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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
— 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…