200 new homes coming to Cresswell?

At last… the proposals for the expansion of Blythe Business Park in Cresswell are now public.  The big scope of them surprised many of us – 200 new homes and around 50 more business units, in what would be a doubling of the size of the present park site, and all built on the fields around the site.

If the plans go ahead, the population of Cresswell would more than double, and the village would have quite a new profile.

Blythe Business Park, for those who don’t know it, is the industrial-units complex on Sandon Road in Cresswell, where the Blythe Colours factory was once based.  Scentarea, which runs it, is one of the group of companies headed up by local entrepreneur MJ Barrett.

Consultation

The plans, displayed on half-a-dozen boards in one of the offices at the park, were keenly looked over by hundreds of visitors.  On hand to help: a planning expert and a highways expert, who were trying to answer people’s questions.

Cresswell plans display

Hundreds of people wanted to come along to see the details of the proposals

The plans were on display for two days – Thursday 9th and Friday 10th January.

However, the problem with the plans on display was that they are only ‘indicative’.  In other words, they are subject to change – especially if the local community demands alterations – so the details are still vague.

Details

Nevertheless, we did ask a few questions of the project managers…   and got some answers…  (However, those who spoke to us stressed that all answers are provisional – so think of these answers as being the likely outcome of the plans if they go ahead, not the definite outcome).

What sort of houses?
Answer:  …a range of 2 to 4 bedroom properties, with gardens. Thirty per cent of the homes will be ‘affordable’, i.e. they could possibly be apartments, but that will depend on what arrangement the future builder comes up with.
The spacing between homes is classed as ‘low density’ – around 25 dwellings per hectare.
(For more about density, see this article).

Indicative plan for Cresswell

The proposals. The present park site is coloured blue; the proposed developments are green. The green section to the bottom left is new housing; the green bit on right is new business units. The ‘trees’ are landscaped areas.

What ground-surveys have you carried out?
A:   …surveys into flooding issues are still being carried out; and ecology issues are also being addressed.  The question of possible past contamination of the land has been raised – we are investigating that. We will want to comply with local planning demands.

What sort of businesses are you hoping to attract?
A:   ..the same mix as on the site at present.  There will be a further 40,000 square metres of space – for offices, workshops and industrial-units, with no building above three floors in height.

How many new road junctions will have to be created off Sandon Road?
A:  …the present entrance to the park will be closed off.  There may be one (new) access point for the park plus a separate (new) one for the housing estate; OR there may be just one new access point, which then splits into separate roads for the park and the estate.
(No estimates for the increase in traffic have yet been compiled).

But, there is no pavement just further up Sandon Road where the road narrows.  With an increase in people and traffic, won’t that be a danger?
A:   …we will look into that issue; and may work with the Highways Authority (the County Council) on finding a solution.

You say you’ll build a community centre and a shop-unit, within the housing estate.  What’s the catch?
A:    …no catch – they are a bonus to the scheme.  The community centre would be handed over to local people to run; and we would tender out the shop-unit to see if someone wants to run it as their own business.

When do you hope to come up with a definitive plan?
A:   …we want talks with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to be underway in February, and we’d hope to submit full detailed plans to them in May.

But first… your views

There are many many more questions to ask of course, and it’s also to be hoped that our community representatives have got some firmer answers than possibly we got.

But all of us can take part in the process.  Deloitte, the real-estate company which is handling the project, want our suggestions and reactions to be with them by Friday 24th January. They are also prepared to take questions by phone and email – 0121 695 5109 / rcotterill@deloitte.co.uk.
(Do let us know if you don’t get answers to your questions).

Our community representatives also want to know what we think.  Pauline Clarke, a parish councillor who herself lives in Cresswell, and who will have to live next to the site if it goes ahead, especially wants your views.  You can email her.
VVSM, the Cresswell community action group, is also pulling together an official response.

Draycott Parish Council may even be in a position to discuss the issue at its next meeting on January 20th.  What’s without doubt is that the issue will definitely be raised at that meeting!

Watch this space…

***
Want to comment?
As well as contacting the other groups mentioned in this article, you may want to add your views to this webpage.  You can do this by using the  comments box, which near the bottom of this page.
Some people already have commented – you can see their comments below.

(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to, and it is always kept private anyway and never published, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).

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9 responses to “200 new homes coming to Cresswell?

  1. GREEDY GREEDY, GREEDY. Absolutely disgusting. The amount of traffic this will accrue will be insurmountable, with no regard for the people whom live within the Draycott and Creswell semi rural areas who bought their properties for that reason.
    If we wanted to live amongst so many properties with the afformentioned amount of traffic and noise, we would have chosen to live nearer the towns. All this upset and worry for us just for the sake of avarice on the builders part.

    Uttoxeter Road and Sandon Road are both busy and dangerous enough as it is.

    A very disgruntled resident.

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  2. Housing development

    So that’s only two people FOR the housing development in Cresswell. Anonymous and Rocket Man. I rest my case!

    Resident

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  3. Embrace development!

    I agree with Rocketman. Let’s face it, Cresswell is a bit of a dump. It needs new people, new families, modern housing.
    At the moment it looks run-down; you only have to drive past Rookery Crescent to realise that.
    Instead of fighting this, you ought to be embracing the developers and screwing them down for every concession you can get towards shops, community centres etc.
    Is anybody looking at the big picture here, or do you all have your own agenda?

    Anonymous

    (Needless to say, this letter-writer’s views are his/her own, and do not reflect the views of the editors of this website).

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    • Rookery residents

      I have just read the comments reference Cresswell “being a dump”. I take exception to these unfounded remarks. The writer suggests that one only has to pass by Rookery Crescent to realise this. I have lived here in Rookery Crescent for 50 years and take this as an insult to the residents.

      If those holding this view feel that Cresswell is such a bad place to live then they have the option to sell their properties and move somewhere else.

      Bazo

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  4. Oppose development

    Eyes open… I oppose this proposed development. The only certain benefits would be profits for the Developer and acolytes.
    Whilst the outline plans are to some extent understandably vague at this stage, my feeling from speaking with the Agents is that they are poorly thought out. There appears to be a lack of understanding and or interest in the very real environmental and infrastructural issues.
    The Developer has astutely dangled carrots in regard to a Shop Unit and a Community Centre but I suspect these benefits are contingent upon the full development taking place. Whilst a shop would on the face of it be useful it would need to be a profit making venture and unfortunately many hamlet/small village shops are unable to remain price sensitive and ultimately fail.
    The Izaac Walton for example hasn’t failed due to the small local population but rather as a sign of the times when many pubs have closed and only those offering a unique service or high quality competitively priced food and drink survive.
    When asked about the layout of the plans, specifically in regard to the area left undeveloped the Agents representative was at first vague and then perhaps disingenuous. When pressed further regarding the fact that “coincidentally” the area pinpoints a known site of toxic waste. He commented that this was “not a problem”. In reality local people know full well that there remains a worrying toxicity issue an issue which the proposed plans appear to acknowledge.
    It is difficult to imagine that any well informed prospective buyers of these homes would knowingly place their families at risk. Property Insurance will be invalidated if it fails to reflect the known flooding issues and whilst Insurers will happily accept premiums, come the day of any claim will see them going through the small print with a fine tooth comb, seizing upon omissions in the Insured’s declarations.
    Clearly any Developers’ overriding priority will be to maximise profits by expounding the benefits of this development and therefore are unlikely to be transparent regarding the serious issues which this proposed development may bring.
    As such, I for one welcome the vigilance of those local organisations who quite rightly in my view consider the Developers plans with a degree of scepticism.

    Local Resident

    (Web-Editor’s Note: the views held in this letter are the letter-writer’s own only.
    For more about the putative toxicity of some ground in Cresswell click here.
    For more about the flood-plain issues in Cresswell click here)

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  5. VVSM local action-group are holding a meeting for local residents on Thursday, January 16th at 8pm at St Margaret’s Church Hall in Church Lane, Draycott. It’s about the proposed new development for Cresswell, and also other matters you want to raise.
    We are hand-delivering invitations.

    We also need as many people to attend the Draycott Parish Council meeting on January 20th – also at St Margaret’s Church Hall in Church Lane, Draycott – so that you can ask any questions and also make your feelings known about the development during Public Participation time.

    VVSM

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  6. VVSM have spoken to several residents and they are very unhappy about the size of the development.
    The Cresswell residents group are therefore setting out objections for the proposal. We haven’t heard anything from Draycott Parish Council yet, although they have been contacted.
    We have however heard from Hilderstone and Fulford as the increase in traffic and the pressure on schools will impact on them.

    If you would like to support us in anyway please contact either Shelagh or Jacquie. We will be holding a meeting next week to explain about our plan of action.

    Like

  7. Plans "beyond belief!"

    I have to disagree with some of the previous comments. In the past residents have fought off proposals to develop land at Blythe Park and the history of the place is well known for controversial planning applications, especially in the last 12 years.

    This present proposal is beyond belief and means that the population of Cresswell will double with all the attendant problems.

    The presentation itself was lacking any details and all we got was answers that were nothing more than generalisations. I’m afraid that satisfactory answers were not forthcoming and one of the presenters was not aware of the lay out of properties in Sandon Road.

    This proposal will bring nothing to enhance Cresswell. To the contrary, it will create more traffic and cause misery on what is a unclassified road.

    This is a not a well thought-out proposal and when asked about school-places for the bigger population they had no answer.

    Following the Power Station affair when we were told all manner of pluses like jobs for locals and free heat to resdients we have quickly learned that mitigation is often not worth the paper it’s written on.

    I am not convinced – and to those unaware of the area I would say “would you like to buy a house next to a toxic tip and a flood plain ?”

    Bazo

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  8. Park plans good for community

    We have had the first of two days of consultation between Deloitte and the residents of Cresswell.

    My main concern was that the proposed housing would be mostly executive/expensive. The intention is for thirty percent of the estate to be affordable – this would best be described as good news.
    They have also said that they would try to include projects that would be of benefit to the whole community. As most of you know Draycott Parish Council have been trying for a good number of years to get progress on a footpath up past the Izaac Walton to the top of the hill by Blythe Cricket Club. This has caused plenty of aggravation in the past, but the developers have pledged their best efforts to solving this problem. I explained that with the present traffic that is experienced, plus the extra traffic from the new housing, would cause unquestionable problems, this they agreed would be unfortunate and they are looking for a solution.

    In my opinion, Cresswell’s problems over the last few years has been that it is too small to keep a school in the close vicinity, too small to keep the Izaac Walton open or get it opened again, too small to have a frequent regular bus service, too small to have shop/post office.

    Some residents say that they want to keep Cresswell as it is now, I don’t think that is possible. Staffordshire County Council are looking to save money, as all councils are, on all unnecessary expenditure, that is why there has been a survey on the use of local buses. If they think that the subsidy given to the bus companies could be better spent in areas of higher population, Cresswell could lose it’s bus service.
    I think that the proposed extra housing would be a good thing for the area, the alternative would be a spiralling down to stagnation.

    It is early days yet but the next step is to see what the more detailed plans will be for the new housing and what the developers can do for the existing community. The extension to the business park will be examined for any problems – and the Parish Council is there to help.

    Rocketman239 (local resident)

    Like

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