Housing plan a ‘threat to Jodrell Bank’ is stopped
THE Government has blocked a housing development which it was claimed would threaten the scientific future of Jodrell Bank.
The Secretary of State for communities stepped in to reject an appeal by Gladman Developments for 119 new homes at Main Road, in Goostrey, two miles from the observatory.
In his decision, Sajid Javid, said the development would ‘ impair the efficiency of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope’ and that ‘the protection of Jodrell Bank observatory as a facility of international importance transcends the housing land supply circumstances of the case’.
Overall he concluded that the harm to the efficiency of the radio telescope carried ‘substantial weight against the proposal.’
The decision has been hailed by Cheshire East Council who have been fighting the plans.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Jodrell Bank observatory is a vital asset to this borough, the nation and the international scientific community. The protective zone around the telescope has been in place since 1973 and we are very pleased that its importance has been recognised and reinforced.
“As a council, we are doing everything possible to meet the housing needs of our area. However, this was simply the wrong development in the wrong place. It is very good to see that the long-term protection of vital scientific work has prevailed over the short-term high demand in housing supply.
“This further underlines the importance of the ongoing collaboration between the council and Manchester University over operations at the site.”
Cheshire East refused the plans last year on grounds that it might have a detrimental impact on the telescope but the developer appealed and a planning inquiry was held to rule over the proposal.
Scientists claim radio interference through increased human activity from mobile phones and electricity lines has already stopped scientists from being able to find new pulsars, dense stars that send out radio waves.
In its objections chiefs at Jodrell Bank said they feared the Gladman development will increase the level of interference by 10 per cent to a level which exceeds an internationally agreed threshold for “detrimental interference” to radio astronomy observations.
Gladman Developments did not respond to requests for a comment.
Parents and councillors campaigning against the proposal to close Pott Shrigley Church School
The Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank