Cresswell’s future: S106 secrets are out

Eighteen months after the original planning application for the new Cresswell housing estate & industrial park extension was approved, the so-called ‘Section 106’ agreement for it has now been has now also been signed off.

This ‘S106’ is the formal agreement between the district council (Staffs Moorlands DC) and the developer (Scentarea/Malcolm Barrett) about all the nitty-gritty things that must be done before the development can go ahead – stuff like provision for proper transport links, playgrounds etc.
The negotiations are carried out behind closed-doors, in secret, so no-one from the local community has been allowed to get involved.

We asked around to see what some members of our local community thought were the most important points… With their help, we wrote this little guide up for everyone.  We hope it’s helpful.

Fifty pages long

The document is fifty pages long, including a list of forty ‘conditions’.  If you want to read it through it yourself, click here and then scroll to the bottom of that page, where you will find the S106 Document (split into five parts).

The first lot of it is the usual definitions stuff, saying what exactly is what and who exactly is who. Then it gets interesting…

S106 Part One
*  Housing.   It looks like the developer has to promise to build at least 33 out of every 100 homes as ‘affordable housing’.  Of those 33-out-of-100 homes, 21 must be ‘affordable rented’ homes, and 12 be shared-ownership or similar.
That seems to mean that the other 65 of every 100 homes built by the developer (or their appointed housing company) can be at any price he likes to sell them at. He can even build luxury homes if he wants.
So… if 160 homes are built (as planned), there will be (roughly) only just 35 homes for rent. Not as much opportunity for our young families as we’d hoped.
*  Leisure.   The agreement indicates that Blythe Cricket Club, which is just up the hill from the planned housing estate, will stand to gain around £250,000 if the whole estate is built. This is the sum that the developers state they will pay the club if the club allows use of their playing fields to the local & incoming population.
*  Cars.   The agreement speculates that parking space for three vehicles might be needed for any house that has four bedrooms.  A lot of cars!…
What it doesn’t say is how many four-bedroom houses there will be…
*  Children.   A ‘multi use’ games area – for use by children under 12 – is promised.
*  Schools.   The developer has promised to pay over a million pounds to support the need for extra school places – half to go to William Amory Primary in Blythe Bridge, and half to Blythe Bridge High.

S106 Part Two
*  Transport.   The developer promises to pay just under £300,000 to helping create a good local bus service (in 3 instalments)

S106 Part Four
*  Traffic.     A ‘Travel Plan Coordinator’ is going to be appointed.  This person will try to encourage sensible travel, including less car-use.    Apparently, this TPC will form a local community-based group, which will try to monitor traffic & travel flows, and will try to report back to the TPC.
*  Education.  The county council will get behind the construction of forty new teaching spaces at Blythe Bridge High…   Seems a lot – can they really do it?
*  Infrastructure.   A new pavement will be built opposite the Izaak Walton pub.  (The local community-action group VVSM group expressed great surprise at this clause – where exactly is it being built, and how wide will it be?)

S106 Part Five
*  Traffic.   There will be two new major roundabouts on our lanes.
*  Development.   Site clearance can start at any time
*  But, before any house-building can start:
…. a ‘traffic management plan’ must be presented
…. a survey must be carried out on site to check for any old industrial-products contamination; and a plan must be put in place for any pollution leakages from historic contamination
… an archaeological survey must be carried out (Condition 31)
… a plan to look after the area’s wildlife must be drawn up (Condition 33)

Bedtime reading

There is lots lots more to the S106 that you might spot if you read the whole thing – but these items we’ve mentioned here are the highlights that people have alerted us to.
If you spot anything that has been overlooked in our brief guide, would you email us and let us know?  We’d be grateful!


3 responses to “Cresswell’s future: S106 secrets are out

  1. Just a few points!!
    1. The S106 states that the road will be widened opposite the pub, but has anyone approach Miss Critchlow (the land-owner) about selling her land?
    2. VVSM had to be the ones to inform the Parish Council about the S106 Agreement!; says a lot about the power that Parish Councils have.
    3. Do not think for a moment that the houses that will be built for renting will automatically be for local people. Unless you are on the housing list, you’ve no chance. Ask anyone from Hilderstone about the rented houses that were built there: the tenants came, I believe, from out of the area.
    4. The houses that will be built will have triple glazing, to eliminate the noise from all the extra traffic. Are they going to do that for the other homes in Draycott Parish? There’s nothing mentioned in the S106 about that or anything else; we who live here alreday have been completely ignored… we don’t exist. All the houses will have Travel packs (with bus times, train times etc) but not the rest of us.
    5. Are you aware that the Developers are trying to negotiate a discount to buy cycles so that they can travel to school/work? Again nothing for current residents.
    6. Has anyone considered the air pollution that will increase enormously with all the heavy goods vehicles that will use the expanded business park twenty four hours a day seven days a week? So much for a nice peaceful weekend!
    7. As for the other comment from Dalek George – I sympathise but don’t hold your breath about anything being done. If they can ignore the people of the Draycott Parish, what about the people of BB?
    8. Part of the S106 talks about the safety of people (including children) walking to the bus stops. They mention the bus stop near to Rookery Crescent… think about it. They will probably open up a pedestrian walkway from the estate and through Sandon Close (thus avoiding walking by the roundabout) and up the road, as it will be safer this way to cut through to the bus stop. Nobody has mentioned CROSSING the road to the bus stop. Some vehicles come at great speed from Hilderstone over the brow of the hill; it’s a dangerous part of the road.

    We at VVSM along with our supporters have been working very hard trying to sort this fiasco out. IF YOU DON’T MAKE YOUR VOICE AND OPINIONS HEARD THEY WILL WALK ALL OVER YOU. NO GOOD COMPLAINING AFTER THE EVENT, TOO LATE… THEN IT WILL BE ALL DONE AND DUSTED.
    Shelagh Wood, Chair VVSM website:


  2. Cresswell bottleneck

    I find it perplexing that the S106 conditions are negotiated between the developers and the planning department at Leek with no local involvement at all. The final agreement comes fully formed – with not even the Parish Council having any knowledge of what is being asked for.
    With the growth of traffic that we have had over the years, with people using the Sandon to Draycott road through Cresswell as a ‘rat run’, I am pleased that the bottleneck (the section by the Izaak Walton Inn) is being remedied, hopefully without somebody being seriously hurt. I was told some years ago by a council official, that nothing needs to be done, because nobody had been killed!


  3. Congestion in Blythe Bridge

    Will the TPC also consider the congestion which will be created in Blythe Bridge with the additional children attending the two schools?
    Blythe is already a dangerous place during the start and end of the school day.
    Dalek George


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