Oathills Lea, the decision
There is news on the sorry state of Oathills Lea and it is very much mixed news. A decision had been made to close the premises in March 2020 and the buildings are to be demolished. Already almost all the residents have found alternative homes and have moved out. Its not what we wanted but Weaver Vale Housing Trust have given an explicit promise that the site will not be sold to a developer and that it will be the new site for independent living and that people with a Tarporley connection will be given priority. The homes will be one and two bedroom homes and will be mostly for rent. They will be affordable.
I have been involved in the discussions between the Housing Trust, the residents and the parish council. Relations got off to a shaky start but have improved markedly. As I requested the Housing Trust did look at the possibility of refurbishing the existing (mostly bedsit) accommodation and also at the possibility of demolishing and rebuilding in stages. Both options were found to have great difficulties, not least of these was that, for older residents, living on a building site would have had a very detrimental effect on their quality of life.
Weaver Vale Housing Trust have not made any decisions but future decisions about the new homes will be based on the Housing Needs Survey recently conducted in the parishes of Tarporley, Ruston and Eaton and Little Budworth. An earlier survey carried out by Utkinton Parish Council will also be taken into account.
Before anything material happens there will be more information and consultation with residents. Before a planning application is considered there will be public consultation and there will be a requirement, not only to fit into the requirements of the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan as well as Tarporley Neighbourhood Plan but also to produce access plans to minimise disruption to local residents.
As I said before its not the thing I was hoping for but please be assured that I will be working hard with the Parish Council, residents and the Housing Trust to try to ensure that something far better rises on the site