Tag Archives: Rudyard Lake

AONB Petition by Churnet Valley Conservation Society

WAG welcomes the following request from Karen Seaton of the Churnet Valley Conservation Society, seeking your support for a petition aimed at achieving        Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status for the Churnet Valley.

 Karen Seaton CVCS Spokesperson says:

 “We are not so sure that people are aware that the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Core Strategy was recently rejected by the Government Inspector, who found more than 70% of the points within it to be unsound. We feel that there is a very serious risk that, with the council floundering to complete their strategy documents, time may slip away and we will miss this important opportunity to protect and recognize the valley. We are asking people to contact Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and support us in two requests we have made to them:    

1. During the next public consultation phase for the Churnet Valley Master Plan include a simple question: Would you be in support of designating the area as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

2. Should it be apparent that the electorate of the area do wish to obtain this important designation for their area, that the District Council fully embraces the potential and opportunities AONB designation offers.

We are undertaking a four week long petition and contacting a range of people and organizations across the county asking that they support our call, and we are asking as many people as possible to contact their County, District, Town and Parish Councillors and ask them to pressurise Staffordshire Moorland District Council into action. “

 The Churnet Valley Conservation Society would be happy to discuss this further and I would be pleased if you could support or campaign for the designation of the Valley as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The petition is available across the area in shops, libraries, pubs etc. An on-line petition may also be found at https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/staffordshire-moorlands-district-council-support-area-of-outstanding-natural-beauty-status-for-the-churnet-valley

Or follow the link from http://www.churnet-valley-conservation.org/

Traffic Chaos at Tourist Hot Spots

In an effort to raise awareness amongst decision making district councillors about existing traffic chaos at “honey pot”  tourist locations in the Staffordshire Moorlands  WAG is gathering evidence for their consideration.    The first video showing irrefutable evidence of the problems at Rudyard Lake, Tittersworth Reservoir and The Roaches can be viewed via the link in the following letter sent to district councillors on 30 Aug 2012.

Dear Councillor,                                                 

As the Churnet Valley Masterplan proposals move towards preparation of a draft plan, you have an unenviable task as an elected representative in considering what type and scale of tourism is appropriate for the Churnet Valley. You perhaps have difficulty in assessing the array of often conflicting information and arguments that are placed before you. Detailed knowledge of issues within the ward that you represent is one thing, but achieving a full understanding of situations in every ward across the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands area is perhaps a little daunting. Yet how can you meaningfully contribute to the debate without that wider knowledge?
Just to take one issue, that of tourist related traffic problems. Almost everyone is aware of the inadequacies of the road infrastructure across the district council area, and you may well have read or heard of the congestion problems experienced around the “honey pot” tourism sites. But have you actually witnessed these traffic problems to assess for yourself the nature and scale of what concerns so many people living close to them? I recognise that it is totally unreasonable to expect you to explore the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands gathering first hand information on these problems. I would also question whether the office hours planning staff writing the draft report have first hand knowledge either, as they made no mention of such ongoing problems in the Options Report.
In response to that void of reliable facts Whiston Action Group (WAG) is willing to assist. One of the fundamental principles that WAG works to is ensuring that any judgements it makes are based upon facts and not anecdotal stories from often dubious sources that cannot be relied upon. WAG gathers evidence and is willing to share it with anyone having the interests of the Churnet Valley at heart. You may have doubts about the reality of traffic congestion problems and may have received assurances that such stories are unfounded and exaggerated. If that is the case I invite you to click on the link below to view our first video showing traffic issues at Rudyard Lake, Tittersworth Reservoir and The Roaches. You will see irrefutable evidence of existing tourism overwhelming the parking facilities and road infrastructure. Solutions to these here and now problems need your attention rather than encouraging yet more visitors to the area.
I trust you will find the video informative and assure you that WAG has the resources and commitment to assist in gathering the important factual evidence that currently you may be being denied. Our web site at www.whiston-action-group.co.uk is always worth a visit and our communications officer, Nick Cresswell, can be contacted on 07850 336587.
Yours sincerely,
Harry Blood
Chairman of Whiston Action Group.

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.