Jodrell Bank in snow

Consultation extended on new Jodrell Bank planning guide 

6 January 2022

Cheshire East Council is inviting comments on a new supplementary planning document to guide applications that could impact on the Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Macclesfield.

The draft document has been published for consultation and this has now been extended owing to the Christmas/New Year holiday. All comments should be received by the council by 4 February 2022.

Jodrell Bank is a world heritage site and a leading radio-astronomy observatory. It is also the international headquarters for the Square Kilometre Array, a global project to build the world’s largest telescope across several countries. The observatory is part of Manchester University’s school of physics and astronomy.

The draft planning document seeks to provide more guidance on key policies in the borough’s Local Plan, which is aimed at helping to protect the unique work carried out at Jodrell from potentially harmful development.

The supplementary planning document (SPD), while not part of the statutory development plan, is a recognised way of providing additional planning guidance that should be taken into account in the planning process.Cllr Mick Warren

Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council’s chair of the environment and communities committee, said: “The Jodrell Bank Observatory is a unique scientific facility, so we want to ensure we have the right planning tools in place to protect it from development that might harm the cutting-edge research carried out there.

“This draft SPD is intended to help developers, property owners and the council when it comes to determining applications that could impact on this site. We want to get as much feedback as possible and, therefore, have extended the consultation period by more than three weeks.”

The document covers issues related to the unique, historic value of Jodrell Bank, the type of development that might harm its work through electrical interference – such as the proliferation of modern radio and televisions and personal electronic devices in the home – and the type of information that developers need to submit to the council when making an application. 

All public feedback will be carefully considered before a final supplementary planning document is submitted for approval by the council.

Comments should be received by 4 February via the council’s consultation portal or by writing to Strategic Planning (Westfields), c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ.