SMDC Core Strategy being tested by Independent Inspector

Mr Patrick Whitehead of the independent Planning Inspectorate initiated his examination of the SMDC’s Core Strategy on Tuesday (11 Dec 2012) with a pre-hearing meeting at the Bethel Suite, Tape Street, Cheadlle.  The well attended meeting listened to Mr Whitehead outline the way in which he would engage with the public during the main examination period scheduled to start on Tuesday 05 February at Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek.  WAG representatives present were encouraged by the openness of the proposals and Mr Whitehead’s willingness to listen to the issues raised by those present concerning the Core Strategy document’s lack of legal compliance and soundness.  WAG welcomes a rigorous independent examination of the SMDC Core Strategy document to see if its supporting evidence stands up to scrutiny.
If you wish to know more the inspector’s Programme Officer, Pippa Home, can be contacted at ProgrammeOfficer@staffsmoormlands.gov.uk   tel 0845 129 7777 ext 3705 (Wednesday mornings, Thursdays and Fridays.)

Moneystone Quarry – Laver propose to change the Restoration Plan

Laver Leisure has submitted a planning application to Staffordshire County Council Mineral Authority.

You have until  14 December 2012 to consider if you want to make any comments.

Well before the quarry closed, Sibelco, the previous owners, agreed with SCC a plan to restore the quarry to an area of agricultural land and nature conservation within two years of the closure date. The approved restoration scheme was put together with the expertise of Sibelco as experienced mineral operators and agreed with County Council experts.  The plan is still current and Laver Leisure are obliged to comply with it.  They are rapidly running out of time to finish the work by the deadline of 31 March 2013.

Laver Leisure have not made an application to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to erect holiday lodges at this stage and are unlikely to do so until the Churnet Valley Masterplan is in place.

The application Laver have submitted seeks to make major changes to the restoration plan.   Full details of the application can be viewed by visiting the SCC website www.staffordshire.gov.uk .  If you go to the Planning section, then “View Applications Making the Headlines” you will find the Moneystone application under reference SM.96/935/122 MD4.

WAG does not consider the existing restoration scheme has any shortcomings, but suspects that the reason for any change is to reconfigure the restoration to better suit Laver’s plans for a hotel and chalet complex as part of overall leisure development.   Laver Leisure make a suggestion that there is a risk of instability in Quarry 3, the last hole where quarrying took place, recommending it be partially in filled with massive quantities of material to be taken from Black Plantation and Moneystone Tip, at the back of the houses on Blakeley Lane.  There are concerns regarding the suitability of the material for the intended purpose.

WAG has submitted a comprehensive, technical objection to the application and will be making representations at the planning committee hearing.  Regrettably there is not much time for you to send your comments as Laver Leisure has not shared details of any of the proposals with our local community before sending in the Planning Application.

If you wish to comment on proposed changes to the restoration plan, then you need to send your letter to the following address by 14 Dec 2012.

Mr M. Grundy

Planning Policy & Development Control Manager

Staffordshire County Council

C/o Wedgwood Building (Block A)

Tipping Street

Stafford

ST16 2DH

 

We will keep you informed on progress but please contact Nick Cresswell, WAG Communications Officer, on 07850 336587, if there is any further information that would be helpful to you.