Whiston Action Group Public Open Meeting 7pm Fri 02 Nov 2012

Title: WAG Public Open Meeting 7pm Fri 02 Nov 2012.
Location: Whiston Village Hall
Description: Public open meeting to update residents on Council Plans for Housing Development Sites, and tourism development at Moneystone Quarry, Bolton’s Copper Works and the Churnet Valley. A slide show presentation followed by a question and answer session. Light refreshments provided. All welcome.
Start Time: 19:00:00
Date: 2012/11/02
End Time: 22:00:00

Quiet Lanes in the Churnet Valley – interest from Karen Bradley MP

The WAG initiative encouraging Staffordshire County Council to give Quiet Lane designation to narrow lanes in the Churnet Valley has received welcome encouragement from Karen Bradley MP.  The initiative is aimed at encouraging drivers of vehicles to give greater consideration to walkers, cyclists and horse riders, thereby reducing road safety concerns emanating from sat-nav users and Alton Towers traffic taking short cuts on inappropriate roads.

Earlier in the year WAG conducted a survey of road users in the Churnet Valley the results of which demonstate wide support amongst both residents and visitors, across a wide spectrum of road users.

Extracts from Karen Bradley’s letter include:-

“You and the rest of the residents who have been involved in this project should be highly commended for the work that has gone into producing this piece of work.  The issue of “quiet lanes” in the Moorlands is something that I have raised previously in the House of Commons so it is pleasing to see you and other residents taking the initiative in this way.

I would be most interested to hear any further news about this project and will bear your comments in mind when I am talking to the relevant ministers.”

WAG is now progressing the initiative with County Councillor Mike Worthington, who has been nominated by Councillor Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council.

Wind Turbine Refusal helps protect the Churnet Valley

Whiston Action Group welcomes the District Council Planning Committee’s refusal of the application for a wind turbine at Blakeley Farm, Blakeley Lane, Moneystone.   WAG considers that if the application had been granted the turbine would have been a damaging intrusion into the Churnet Valley sky line and opened the door to further inappropriate development in the Valley.

Nick Cresswell, WAG communications officer, said,

 “The decision should send a firm message to other commercial interests having scant regard for communities and the environment, who seek to exploit the valley for profit.  We note that when considering the turbine application, the highway authority had serious reservations about the poor engineering standard of Blakeley Lane and its unsuitability for development traffic, a fact that may be relevant when considering other development proposals in the area.  The excessive tourist development put forward by Laver Leisure at Moneystone Quarry, with its  650 holiday lodges, has implications for Blakeley Lane and remains a serious threat to the valley.  Councillor Hart has resigned from the role of portfolio holder for regeneration on the District Council, and WAG hopes that there is now perhaps an opportunity for his replacement, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, to comply with the requirements of the new National Planning Policy Framework and implement what people in the Moorlands have said they want instead of what developers want.”

The public response to the Churnet Valley Masterplan Options Report strongly signalled opposition to anything other than minimal development, and showed widespread support for designation of the Churnet Valley as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  WAG considers AONB status would be a major step towards protecting the valley from large scale inappropriate development and one that all district councillors should be striving to achieve.”