Housing

Housing

• Additional housing provision is best suited closer to employment near the towns of Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle.
• Other than housing to meet local need, additional housing is inappropriate in the Churnet Valley protected areas as it simply adds to commuter traffic on the roads.

Transport

Transport & Road Infrastructure Inadequacies in the Churnet Valley

• There is a current reliance on an inadequate network of roads and lanes.
• Concerns are already recognised by the Highway Authority, Staffordshire County Council.
• Despite this the District Council is promoting tourism expansion.
• WAG is in discussions with the Highway Authority on proposals to introduce a network of “Quiet Lanes” in the Churnet Valley under government legislation.
  • WAG is currently planning a public survey to measure support for “Quiet Lanes” to inform more detailed proposals.

Better Tourism not More Tourism

Better Tourism not More Tourism

• Better quality of tourism to maintain the current numbers of tourists.
• Protect the area from the damaging effects of increased numbers.
• Current District Council proposals are at odds with the Government’s guidance.
• Planning policy should encourage development on Brownfield sites around the three towns and not the protected areas of the Churnet Valley.

District Council Failings

District Council Failings

  • District Council failure to adequately consult with residents.
  • Flawed method of identifying Key attractions and opportunity sites.
  • Outside commercial interests have shaped the plans for business profit.

District Council Processes

• 15 Nov 2011  – CV Masterplan Options Report was put before the SMDC Cabinet.
• Despite concerns expressed by Residents at the meeting about the process, contents, ‘evidence’ and conclusions of the Masterplan, the Cabinet approved the document for public consultation.
• 16 Jan 2012 Options Report released for public consultation until 24 Feb 2012.
• On the same date 800 pages of ‘evidence’ posted on SMDC website.
• Five options presented without justification – public expected to comment within an unrealistic time frame.

W.A.G. Probing

• WAG has gathered evidence of the failure of the District Council to follow its own Statement of Community Involvement in the consultation process.
• There are grave concerns about the Core Strategy that may lead to a Public Inquiry.
• Consequently, any further work on the Churnet Valley Master Plan is premature.
• The lack of openness by the District Council has given rise to WAG preparing an alternative plan for consideration, that may be presented to a Government Inspector in his review of the draft Core Strategy.

W.A.G. Assertions

• The entire preparation of a draft Core Strategy and Churnet Valley Masterplan is flawed.
• The lack of supporting evidence and public consultation require that the process should start again from scratch.
• Production of a flawed draft Core Strategy and Churnet Valley Masterplan without full and properly conducted evidence-based research and community involvement renders it open to challenge in the courts.
• WAG invites the District Council to reflect on its processes to date and whether they would be supported by independent scrutiny.

Helping to Protect the Churnet Valley