Tag Archives: Totmonslow Solar Farm

NEWS: planning protests / solar farms / Colour Works pic / help for Ukraine

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in early March 2022
In this post we have news of…: help for Ukraine / protests at road changes / solar farms to come? / Colour Works exhibition…

For news of a barn dance and other happenings in our area, please go to our What’s On page

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Ukraine

First, we just have to mention the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For anybody who believes in democracy and justice, it’s a horrific act.
But, already people in our part of the world are responding – with charity drives, donations of goods, and plain old-fashioned money.

The ‘Little DrayTots Baby and Toddler Group’, which meets at Draycott Church Hall, is a contact point for goods collections for Ukraine, while the actual local drop-off point for the local Help Ukraine project is the Country Interiors shop on High Street in Cheadle.
At Hilderstone, the next village south of Cresswell, they are having a one-day Donate for Ukraine event on Thurs March 10 from 10am-7pm.  Items required are: medical supplies, bandages, basic paracetamol etc., plasters, batteries, nappies, sanitary protection, toiletries.
You may feel that you just want to give money; and the safest and most efficient way to do that is through the UK’s International Disasters Emergency Fund.
Let’s hope to God that this all can be solved quickly and peacefully, and that Putin is forced never to do this again.

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Those road structure proposals

As was reported a month ago, the developers of Cresswell’s Blythe Business Park – who want to put in a large industrial estate and a large housing estate there – are also responsible for building road-junction measures (on Draycott level and in central Cresswell) to control all the new traffic that will arise.
The developers were originally committed to ‘de-luxe’ improvements, but have now said they only want to put in cheaper ones. (See full details).

New road system (and housing estate) to come for Cresswell?

There was a passionate open meeting last week, under the auspices of Draycott Council, with some twenty residents in attendance, and much opposition to the new plans.
As a result, around thirty letters of protest from local residents (which is a very large number for these sorts of matters) have now been formally registered on the portal of this planning application. One of those letters was recently re-published on the Cresswell website (click here to see it).

If you too want your voice heard, you only have till Monday 7th March, which is when the consultation closes. To see other comments, simply go to the application webpage. To register your own comment, just hit the ‘Comment’ button on that page, and write in your thoughts.

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Solar energy

Talking of consultations, two other ones, both for proposed solar-energy projects, are currently under way for this district. Solar ‘farms’, as they are known, are of course a way of producing electricity without using fossil fuels, so they are crucial in this age of climate change.

Solar farm (on Creative Licence)
Photo of a typical solar energy farm

You may remember that, back in 2015, our first solar farm was constructed at Lower Newton (between Cresswell and Totmonslow). Well now the owners of that want to expand their site into an adjacent, new set-up – to be called Blythe House Solar Farm, (aka Blythe Solar Farm) – while a quite different firm have plans for another site, to be called Totmonslow Solar Farm.

This district is apparently a good place for these projects because it has rolling hills (i.e. no obtrusive sight-lines) and because there is a lot of under-used land. The farmers whose land is rented for these projects are also very happy!

The Draycott environmental group is, as you’d guess, very in favour of these projects being passed.
One of their members also reminded us that these firms will also make hefty annual contributions to worthwhile projects in Draycott & area, if and when they get their plans accepted. As the sites could remain viable for 40 years, that’s a lot of money going into local good causes!
(In fact, grant-money from the first solar project is already available to the community – if you have a good idea for a neighbourhood project, please take a look and maybe apply for a grant).

Totmonslow Solar Farm logo

To see more details on the Totmonslow Solar Farm proposal, please click here.
To comment on the Totmonslow Solar Farm proposal, please click here. This consultation is open for comments until the 13th March.
To see more details on the Blythe House Solar Farm proposal, please click here. To comment on the Blythe House Solar Farm proposal, please click here.

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Blast from the Works past

Finally, it was good to see a post from Ben Knight on the Blythe Colours Memories facebook page. Ben is the great-great-grandson of Blythe Colour Works founder, Frederick Wildblood, and tells us that he recently inherited some items relating to the old Colour Works in Cresswell (which was a huge employer locally, and was in operation here for well over seventy years).

Among his heirlooms, he discovered this 1937 sketch (above) for the Proposed Offices for the factory – and you can still see this building on the business park today. A lovely reminder of days gone by.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in the history of the Colour Works, there is to be an exhibition soon of photos and documents relating to the works at Blythe Bridge Library. It will take place all across April. Remember to put that on your calendars!

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(The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email address, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

NEWS: co-option to come / tidy churchyard / 2nd solar farm / fun summer / local history ‘lab’

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors & District in mid July 2021
In this post we have news of…: nominate a new councillor / Cresswell’s tidy graveyard / second solar farm coming / history initiative / a great summer for the kids!

For news of what’s on in our area at this time, please click here

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Nominate yourself to be a councillor

As you will know, three councillors resigned off the Draycott village council last month, so it was possible an election would be called.
The council itself posted an odd piece of advice on its website, which said: “…. an election does not need to be called… this will … incur costs to the public via the precept (ie council tax). An election will cost the parish council.” While it’s true that all elections have a cash cost, councils are not supposed to be stepping in to make a case against holding elections! (At the very least, they should be putting in the positive reasons for elections, as well). The words have since been deleted.

So, no election has been called. But… how to replace the missing councillors?
Basically, the way it works is that local people should now simply put themselves forward (don’t be shy now!) for the vacancies. A brief letter to the clerk of the council asking for information will start the ball rolling.

Nearly all electors in Draycott, Cresswell, Totmonslow, Newton, Huntley, Draycott Cross, Bromley Wood are eligible. Residents of Blythe Bridge, Tean, Fulford, Hilderstone, Cheadle, Forsbrook, and Saverley Green are also eligible (under the three-mile rule).
So … write that letter!

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Summer of fun

You can tell that we’ve reached Freedom Day, simply by the huge number of local summer events – especially for children – that have been announced in the last weeks.
There are plenty of kids’ workshops; and it’s wonderful to see that the annual Draycott St Margaret’s Fayre is returning after its year away.

Check out all the events by having a look at our What’s On page.
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Local History gets a boost

Anyone interested in the history of this area will be excited to see the creation of a dedicated local ‘History Lab’. This has been formed in order to start researching the history of a block of seven parishes in the Eastern (Uttoxeter) part of Staffordshire: Draycott-in-the-Moors, plus Checkley, Gratwich, Kingstone, Uttoxeter, Bramshall, and Leigh..

Old map of the East Staffs parishes, showing turnpike roads, old rail lines

It’s run by volunteers, who report their researches into the professional historians at the VCH (Victoria County History) organisation. The group has already been publishing some of its findings in a blog, though none have been directly about Draycott as yet.
If you fancy helping out, simply write to them via their ‘Contact’ page.
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Second ‘solar’ farm

The process toward setting up a second solar farm in our district is now underway. Basically, the company behind it, called Third Revolution, want to take a few fields in Totmonslow in which to set up an array of hundreds of so-called ‘fins’, which absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity.

Solar farm (on Creative Licence)
Photo of fins on a typical solar farm

The new set-up, if it comes off, will be just yards away from the one we have already in Lower Newton, which has been running successfully for ten years.

Site of proposed new Totmonslow solar farm, in red. The current solar farm is in light green, just the other side of the A50

The application in process at the moment is a preliminary one, not the main thing – but already there are a couple of worries, mostly about whether footpaths will have to be diverted.

Our own Draycott Council was asked by the local authorities to add their comments on the matter, but… guess what? The council had no thoughts whatsoever… as so often… Sigh.
(We do need new councillors…!)

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Tidy churchyard

Cresswellians will have noticed that, since the winter, the historic churchyard at St Mary’s Catholic Church has been looking very tidy and spruce. The man behind the transformation is local man James Heath.

Although St Margaret’s churchyard is cared for by Staffs Moorlands Council workers – because it is the main parish church -, other denominations, such as St Mary’s, must look after their grounds themselves. So James, helped by his dad, has stepped up to do the work, and six months of labour has really seen a change for the better.

Cresswell churchyard – looking spruce

Local historians are especially pleased, because James has cleared back a lot of the vegetation that was hiding the inscriptions on some gravestones, and which had virtually hidden some graves altogether!

If you do pass by, it’s worth dropping in to have a look.
While you’re there, check out the graveyard cross: this is a listed monument, designed by the famous nineteenth-century architect Augustus Pugin.

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