News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid January 2016
News of…: destruction of a listed structure? / cracks in A50 flyover / end to police liaison meetings / plans for a Neighbourhood Plan / snow comes and goes …
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a Burns Night celebration! Check out the Events page)
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Moat no more?
There are only a dozen or ‘Grade 2 listed’ structures in Draycott-in-the-Moors; and one of them appears to be just a grassy ditch & mound. However, this ordinary-looking earthwork (in fields at the south-west end of Cresswell) is actually the remains of the medieval moat that once surrounded the ancient Paynsley Hall.
The Government holds it to be of ‘national archaeological importance’.
However, the English Heritage group is so worried that it could be damaged that it is one of only twelve structures in the Moorlands to appear on their latest annual ‘Endangered List’. It has been on the endangered list every year for a number of years.
However, some older members of the local parish council say they believe that it has already been destroyed! They have said that they have seen no evidence recently that the ground has been preserved.
It’s impossible for us to confirm one way or the other, as the structure lies hidden on private property near Painsley Farm. Apparently, English Heritage is investigating the claims.
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Cracks in bridge
Another damaged structure has come to light too – but it’s a little more modern.
Myra Williams emailed us these photos of the A50 flyover bridge on Cresswell Lane, which clearly shows that a piece of concrete has simply cracked and dropped off it…
The second photo (below) is a long-shot.
Myra says she doesn’t know when this happened, or whether it indicates a problem.
Can anyone tell us? Please email us if you know
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Police meetings suspended
One other thing that is missing at the moment is any local police consultation meetings.
Up until the middle of last year, there were monthly (and sometimes fortnightly) public meetings organised by the Forsbrook Local Policing Unit (which also oversees Draycott).
However, they have been discontinued since August, despite the ongoing spate of burglaries locally (just last week, there was another burglary at an outbuilding, this time in Draycott Cross Road).
Constable Adam Charlesworth, our community support officer, told us that hardly anyone was attending the meetings, and there seemed no point in continuing with them. Adam says he is now exploring other ways of creating public liaison.
Curiously, the two neighbourhood watch projects in Draycott also seem to have folded.
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Plans for a plan
You may have noticed in the local paper that a lot of villages in Staffordshire are rushing to set up their ‘neighbourhood plans’. Just last week, Brown Edge, Biddulph and next-door Checkley announced their intentions.
The reason for the rush is, not only that the 2011 Localism Bill made it easier for villages to do this, but because many villagers now realise that having a neighbourhood-plan in place it is one way of helping to stop crazy development proposals being forced on a community that doesn’t want them.
(Some people say that if Draycott had had a neighbourhood plan in place already then it might perhaps have blocked the huge Blythe Park housing-estate project).
Well, a little slow off the mark, but no slower than some others to be fair, Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council is also joining the rush. The council has set up its own sub-committee to see how feasible (and how expensive) the idea is. It’s expected that leaflets explaining the matter will be pushed through local letter-boxes sometime in the next two months.
Incidentally, it’s easy to confuse a Neighbourhood Plan with a Parish Plan or even a Local Plan (!).
A neighbourhood plan sets out a community’s attitude to development in its locality, and has official status; the Draycott ‘parish plan’ is just a set of hopes and aspirations drawn up by a community; and a Local Plan is a government-approved strategy for planning matters in a region (in our case, it’s the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan).
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And finally… snow
Well, it’s been a funny old winter. Despite a sprinkling of snowflakes back in November, it’s really been a story of rains and mild temperatures, hasn’t it?
And then suddenly, last week, in came the snow.
On Sunday, the snow was particularly thick, and some of us were battening down the hatches while also out taking some snow photographs… only to wake up on Monday and find it nearly all gone!
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