Sad to say, no Draycott parish councillor has yet responded to our appeal to them for a little bit of guidance on how to fill in the consultation form that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is sending round at the moment.
The SMDC’s ‘Site Allocations Consultation’ is all about how many new housing and new employment sites should be built in Draycott and the rest of the Moorlands over the next decade, and where exactly the new buildings should be put up. SMDC is also asking where new gypsy sites could be allocated; Cresswell was on a short-list at one point for that.
Trouble is: the feedback document issued by SMDC is quite hard to understand, so, in a recent post, we asked for help in filling it in from our local parish council. Nothing has come back; and nothing has appeared on the parish council’s website. Ah well.
We even checked on the ‘comments’ section of SMDC’s online consultation and only two people seem to have responded publicly so far: parish councillor Jacquie Leach (who was commenting on the Blythe Park development) and Cresswell resident Sam Jones.
Fortunately, other parish and town councils in the Moorlands have been a bit more pro-active in helping their electors.
In next-door Cheadle, the town council has created a partnership with local community action groups in the area, and have called the umbrella organisation ‘Cheadle Unite’. All concerned are now working together there to oppose the blight of excessive new housing, and are working on a campaign that they are calling No2Ed.
What is even better is that Cheadle Unite has drawn up a guide on how to fill in the feedback document, which is really useful. Of course, you have to alter it to make it Draycott-based – but you get the idea.
Greg Powell of Cheadle Unite even says “If anyone, anyone at all, wants advice over how the plans will affect their area, we will give them advice”.
In fact, Cheadle Unite have been really energetic about this consultation; and TODAY (Saturday 29 August) some town councillors will hold an open meeting to help residents with the forms. From 3pm-5pm, they will be at The Community House (Dovedale Close, Hammersley Hayes).
Time is short
SMDC have set September 14th as the close of the consultation period, so time is running short.
This is not just some paper exercise, as it will affect the future of the area. It is worth submitting representation forms, as SMDC says they will listen to what they majority say, and, under the Localism Act, they are supposed to do just that…
So… you snooze, you lose…
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