. The five new signs have been fitted as direct replacements to the faded signs, giving a pleasing entrance to the village on all five access roads.
The signs, in blue, feature the Holmes Chapel logo and a hearty "Welcome" to the Village.
The fitting of information signs to the phone box by barclays bank completes the regeneration of the disused phone box into a defibrillator station, benefitting the community. The Parish Council purchased the phone box from B.T. for £1!
First Aid training in the use of the defibrillator is available at either the Holmes Chapel Community Centre (01477 689557) or the Goostrey & Holmes Chapel Heartstart (01477 534160)
Defibrillators are also available at the following locations in Holmes Chapel and Cranage:
The Cedars Residential Home, Brookfield Drive, Holmes Chapel
Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre, Selkirk Drive, Holmes Chapel
The Co-operative, Holmes Chapel Centre
The Holmes Chapel Community Centre, Station Road, Holmes Chapel
Cranage Hall, Cranage.
Woodside Golf Club, Knutsford Road, Cranage.
Always call the ambulance service before looking for an AED. Commence CPR immediately if you suspect a cardiac arrest. The following apps can be downloaded to smart mobile phones for emergency life support information: British Heart Foundation Pocket CPR app'; Apple: iResus; Apple: St John Ambulance First Aid; British Red Cross First Aid.
Parking in the Village
Over the last few years, it has become increasingly apparent that car parking within the village is becoming more difficult. On occasions this has led to frustration and sometimes, illegal and dangerous parking. Future housing or commercial developments are unlikely to improve this situation.
The Parish Council intend to stimulate discussions with all parties to try and reach an arrangement to maximise the use of the parking available in the village.
As well as providing parking for residents and local businesses, the village also caters for a large rural population from Cranage, Goostrey, Twemlow and other villages who make use of the local shops, library, Health Centre and other facilities. The centre is also a convenient location for leaving parked cars while continuing journeys by train, bus, or using car-share arrangements. Overall there has been a significant increase in demand over the last few years.
There are many small private car parks located around the village as well as two small car parks owned by Cheshire East Council. Car parks belonging to retail owners are generally treated as available for general use and this co-operative approach is the most satisfactory way to utilise the spaces available. However, this balance of ownership means the village is vulnerable to the actions of private owners and what has been available for public use in the past may not continue to be available.
The Parish Council believe that the Borough Council should not impose any controls over their car parks without taking a wider view of its implications on the village as a whole. Nor do the Parish Council hold out much hope that additional land is likely to become available for parking in the village centre. Any re-development would involve high value land which is unlikely to provide parking spaces except those dedicated to the new occupiers' business. Even land such as the site of the fire station and the telephone exchange, should they be re-located, would have to be sold on at full value although in the event of retail redevelopment some additional parking spaces might be created for general use.
The Council is therefore considering what can be done to ease the current situation.
By restricting car parking in the centre to, say, two free hours we believe the current parking difficulties would be considerably reduced.
Naturally there will be various issues to resolve such as consideration to those requiring immediate operational access to their cars and servicing to business premises. It would also be necessary to make provisions for those working in the village but who do not need immediate access to their cars. By providing some long stay parking within walking distance of the centre of the village a satisfactory solution could be achieved. In fact if the parking were near the railway station it would also cater for those who wish to use public transport to continue their journey or wish to car share.
Long Stay Car Park
Although we support public transport initiatives and wish to ensure there are adequate links with surrounding towns this will not help our local parking problem. In fact a good inter-town public service may encourage people to leave their cars parked in the village whilst they travel further afield. This is a further reason for the provision of an out of centre long stay car park which could be serviced by a public transport interchange perhaps as part of the planning of new housing developments.
Encourage Green Awareness
In line with other 'green' initiatives we would like to encourage villagers to walk into the village centre as much as possible. However, many residents visit the centre in their cars on their way to other destinations and we would not wish to restrict such short visits to the village centre which could be detrimental to local business. In fact, the Parish Council must assist traders in ensuring that parking is readily available for short term use.
Crewe to Manchester Line Community Rail Partnership
The Crewe to Manchester Community Rail Partnership is supported by transport operators, major employers, local authorities, parish councils and passenger groups. The Partnership welcomes approaches from commercial and non commercial organisations to join the partnership.
The Partnership is managed under a constitution that includes the following aims:
- To increase usage of stopping and semi fast services on the Crewe - Manchester routes.
- To increase awareness of services and travel opportunities accessible by the line.
- To highlight the role of services in a local and regional transport context.
- To promote and enhance community and stakeholder involvement with stations between Stockport, Manchester Airport, Crewe and the areas surrounding them.
- To work with the stakeholders and the community to improve the passenger environment and journey experience.
- To improve accessibility to stations along the route.
- To work with local authorities, major employers and other organisations to develop green travel plans and promote the use of rail services for employment, education and recreational purposes.
- To work with stakeholders and the community to reduce anti social behaviour in the area of the railway.
- To support the use of rail in travel and tourism in the area.
- To enhance communication between passengers, train operators, Network Rail and local authorities.
- To work in close consultation and co-operation with the existing Mid Cheshire Rail Partnership with possible sharing of resources and co-ordinated working.
- To support the work of East Cheshire Lines Rail User Group, and Friends of Station Groups along the route.
The current members of the Partnership include: Alderley Edge Parish Council, Arriva Trains Wales, Astra Zeneca PLC, Chelford Parish Council, Cheshire Best Kept Stations, Cheshire East Council, East Cheshire Lines Rail User Group, Friends of Handforth Station, Friends of Sandbach Station, Goostrey Parish Council, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, Halcrow Group Limited, Holmes Chapel Parish Council, Manchester Airport, Northern Rail, Passenger Focus, Royal London Group Limited, Sandbach Town Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
For more information and latest news, please visit the Community Rail Partnership's website at www.crewe2manchesterrail.org.uk/
History of Holmes Chapel Railway
A very interesting document called The history of Holmes Chapel Railway has been produced by Tony Wright for the Friends of Holmes Chapel Railway. You can access the document here