Moorlands Local Plan … thoughts

So… at last, we have the ‘preferred’ Local Plan proposals for housing, employment and traveller sites in the Moorlands region, all now brought to us by the district council after months of consultation…
Draycott and Cresswell have their fair share of the allocations, though Totmonslow is not mentioned on the list at all.

If you wish to comment on the plans, or you want to go along to some of the public meetings, all the details are at the bottom of this page.  BUT – remember, we only have six weeks from today to put comments in.

Housing allocation

The past year has been very confusing in terms of us being told what to expect.  Last summer we were told that Draycott could look forward (probably) to spaces being allocated for twenty-five new houses, but this latest version of the Plan has only designated space for ten new houses.

Draycott site allocations housing

Draycott Level. The orange site is the one preferred by SMDC for housing. Ignore the light green area – it’s the churchyard!

These, at the moment, are allocated on land behind St Mary’s Court – near The Draycott Arms. However, history societies are not entirely happy with that, as any future construction will abut the Old Rectory, a Grade 2 historic building.

Cresswell site allocations employment

This map is, basically, of the Blythe Business Park. The dark green area marks proposed business units space – but no indication of the planned housing estate!

You’ll notice of course that there is no mention of the planning permission for houses that was granted last year for a housing estate in Cresswell.  Apparently, this omission is because the permission was granted before this Local Plan from the district council was initiated.  (Eh?  Seems an odd way of going about drawing up a Plan, but there you are).
One comment that we are hearing already is that if a lot of this plan goes ahead, then we will in effect have one long ribbon development – of Draycott, Forsbrook & Blythe Bridge growing ever closer together.

Employment allocation

Well, if you check out these draft proposals, the huge Blythe Business Park extension looks to be definitely one that SMDC councillors would like to see go through.

Draycott site allocations employment

The dark green blob (on both sides of the A50 road), is the Draycott employment site ‘opportunity’. The little yellow blob, wrapped in the red blob, is one of the traveller site suggestions

The other thing that has reared its head again is the Blythe Vale employment site (also known as the Northern Gateway employment site – see Application No SMD/2011/0304). This got its basic planning permission renewed back in 2011 , but the permission has never been activated…. yet.
Because the permission has not been activated, no one is sure of what the exit route from the potential site might be. People who attended the original hearings all that long time ago say that one exit route which got some backing from the developers was down ‘Waterworks Lane’, the unmade road opposite the Izaak Walton in Cresswell. If so, the nightmare scenario would be wagons and traffic from both sides of Sandon Road coming slap up against each other.

It would be good to know what our local district councillors think about all this.  Our councillors, Mark Deaville and David Trigger, both voted for these draft ‘preferred’ options to go through.  You might want to ask them why they did that.

Travellers’ site

The news on this is very confusing.
While there are nine possible sites – scattered around the southern end of our Moorlands region – the Leek Post & Times newspaper is reporting that the site with the shortest odds on it is the one at the end of Draycott, opposite the Chandni Cottage Restaurant (at the beginning of the dual carriageway).
Meeting two weeks ago, Draycott Parish Council said it would be opposing the nomination of this site – although they will have to find some good planning reasons.
This site is, strictly speaking, just over the council border, in Forsbrook’s area.

Make your voice heard

Whether you are for, or against, or just confused (like many of us!), you’ll want to know how to ask questions and to comment.
Here’s how: —

#   You can read the documents.  They are all online – click SMDC Site Allocations Consultation -; or you can go into Blythe Bridge Library and request to see paper copies of them.
#   You can attend drop-in sessions.  SMDC has arranged a number of these for the the public to attend,   where officers will be on hand to explain matters. Our nearest ones are at:  Greatwood Community Hall in Upper Tean on Thursday 12th May (5pm – 8pm), and the Guildhall in Cheadle on Tues 17th May (5pm-8pm).
#   You can turn up to open meetings.  Forsbrook villagers have arranged an open meeting for this week – to be on Tuesday 3rd May from 7pm; and Draycott parish councillors have said they will be available for face-to-face chats on Monday 18th May from 6.45-7.15pm at the Church Hall.

#   You can just go straight ahead and write your comments anyway – which MUST be delivered by 5.00pm on Monday 13th June.
— You can fill in the online questionnaire, and send it back to the council.
— You can email – to
— You can use the old fashioned mail – send your letter to: Freepost RRLJ-XCTC-JBZK, Regeneration Manager, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek ST13 6HQ (no stamp needed)

Good luck…   let us all know what you are thinking – use this website’s Comments form, just a bit further down this page…

4 responses to “Moorlands Local Plan … thoughts

  1. Drop in property prices

    I did not buy my property and invest a significant amount of hard earned savings into the renovation to have the value slashed to zero by SMDC. A travellers site nearby will make my property worthless, a busy road outside caused by the business park expansion will also make it worthless…. and then lets add in the beautiful view to the rear spoiled by an industrial park.
    Strangely none of these developments favoured by SMDC councillors are in Leek, Checkley, or Totmonslow.
    None of those who voted for this ‘dumping of all things no one wants in their backyard’ live in Draycott central or Cresswell as far as I am aware – and so it’s clear why they voted for this destruction of both these hamlets and the subsequent drop in property prices these developments will entail. NIMBY.

    Neither Councillor Trigger or Councillor Deaville (who voted for these draft proposals) will get my vote again. They are in the position of local councillor in order to represent the views and concerns of their district – which includes Draycott and Cresswell and neither of them have done that. In fact, it would appear they have ignored concerns and objections.

    We now need to get our opinions heard before the deadline and utilise VVSM to help fight all of these problems, not just concentrating on the Cresswell site, because these 3 issues will affect everyone in the district and the result will be a fall in property prices and a serious decline in our quality of life and wellbeing because of the increased traffic and road noise.
    Bev Reardon


    • In response to Mrs Reardon’s comments regarding the vote at the Council Assembly on the Local Plan.

      I take my role as one of your three Ward Councillors extremely seriously, I do not take any decisions lightly. As a member of the controlling group on SMDC we have a responsibility to the people of the Staffordshire Moorlands to deliver the Local Plan on time.
      Under the National Planning Policy Framework, Local Planning Authorities are required to have available a five-year supply of housing land. At present SMDC has a little over two.
      Those Local Authorities, like SMDC, who fail to have a five-year supply, leave themselves vulnerable to speculative developers.
      This is why, in my view, the proposed developments at Blythe Park and off Cheadle Road in Upper Tean have been approved despite much local opposition, including myself.

      SMDC will continue to struggle against speculative developers until the Local Plan is in place.
      Consider what was approved at the Council Assembly last April 13th. It was the approval of DRAFT site allocations to go out to the Public Consultation. This is the opportunity for the public to comment on the Local Plan. It is NOT the final submission to the Secretary of State.

      Despite having my own concerns about the gypsy & traveller site allocation and other issues around some of the suggested development sites, this Consultation is an opportunity for the public to have their say and influence the final decision. Delaying the consultation at this time would have delayed the delivery of the Plan.

      If we are to prevent any further speculative development within the Staffordshire Moorlands, it is imperative that the Local Plan is delivered on time. I used my vote to keep the Local Plan on track, in the knowledge that the final decision on site allocations would be made later into the process and having taken the public’s views into consideration.

      It is very easy for opposition groups/councillors in Council to be vocal, play to the gallery and vote against the Local Plan – as they are not in control, they will not be held to account. But, one thing you can be certain of is that they will be even more vocal and condemning if the Local Plan is not delivered on time.
      Best regards, Your local Cllr. David Trigger


  2. Travellers site

    And just another thought… what is the reasoning behind giving ‘preferred site’ status for Travellers to a locale probably less than a mile from Draycott College?
    If we combine the (sadly not unwarranted) poor reputation amongst rootless Travellers with the uncontrolled mayhem wrought by ‘disturbed’ adolescants bussed daily into Draycott, then local residents can expect their property rights and personal safety to be severely under threat.
    What do the Police think – have they even an interest?


  3. Beware bureaucrats!

    Greetings – once again a thoroughly clear and concise reporting of SMDC activity.
    And haven’t they been busy bees?
    A lot of us are less confused now than previously, so I urge everyone to submit something, ANYTHING, to the planners and to attend whatever meetings you can. Bureaucrats typically feel safest when no locals are within view. Total non-interference is their preferred habitat and, if left alone, they expand and increasingly cement their power over us.

    Liked by 1 person

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