Tag Archives: planning

Proposed solar farm – details outlined

There will be a commercial-scale solar farm completed in Cresswell by the end of this year.
The solar-power company, Novus Solar Development, outlined their proposals at a one-day exhibition in the local church hall this week.

Sheep and solar

The idea is to build frames, each holding around forty solar energy panels, placed in wide rows across three fields on Lower Newton Farm.
Lower Newton Farm is reached by a long driveway, south off the road near the A50 bridge on Cresswell Old Lane. (See map of area and proposed site).

Because the panels are on raised frames (around two-and-a-half metres high),  sheep can happily graze round them and even under them – and thus, what’s more, the fields are still in agricultural use at the same time.

Solar farm (on Creative Licence)

This is a photo of another solar farm. The one at Newton will be slightly different – it will have lower frames, and panels will be at a more acute angle.

The electricity generated from the panels will be transferred to the nearest 33kV pylon, about 300 yards away, by means of an underground cable – and from there will be carried on to the National Grid.
Lower Newton will be able to supply enough electricity to power over 3000 homes per year.

It sounds an interesting project – and one that will benefit the farmer, the company, the National Grid, and, of course, the environment.   Solar power is one of the forms of sustainable energy that the authorities are trying to encourage:  a project such as the Lower Newton one will attract government subsidy.


However, as with all big projects, questions remain.  At the church hall exhibition, we put a series of queries to the representatives from Novus.

Q.  Will there be a glare from the panels?
A.   The panels, which are a dark blue-grey colour, are deliberately designed to absorb as much light as possible – so there is very little glint from them.  Also, they are pitched at an acute angle of 25 degrees, so, the chance of reflection to observers is much smaller.

Q.   Why choose this particular site?
A.    We are constantly looking for appropriate sites, which are ones where visual impairment is low, and a connection to the Grid is cost-effective. This site is ideal.

Propsed site of solar farm in Newton

The pale green area shows the site Novus wish to use. The thick grey line you see is the A50. The conurbation to the left is Cresswell, the conurbation in the top-right is Tean.  The house to the bottom left of the site is Paynsley Hall Farm. (Picture copyright: Novus)

Also, things have changed since the first solar farms – planners and communities are now very much up to speed on what they want to see with solar farms, so you have to meet their more knowledgeable demands too. Because Lower Newton Farm is in a kind of bowl, with very few properties near it, the view around it is very limited – which means it’s a better than usual spot for any nearby community.
What’s more, the land on these fields is classed as medium-to-poor soil, so that reserving the area to grazing sheep will not affect the agricultural balance of this area.

Q.   How long do you expect to be around?
A.    Well, planners will allow us no more than 25 to 35 years permission.  But we expect that, unless there is some totally unforeseen development in the energy market, we will be here for the duration.

Q.    Will there be much traffic to and from the site?
A.     No – in fact hardly any at all!  We will send in a maintenance person just to check things once every six months or so, but actually, we expect that, once it’s built, the system will look after itself virtually.
The Lower Newton farmers, Martin and Fiona Bostock, are fully behind the scheme; so I should think they will be keeping an eye on things too!

Q.    Do solar panels have any major bad effects on wildlife?
A.     No.  As we’ve said, sheep will be grazing in and around the structures quite happily.  In fact, there will be a net benefit for wildlife, as we are developing the edges of the fields and the hedgerows as wildlife-friendly areas.  Expect to see owl-boxes put up there!
An environmentally-sound fence will run round the site though to prevent larger animals straying in.
Also, remember that the farmer is still responsible for caring for the land.  We lease our rights to use the land from the farmers, yes;  but they still have the duty to ensure all is well there.

Q.     There is a public footpath that runs right through the fields you want to use.  Will you be asking to divert the path?
A.     No, the path stays where it is.  What we will do is create a ten metre-wide dedicated thoroughfare, along which walkers can easily pass.  A small fence will line each side of the path to show people where to go.

Q.    How do you see the application going?
A.    If there are no major objections, we will apply for planning permission quite soon.  If all goes well after that, and we get permission, we’d hope to start putting up the structures September-ish, with a view to everything being in place by late autumn…

And, if anyone has other queries?
Tell them to write to us.  Ed Jessamine is the person who is overseeing this project.  We’re very keen to be as open as possible about this – so the more questions the better!  (Email Ed Jessamine).

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.

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News of: archives move / a century / housing / the Church Hall

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-June 2013

We have news of:  parish council’s archives move; what’s new at the Church Hall; a cricket century; and … land for housing development?
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
History on the move

People who like to study the history of Draycott will be interested to know that the local parish council has decided to move its paper-archives to the Staffordshire Record Office.

Up until now, the records – old minutes, agendas, plans and more – have been kept in fireproof boxes in successive parish clerks’ homes.
But, as the records go right back to 1901 – when the parish council was formed -, they were beginning to take up a lot of space!

The move also means that the records can be stored under better conditions, and will be more easily accessible to members of the public and historians.

– – –
Homes on the glebe land?

Talking of the parish council, it is also mulling over a proposal which members have received from the Lichfield Diocese office of the Church of England.
The Church of England still owns a deal of land in Draycott.  In its possession are a few acres, which were at one time ‘glebe land’ belonging to St Margaret’s, the parish church.
But ownership of the land (the area behind St Margaret’s Court, the complex of bungalows for the elderly), reverted back to the diocese some years ago.

So, now, the Diocese is wondering what to do with its land; and is considering an idea to have it developed for housing – though they want at least half of the houses, if they were ever built, to be so-called ‘affordable homes’.
However, such a proposal – for about a dozen houses – is a long, long way off becoming a reality.

– – –
Asif’s a centurion!

Despite providing some great entertainment, Blythe Cricket Club First XI (which plays in Cresswell) is only just holding its own in the NSSCL Division 1A.
However, Asif Hussain’s swingeing 131 against Meakin CC last month is still the top score in the division this season.  Asif, who has played for Pakistan, is in consecutive years as the club’s professional player.

We list some of the First XI’s top home matches on our what’s-on page; and if you want to go along, you can enjoy some good cricket for free – and a pint for a reasonable price too!

– – –
Have your event at the hall

Now that the good weather is once again with us, further work can start on the renovation of the Church Hall  (in Church Lane behind St Margaret’s Church).
Soon, work will begin on a full insulation protection for the ceiling, which should keep the space even warmer (and cheaper to maintain!) in the colder months.

After the moves a couple of years ago in which it became independent of St Margaret’s, the hall committee – which is composed completely of volunteers – has managed to carry out more than a few repairs to make the hall a more and more comfortable space for the community to hire and use.
What’s more, according to the annual report from the committee (which can be seen on the notice-board in the hall), the hall is making a small profit, which is good news.

Draycott in the Moors Church Hall

Draycott in the Moors Church Hall – open for use by the community…

It’s well worth Draycott people considering the use of the space. Not only are the hire rates very low, but the hall can hold sixty people, has good parking areas, toilets, and a small kitchen in which to make tea etc.
There is also a garden at the back, which is great for warm days – but is also big enough to hold a marquee.

For more information about the hall, including making a booking, contact a member of the committee – Joyce Moore (chairperson/secretary) on 01782 396728, or Molly on 01782 395158.

To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News of: big meetings / charity champs / a birthday / Red Hands

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in late January 2013

We have news of:  dates of community meetings in health and planning; more snow photos; some charity champions; Red Hand Day – and Andrew’s birthday announcement…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Community meetings

There are a couple of important regional meetings coming up which will be of interest to local community activists.
As well as the hearing into the Staffordshire Moorlands Council’s  ‘Core Strategy’ – which will set all the planning conditions locally for the next few years –  which runs from Feb 5th to 7th, there is also the NHS 111 meeting on 28 Feb.
Both take place in Leek.

Although Parish Councils can attend the ‘Core Strategy’ meeting, the only local group speaking for Draycott in this instance will be the VVSM residents group, who got a speaking slot on February 6th in which to put their case forward.
Anyone at all can also attend to listen, but you do need to book a seat – by emailing the Programme Officer, Pippa Home .

As for the NHS 111 meeting,  this takes place on 28 Feb at 5.30pm at the Council offices in Leek.  NHS 111 is a new service being introduced by the NHS in Staffordshire, which will be encouraging all of us to use a new telephone number – 111 – for less urgent calls, instead of dialling 999.
To book a (free) place for you or your organisation, or both, at the meeting  email Amanda Harvey.

By the way, local community groups will also be interested to know that £10,000 of funding is up for grabs in the Moorlands region.
The ‘Moorlands Housing’s Tenant Scrutiny Panel’ is allocating the money, but wants to receive all applications by Jan 31, so there isn’t much time!  You need to email Gavin McAlister for an application form.

– – –
Snow pix

Thanks to everybody for their pictures of the snow in Draycott, Cresswell and Totmonslow. We just keep adding them to the gallery, so keep watching this space…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– – –
You’ve been birthdayed

Yes, these days it’s quite hard to keep a birthday – even your 40th – a quiet affair.  Some friend somehow always decides that it’s a good idea that your world should share your happiness (!)

40th birthday placard

Yes, Andrew, it’s your birthday!

A number of placards like this one (which was located outside the Draycott Sports Centre) sprang up overnight this week attached to lamp-posts.
Hard luck, Andrew Mardling – now everybody knows how old you are!

– – –
Charity champions

Congratulations must go to the Swinson Family of Cresswell who have proved to be charitable champions.
When Steve, the head of the family, died in a construction accident two years ago, they – with family friend Dave Bradbury – decided to do positive something in his memory.

Amazingly, by organising a number of fund-raising activities, they finished 2012 having raised a stunning sum – almost £4000.
The money has gone to the Midlands Air Ambulance, a cause that was near to Steve’s heart.

– – –
Get red-handed

Incidentally, Draycott Moor College are hoping all sorts of local groups – from the local Women’s Institute branch to church groups to residents associations to youth clubs will join in with their Red Hand Day efforts.
Red Hand Day remembers the plight of those children who are abducted in war-zones and forced to become soldiers. It sounds unbelievable, but guerrilla armies often do press-gang kids and train them to kill; and it’s estimated that there may be 250,000 child-soldiers today.

Red Hand Day prints

Red Hand Day prints on the gates at Draycott College

The way to take part in International Red Hand Day, which is on 12th February is to simply to dye one’s hand red & make an imprint of it on a piece of paper – and then post it up somehow.

As you can see from this photo of the college’s gates (right), the youngsters there have started their campaign already. The pupils have even written to the heads of the political parties to ask them to end this tragic state of affairs.

You can help them by making your print and dropping it off at the school (ST11 9AH), so that then the whole of the fencing at the front of school will be covered in red hands.
If your group needs red dye and paper, the college staff will even bring it to you, and also collect (when dry!). For more details, contact Paul at Draycott College or phone 01782 399849.

To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News of: Mini-museum progress / Planning strategy / Lake for sale / New bench

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in early January 2013

We have news of:  yet another new bench; the mini-museum on the way; a millionaire property for sale; a chance to influence planning issues for the new generation – and more.
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –

Time definitely doesn’t stand still in Draycott… projects have been moving along smartly in the last few weeks.

For instance, in the past couple of months, the number of public benches in the area has doubled.
First there was the Jubilee Bench, which is now installed outside the St Margaret’s Churchyard; and now there is a new one (part of a project to improve Cresswell by the VVSM Residents’ Group) in the Cresswell lay-by.

Public bench in Cresswell

Sitting pretty – the new public bench in Cresswell

VVSM’s key person in installing the new bench was John Beardmore, who’s very well-known around here (he compered the Draycott Summer Fayre).  It was John who supplied the tools, knowledge, hard work and key contacts to make the mission possible.
Support for John came from his wife Marguerite and son Chris, but also from Scott Phillips and Paul Ford, who helped with the welding, and Roger Leach, who got stuck in with the digging and organising.
The VVSM coordinators, Jacquie Leach and Shelagh Wood, also got their hands dirty too, so we can report that it was a proper group effort!

Now… where’s that champagne?

– – –
Cresswell ‘museum’

It has definitely been a busy month for VVSM, who also have seen another of their projects maturing.

The old telephone kiosk in Cresswell was just decaying when VVSM suggested that the Parish Council should take up a British Telecom ‘special offer’. BT has been selling these old telephone boxes for just £1 to local authority organisations.
The Parish Council agreed to sponsor the effort, and we can report that the formal hand-over by BT has now taken place.

BT Kiosk sign

BT has now placed a notice in the Cresswell telephone box saying that they have formally sold the kiosk

Though the PC formally own the kiosk and will pay the basic costs (such as insurance), it is VVSM who will pay the maintenance and running of the kiosk.
It is to be used as a tiny museum and notice-board for Cresswell – which sounds like a very strange idea, but similar such ideas have worked elsewhere.
VVSM tell us that they are all ready to start working on it.

The members say have attracted a grant of £1,000 to help with the transformation – but that they will still need funds to keep it going. They are suggesting that local people and businesses might step in; and sponsor one of the kiosk’s panes of glass for £10 a year.
If you have any ideas about what should go into the ‘museum’, or how to raise funds, just leave a comment in the comments box further down this page.

We’ll keep you informed on progress.

– – –
Want to buy a lake?

As we move into the New Year, even more properties in the area are going up for sale.

The Grange

The Grange – up for sale

If you have just under a million pounds in your piggy-bank, you might like to consider buying The Grange, a country house in Cheadle Road (just up from The Draycott Arms).
Someone who’s into swimming, or boating, might enjoy it, as it has a large natural lake in the grounds.

Bagshaws of Uttoxeter are the estate agents – click here for details.

– – –
Core Strategy hearing underway soon

Meanwhile, the planning event of the year for us gets underway on February 5th.
The hearing into Staffordshire Moorlands Council’s ‘Core Strategy’ – which will set all the planning conditions locally for the next few years – gets underway then.

To be frank, Draycott doesn’t really figure much in the Strategy, as it’s extremely unlikely any housing will be allocated in this district.

However a lot of local community-minded people – including the Cheadle Unite group – will be attending in Leek on the days that the hearing is due to take place, just to make sure that the Strategy is properly scrutinised.
If you are someone who wants to go along, you’d be best emailing the Programme Officer, Pippa Home  (or, if you want to phone, try 0845 129 7777 ext 3705 on Wednesday mornings, Thursdays and Fridays.)

To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones,  just use the comments box below.
You do not have to leave your email address (which is always kept private anyway), but, if you don’t, that means you might miss any feedback.

News: new public bench / Blythe CC plans / Potters top / autumn glories

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-November 2012.

We have news of:  a new bench, and a new planter; more football success for Draycott Potter FC; cricket club’s planning success; winter gardening; keeping warm in your home – and more.
(There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Adorning the streets

Well, you wait ages for a piece of street furniture – and then along come two at once!

Yes, first, the long-awaited Jubilee Bench has now been installed.
It’s a lovely item, and has been sited on the corner of Church Lane and Uttoxeter Road – just outside St Margaret’s graveyard (the new part). So, if you’re visiting the graveyard, you’ll be able to get a sit-down before climbing the steps up to it.
It was ordered by the Parish Council, out of parish council funds, so I suppose that means that we have all had a hand in paying for it!  It celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of the present Queen.

Draycott in the Moors Jubilee bench

The new Jubilee bench sits on the rise at the bottom of Church Lane

Just a few days before that apppeared, we also got sight of a new planter, which has been set up underneath the new Cresswell sign.

Cresswell planter

The new planter – safely situated under the Cresswell sign

It has been both donated and will be tended by members of the VVSM local residents’ group.
VVSM has also taken on the regular tidying of the Cresswell lay-by – so, good for them!

In fact, we now have an interesting tally of benches and planters in Draycott-in-the-Moors.
There’s another bench, celebrating the 50th anniversary of VE Day, on Cresswell Lane (near the cricket club).
There are also three other planters (at the Cheadle Rd bus-stop; at the end of Draycott Old Road; and at the junction of Cresswell Lane and Uttoxeter Road), all of which are managed by the Parish Council.

– – –
Blythe CC success

Congratulations to Blythe Cricket Club!
Their application to rebuild their old pavilion at their Cresswell ground has been approved.  The application was sponsored by our local Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council, and it looks like the organisations’ joint efforts have paid off handsomely.
With luck, this means building work could start in the Spring.

No doubt the Blythe CC president, Colin Dawson, is already busily fund-raising right now – and if you yourself want to support the club’s efforts to raise money, check out their fundraising events, which are listed on the Things To Do page (and go along to some…).

– – –
Glories of nature

Walking along Stuart Avenue, we couldn’t resist taking a photo of this Japanese acer – really looking its best in the autumn sunshine.

Japanese acer

An autumn glory – Japanese acer in the sunlight

Talking of nature and its glories, Draycott Plant Nurseries is really up and running properly now, a full year after Carolyn and Neil took it over. (Congratulations to them on their first anniversary!).
They told us that they are doing a brisk trade in winter bulbs at the moment, and expect to sell a lot of Christmas trees too when the Xmas season is upon us: the Christmas trees arrive at the end of this month, but you can pre-order of course.

– – –
We are the champions…

Well, not quite… but it’s a pleasing sight to see Draycott Potter top of the premier division in the Uttoxeter & District Sunday Football League halfway through the season!  The team thumped Cheadle CC 7-2 last week (with a Ben Matthews hat-trick) to go to the number one slot.
JCB Lakeside FC are in second place, and have two games in hand on Draycott, so it may be a short-lived ride at the top for our boys – but let’s enjoy it while we may.

– – –
Keep warm this winter

The people at Staffordshire Moorlands council have reminded us that time is running out for anyone who wishes to apply for their free insulation-installation scheme.
It seems too good to be true, but, yes, if you don’t already have insulation in your home, the council might well help you out with some… for free.
Click here for details.
As the closing date is November 30th, it’s best to get in now, as it’s a matter of first-come first-served.

*To comment on any of these items, or suggest some new ones, just use the comments box below

Wind turbine for Draycott?

The planning applications page for Draycott makes interesting reading this week.

The very newest application is one for the erection of a wind turbine in the very south of Draycott’s area, almost down to Hilderstone, at New Buildings Farm. (See:  New Buildings Farm application).

Proposed turbine at New Buildings Farm

An artist’s mpression of how the proposed turbine at New Buildings Farm will look

Wind turbines generate electricity, and are part of the drive in this country to produce at least 15% of the nation’s energy through ‘renewable sources’.  Local councils have a compulsory duty to consider developments that combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t controversial!
As many of us will know, a recent application for a giant turbine (130 metres high) at nearby Checkley was turned down; and there’s concern now from residents near Uttoxeter about an application for a 78 metre high one at Spath.

Some people think they look lovely – like big white windmills -, and some people think they are eyesores on the landscape.


The one proposed for New Buildings Farm is small by comparison with the one at Uttoxeter – it’s 40 metres (132 feet) to the tip.
The farm is out in the wilds, on the stretch between Cresswell and Hilderstone, on a ridge looking down on to Bromley Wood.  (See:  Google map)
The farm has the New Buildings Dog Kennels within its site – and a public footpath/track – but there are very few houses nearby.
Conservationists will want to look at any impact on the local landscape though.

By coincidence (perhaps?) this application comes just weeks after Staffordshire County Council published its policy guidelines on what sort of wind turbine developments it is more likely to allow.
In fact, the New Buildings Farm application falls within these county council guidelines – being small enough and (possibly) non-disruptive enough.  Actually, a similar application (for a wind turbine in Rudyard) was approved just last month.

Comment on the application

So, it looks like this turbine falls within the planning guidelines for ‘more acceptable’ applications – but it still has to get formal approval even so.
The next stage is that Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish council will discuss it.  If you have views that you’d like the parish council to know of, you can go to the November parish council meeting and speak in the open-participation slot. As of the date of the writing of this article, the PC had not received the application, but you can still have a say if you wish.
We have already heard from some environmentalists who strongly support the idea of wind turbines in remoter spots such as this one, and who say they will be expressing their support for it.

Also, online comments are welcomed in the Comments section of the relevant Staffordshire Moorlands planning application page.
Or – you can comment too on the local VVSM Residents’ Group website. VVSM takes an active interest in planning developments in Draycott.

Related links
Staffordshire Moorlands District  Council’s policy on Climate Change and Renewable Energy
New Buildings Farm Wind Turbine Application
Staffordshire County Council policy statement on large scale wind energy

Vast housing estate for Draycott… nearly

We’ve had a fascinating note from Matt Pointon, the local man who wrote the definitive history of this area (click here for details of the book).
He has found a map (see below) dating from 1935, showing where a vast housing estate was planned to be built in Draycott.

Draycott planning map 1935

Uttoxeter Road runs along the bottom of the map – from Stuart Avenue to St Margaret’s.  Etched in on dotted lines, above Draycott Old Road, you can see the planned shape of the new estate – stretching half a mile northwards!

Matt wrote this account of his discovery…
– – – – –

Attached is a photo of a Sewerage Disposal Plan (c.1935) which I found in the attic of my grandfather’s house some years ago. The original is now in the Record Office at Hanley.
What is interesting is that it shows extensive proposed developments for Draycott-in-the-Moors, which would have easily quadrupled the village in size.

As you can see from the plan, there were housing developments proposed in the fields behind the school, and on the field where the present summer fetes are held, and also across the road instead.
I imagine, from the street plan and time of the plans, these would have been for semi-detached residences similar to Stuart Avenue.

Small school – big fields…

Interestingly, the school is also proposed here – and that actually got built (to the same plan as on the proposals). It has long been a subject of conjecture as to why such a large field was allocated for such a small school, but if the school was actually built ready to service such an extensive housing estate then I think the answer is now obvious.

Also, as an aside, several years back one of the parish councillors told me that no one knows who actually owns the field backing onto Draycott Old Road. I suggest that it might be a development company or even the council, who bought it in preparation for the developments.

This of course, now leaves us with the question of why the proposed housing estate never got built when both the school was built and land was purchased.
The obvious solution is that the war intervened. Or, maybe the development company went bust and that particular asset was forgotten about?

Finally, why would my granddad have such a plan in his loft?
Well, he was a town planner for Cheadle Rural District Council before the war. After the war he planned and designed Rookery Crescent, which of course, would probably never have been needed had this lot been built!

As for me personally, I’m glad it didn’t – as it would have ruined the village far more than any power station in Cresswell, so we have one thing to thank Adolf for I suppose.

(This is not dealt with in my book because I couldn’t find the chart at the time).

Matt Pointon

Potential housing sites cause concern

The latest newsletter from the VVSM residents’ group highlights the recent publication by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council of its ‘Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment’ – or  SHLAA for short.

It’s a long title, but, briefly, the SHLAA identifies potential plots for house-building.
It’s important to recognise that these are not plots of land singled out by planners, but are simply plots that some landowner and/or developer has indicated that they would like to start building on if they could get permission.
Potential sites in this area have been marked on maps that can be found on the council’s website.

On one of these maps you can see that – for our locality – there are marked sites all along the residential parts of Sandon Road in Cresswell, while in Draycott itself there are sites marked next to St Margaret’s Church and behind Draycott College, including its playing fields.
Poor old Totmonslow is off the map, so we can’t tell you if any sites are identified there!
If you want to see our exact map for yourself, just click here (the map opens as a pdf, then scroll down to page seven).

The council’s ‘site-details’ reports also make for sobering reading.
To be honest, we didn’t fully understand the implications of them (would someone try to explain these to us?) but The Housing Availability Assessment, which mentions Draycott on page 10, and the Individual Site Assessments reports – which mention all the pinpointed sites in Draycott-in-the-Moors as well as across other rural parts of the Moorlands – are definitely compulsory reading for anyone interested in the development of this area.
(By the way the Individual Site Assessments report is nearly 400 pages long, so it takes four minutes to download as a pdf.  To find Draycott or Cresswell or Totmonslow sites, you really should do a ‘search’ for the relevant word, eg ‘Cresswell’).

The council however is bound to take seriously these enquiries; and so the SHLAA is a definite part of the District Council’s ‘Core Strategy plan’ – which was forwarded to the Government Inspector last month.


VVSM is clearly concerned about not just the number of these sites marked on the SHLAA, but the type of site – some of which they regard as highly unsuitable for environmental reasons.
It also is unhappy about how the whole housing consultation process works.

…so what happens next?

Well, a district council officer told us that the ‘best’ sites will eventually be selected by them (a number have already been deemed unsuitable and yet more are likely to be rejected) – and then a public consultation on these more suitable sites will be undertaken. This will take place next year.

So – in theory – nothing should happen before we hear about it. However, if you too are concerned, it is worth checking out VVSM’s views – click here.

Of course, new build does go on in Draycott – and, after all, the country does need more houses…

Building on the Bird in Hand site

New houses are going up on the site of the now-demolished Bird In Hand pub (on the road going to Hilderstone)

Down at the southern-most end of Draycott,  new houses stand where the old Bird In Hand once stood.

Community Conversation

You may remember however that many of us discussed this very issue of housing allocation in the so-called Community Conversations which were held last year. Members of the Draycott and Cresswell communities were asked to attend public discussions on these matters.

Well, the records of those two discussions have at last been published. The summary of the Draycott discussions can be seen by clicking here (Draycott was lumped in with Blythe Bridge and Forsbrook) while the Cresswell discussion summary can be seen by clicking here.

Frankly, we don’t think the notes are very easy to understand unless you were there, so if you are a bit doubtful about what they mean, it is worth contacting your favourite parish councillor and asking him/her to explain them. Parish councillors were monitoring both meetings.

Still, they make interesting reading (if you like this kind of thing!), especially the ideas about what particular sites might suit development (or not!).
As the summaries have only just been put online, there is not been time for a comment about them from either VVSM or the Parish Council (or indeed the rest of us).
We’re looking forward to reading the reactions…

If you too have a comment, please use the comments box below…