NEWS: repairs / illegal planter / lots of industry / river trouble

In this post we have news of…: volunteers do self-help repairs / illegal planter / industrial hubs dumped in Draycott / River Blithe in trouble …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a harvest supper. Check out the Events page)
For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Doing it for themselves

Well done to those folk who have recently decided not to wait for whatever authorities to act, but to get out and fix some local street items themselves. According to a correspondent on the local Facebook page, it was all done by “community-minded” residents.

So… one of the parish council notice boards – the one on Draycott Level which was kicked over some time at the beginning of last month – now stands again! Its legs are a little shorter now, but as they are buried up to their top in soil, no one notices.
The torn felting on top of the Cresswell bus-shelter roof has been waiting a little longer for repairs, some six months or more, but it too has had a repair in the past week and now has a lovely new covering tacked on to it.

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The government is very much saying that local people must now volunteer to get out there and fix things in their communities themselves if they want them done – and it looks like someone is taking that advice to heart.

– – –
Illegal weeds

One little job that, sadly, hasn’t been done by the authorities is the removal of the old planter (on our main junction, of Uttoxeter Rd and Cresswell Lane). A year ago, Draycott Parish Council promised to remove this eyesore, which has broken legs and is full of weeds, but so far they seem unable to locate a man & van to do it.Planter Draycott Junction

It further turns out, as the council’s clerk revealed at the last meeting, that it is probably illegally sited. It seems that you can’t just plonk a planter down in a public space – you need permission, and a licence to say you have permission. (Who knew?)

Maybe the news that it is an illegal will hurry along said removal.

– – –
Pity the poor Blithe

We had an interesting email from Nigel Peake the other week. There are probably very few people who know this village as well as Nigel, and he says that in all his days he has never been so concerned about the river.
He wrote:  “Sit on the bridge and watch the river go by??! A joke!!!! The river is virtually weed bound, hardly any river to see. I’ve mentioned this to a Parish councillor in the past, and as usual, naff all done. I was born and bred in Cresswell, and I’ve honestly NEVER seen the river in such poor condition.”

The River Blithe runs into Draycott from Blythe Bridge, before going on to Tittesworth reservoir and eventually meeting the Trent at King’s Bromley near Rugeley. It’s quite a significant river, and is the real reason that Blythe Colours settled here over a hundred years ago.

Nigel is right of course. It’s partly the invasion of Himalayan balsam – the weed that spreads like wildfire – which is choking the river, and partly the constant need to keep de-silting the water-course, which isn’t happening.

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Even the tributary into it, which runs from The Hunter pub through Paynsley fields and meets the main Blithe at the Blythe Business Base, is virtually invisible right now.
Further up, near to Wastegate Farm/The Hunter, the landowner is even now putting in extra drainage pipes, presumably to help it along.

Anyone got any ideas on how to save the Blithe?

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Bringing industry to Draycott

The chance to comment on the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s ‘Local Plan – Preferred Options 2017’ has now passed. The results of the feedback should be known in the New Year, but we already know that many of the comments were deeply unfavourable.

Residents in both Draycott and Cresswell felt a bit frustrated that any comment by them objecting to the Blythe Park expansion, or to the Blythe Vale development, would be ignored – as the approval for both has already been passed, and the Local Plan only looks at future scenarios.

But, surprisingly, there was a mention of the developments in the council’s documents. They figure in the section on the council’s industrial strategy policy: –

•   8.26          Note that: no rural employment allocations are proposed … given that in May 2016 the Council granted outline approval for a major residential and industrial scheme in the countryside at Cresswell (Blythe Park expansion) covering approx 8.58ha of employment land.  This satisfies the District’s residual employment land requirement for 2016-2031.
And –

Note that: the 48.5ha allocation of land at Blythe Vale (Policy DSR1) for mixed uses responds to a special regional requirement for high quality, employment development independent of the general employment land requirements for the District set out in Policy E2.

In other words, ALL the region’s industrial development, for rural areas, for the next 15 years is allocated to … Cresswell & Draycott !

So, expect the fields along the ridge overlooking Uttoxeter Road to be changing over the next few years – from quiet arable land to widespread warehousing and more.
And none of our political representatives, from local level to Parliament, seem that bothered.

***
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One response to “NEWS: repairs / illegal planter / lots of industry / river trouble

  1. Cllrs' committment

    Thanks for the bulletin.
    Hurrah for our volunteers! They are an asset when cut backs are affecting so many areas of community life.

    Also I agree that the SMDC Local Plan is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted – it offers little protection for our parish especially.
    But statements such as “And none of our political representatives, from local level to Parliament, seem that bothered” are not true. I’ve been to two local Parish Council meetings and Cllr surgeries recently and heard great concerns voiced by our representatives along with personal commitments to oppose the abovementioned developments.
    Many are working on Neighbourhood Plans as a means to limit unsustainable planning proposals in the future.
    Steve Jones (Draycott Parish Councillor)

    ++
    Editor’s Reply
    Thanks Steve. Just two points…

    I think there will be quite a few who disagree with you on the commitment of our local (ie Draycott) political representatives to try to stop the roller-coaster of housing & industry that is hitting Draycott area.
    The two local newspapers are full of councillors who have been speaking out strongly to protect their areas, whether in reports, in issuing statements or in the letters columns; and the MP for Leek has also issued statements about the rate of housing applications. But.. from our own parish councillors, district councillors and our MP? – Not so much as a word.
    It’s probably fair to say that, per head of population, this district is going to have more development over the next ten years than any other district in the county… but our representatives have not so much as delivered newsletters locally, or published any position-statement, or written any ‘open’ letters. We may be wrong on this – so please let us know which councillor has indeed spoken out.
    It’s very easy to sit in a meeting and talk. But talk is only hot-air. It would be good to see action (if they mean what they say)
    You also make a point about neighbourhood plans. Yes, Checkely is roaring ahead with one, Forsbrook/Blythe Bridge is on track… even Leek Town are doing one. But, no, not Draycott Parish: in January last, they decided they would no longer bother with one.

    Like

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