Are you ENTHUSIASTIC, FULL OF ENERGY and PASSIONATE about The Churnet Valley?
If YES, then we need YOU!
The Churnet Valley is at a critical moment in history; the fine balance of nature and unique environment that the Valley offers is under threat. Among an number of currently very real threats, the prospect of a decade of toxic dumping and landfill is now on the horizon. Help us protect the Churnet Valley and surrounding areas from further destruction. As part of The Churnet Valley Protection Fund we are inviting you help us and get involved, donate and submit your ideas to further develop our Churnet Valley Protection Strategy.
We are looking for people from all ages and backgrounds to get involved, so whilst you’re here please;
2. Drop us an email about how you can help and what ideas you have.
3. Share this link with 20 of your contacts today: The Churnet Valley Protection Fund Go Fund Me Link (you will genuinely be surprised the difference it will make!)
At a time of local, national and international health crisis the environmental protection work of CVCS & WAG is increasingly important. Find out more and follow us on Twitter and WAG Facebook / CVCS Facebook.
For more than 15 years WAG and CVCS have been active in working to protect the beautiful Churnet Valley. Both groups are still going strong but would be able to do more with a little help from you.
The two groups with their hard-working residents have
1. Between 2008 and 2014 fought for the Churnet Valley to be granted Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) status. In 2014, by preparing detailed research material and lobbying at a local, district and national level both groups actively participated in persuading the SMDC General Assembly to adopt the policy of seeking ANOB status and incorporating that policy in the SMDC Core Strategy. When the National Government appointed the Graham Committee to investigate the need for more areas being designated as AONB as part of its attempts to meet its international commitments to reverse the effects of climate change, CVCS & WAG made submissions to have the Churnet Valley granted that status. Both groups have now been advised that the Churnet Valley is in the last three areas being considered for AONB. The general election and the current Coronavirus crisis risks the work of the Graham Committee being side lined. Both groups need your help to achieve AONB status to help protect the Churnet Valley.
2. Contributed detailed factual research to help shape the Churnet Valley Master Plan, and the Independent Inspectors public hearing to shape and approve the SMDC Core Strategy adopted in 2014. As part of the inspection process WAG were invited by the Inspector to help write Core Strategy Policy SS7 tourism policy a mark of the respect the Inspector had for the work of WAG.
3. Are currently parties to the ongoing Independent Inspection of the SMDC Local Plan and helped bring about a requirement that SMDC made 60+ major changes to the Local Plan. The hearing is still on going.
4. Instigated research and gathered support from Churnet Valley residents to urge the Staffordshire County Council (SCC)to adopt a ‘Quiet Lanes traffic policy’. Many of the access roads into the Churnet valley are narrow and winding and unsuitable for substantial number of cars. The Quiet Lanes policy is to encourage responsible driving and use of the lanes so that they can be safely used by cyclists and walkers. Unhappily SCC has not yet been persuaded to spend the modest sum involved in adopting the policy in the Churnet Valley because of Government austerity cutbacks. WAG & CVCS continue to press for the adoption of the Quiet Lanes Policy. You could help by urging SCC to adopt the policy
5. Produced detailed traffic census evidence and photographs showing the growing pressure of traffic adversely affecting the area of the Roaches and Tittersworth whilst advocating access to cyclists and walkers.
6. Supported the protection of verges to act as wildlife corridors for endangered flora and fauna along the lanes of the Churnet Valley.
7. Repeatedly helped surrounding communities to help structure representations designed to help them achieve healthy levels of air quality and reduce toxic emissions. The recent appointment of an SMDC group aimed at reducing toxic emissions in a number of ‘hotspots‘ is welcome and timely. Both CVCS & WAG will continue to use its talents and resources to further this new initiative.
So, will you help in the work of both groups to press for AONB status, the monitoring of and proper implementation of the SMDC Core Strategy Policies?
At a time of local, national and international health crisis the environmental protection work of CVCS & WAG is increasingly important.
You can help by,
Joining WAG or CVCS.
Donating to WAG or CVCS.
Even small sums can be maximized by the application of the many voluntary hours of practical work already given by the current membership.
You can both join and/or give by emailing either or both groups below. For those willing to give to the, bank transfer details will be sent out to you by return:
The Inspector has written to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council regarding the Housing Implementation Strategy. Please follow the below link.
It would appear that there has been some recent noisy activity in Quarry 2 which has been impossible to view from any easily accessible vantage point. Does anyone know what is going on there, if so could you please let us know.
The tenants have now left Crow Trees Farm, Moneystone and this prime piece of land in the former quarry is now available to the owners of the site to ‘adapt’ to suit their purpose. We will be looking to see what planning applications come in for it as Laver Leisure have been extremely keen to have the farm vacated.
We will also continue to look out for any other planning applications that have anything to do with the former quarry, and other important sites such as Bolton’s Copperworks, to see what implications there are for the residents of the area.
We’ll do our best to keep you informed of developments, as and when they arise, and we would be grateful to receive any information you might have regarding constructional activities, especially those in and around the quarry and copperworks.”
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council refused permission for Laver Leisure to develop a 250 lodge holiday camp at Moneystone Quarry. Laver Leisure lodged an appeal.
An appointed Planning Inspector from Bristol is to hold a public hearing to determine the appeal. The hearing is to be held at the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Offices at Stockwell Street, Leek, starting 10am Tuesday 7th November 2017. The hearing is likely to last 7-8 days.
Local community members are to speak at the appeal hearing along with key pressure groups and organisations opposing the scheme, including parish councils.
You have an important individual right to make representations at the hearing.
The Inspector has agreed that if any member of the public wishes to speak and who attends at 10 am 7/11/17 and asks to speak, the Inspector will allocate a time and date for them within the timetable.
Anyone who wishes to make representations should attend at the start of the appeal but need not stay and can return at their allotted time.
SMDC Planning Applications committee are due to sit on Thursday (15/9/16) to hear SMD/2016/0378 the re-submission of their application to develop Moneystone Quarry into a huge leisure facility. Please all come along and show how much this means to you. The meeting commences at 2pm at Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek ST13 6HQ. Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Laver Leisure were formally refused outline planning permission for their large holiday complex at Moneystone Quarry, in December 2015. Unfortunately this has not been the end of things. In April this year, Laver Leisure submitted an appeal against that decision, which is expected to be heard towards the end of this year. This will be heard by an independent inspector and Whiston Action Group has been working hard to ensure the inspector has all the facts in order to hear this as a fair case.
Then, while the rest of the UK was engrossed in the Brexit referendum, Laver Leisure submitted a revised outline planning application for their holiday complex, supposedly addressing the concerns of the Planning Applications Committee. In reality, the only changes are the movement of 14 lodges from one side of Eaves Lane to the other, the reduction in height of the hub building (from 12 metres to 8 metres) and a no right turn sign outside the entrance to the quarry. In fact this matter has also had its own application submitted as a separate entity. As you can imagine, none of these measures will make any real difference to the actual proposed development, so all previous arguments are still valid. In addition, the no-right-turn sign will only affect those leaving the quarry and certainly not those arriving and are likely to result in 3 point turns on Whiston Eaves Lane or the village hall car park and additional use of Blakely Lane. The number actually using Carr Bank, is likely to remain unchanged. Think what you would do faced with such a sign coming out of the quarry if you wanted to go to Alton Towers.
It is certainly not too late to object to these two planning applications. If you wish to make your voice heard, please visit SMDC’s website and search for applications SMD/2016/0378 and SMD/2016/0388 or follow the links below:-
A source close to SMDC planners has alerted WAG members that Laver and HOW Planning are to hold a secret meeting in Buxton next week so that SMDC Planners can help draft grounds of appeal.
Is this a step too far?
Does it not go against the democratically expressed views of the overwhelming majority of the Planning Committee on 26/11/15?
Whilst no one would object to Laver lodging an appeal as is their legal right, how can SMDC planners justify this clear snub to the members of the planning committee?
It is open to anybody to write to SMDC or any Councillor’s to challenge the propriety and probity of this development. WAG encourages the public to do so.
SMDC PLANNING COMMITTEE REJECTED LAVER LEISURE’S PLAN TO DEVELOP MONEYSTONE QUARRY BY AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY ON THURSDAY 26/11/15 THEREBY VINDICATING THE VIEWS OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE LOCAL RESIDENTS.
WITH A VOTE TO REFUSE THE APPLICATION OF 9-1 AND DETAILED SWINGING CRITICISM OF ON AND OFF SITE ACCESS,TRAFFIC AND SAFETY ISSUES THE COMPANIES PLANS FOR MONEYSTONE QUARRY NOW LOOK BEYOND REDEMPTION.
EVEN THE SINGLE VOTE IN FAVOUR OF THE APPLICATION WAS HEDGED AROUND WITH RESERVATIONS.
THE APPLICANTS INTENTIONS FOR QUARRY 2 WERE SAVAGED BY THE COMMITTEE WHO EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT IT SHOULD NOT HAVE FORMED ANY PART OF APPLICATION SMD/2014/0682 HAVING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE DEVELOPMENT.
TRAFFIC ON THE RURAL ROAD NETWORK GAVE COUNCILLORS GRAVE CONCERNS AND THEY CLEARLY APPLIED THEIR OWN LOCAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE RURAL ROAD NETWORK IN PREFERENCE TO THE COMPLETELY INEPT TRAFFIC ASSESSMENT OF SCC HIGHWAYS.
AS WITH LOCAL CONCERNS ABOUT SATNAV ACESS TO NEARBY ALTON TOWERS COMMITTEE MEMBERS REJECTED SUGGESTIONS THAT THE MAJORITY OF VISITORS TO THE SITE WOULD IGNORE SATNAV AND FOLLOW INTENDED BROWN SIGNS.
HIGHWAY OFFICERS PRESENT IN THE CHAMBER GAVE A VERY UNCONVINCING PERFORMANCE UNDER QUESTIONING FROM THE COMMITTEE AND PLAINLY HAD A VERY POOR GRASP OF THE LOCAL HIGHWAY AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PLAINLY FOUND THEIR VIEWS UNSUPPORTABLE AND HAVING CONSIDERED A RANGE OF CONFLICTING EXPERT TRAFFIC OPINION INCLUDING TWO REPORTS SUBMITTED BY RESIDENTS THEY ROBUSTLY REJECTED THE APPLICANTS TRAFFIC ASSESSMENT.
OTHER MAJOR GROUNDS FOR REJECTING THE APPLICATION INCLUDED INAPPROPRIATE ON AND OFF SITE ACCESS AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS AND THE ADVERSE VISUAL IMPACT OF THIS TWO AND THREE STORY DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD HAVE ADVERSE VISUAL IMPACT ON THE SENSITIVE CHURNET VALLEY AND ON NEARBY LISTED BUILDINGS.
THE LACK OF ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT OPTIONS WERE CITED BY ALL OF THE COUNCILLORS WHO SPOKE AGAINST THE APPLICATION AS PRESENTING A SERIOUS IMPEDIMENT, AS WAS THE LACK OF ADEQUATE CAR PARKING PROVISION.
INTRUSION OF THE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT ONTO THE TENANCY OF CROWTREES FARM IN BREACH OF THE TENANCY AGREEMENT WAS ALSO RAISED BY SPEAKER DISTRICT COUNCILLOR LINDA MALYON.
OF PARTICULAR CONCERN WAS THE ISSUE OF ACCESS TO AND THE STABILITY OF THE PROPOSALS TO DEVELOP THE SLOPES OF QUARRY 3.
THE OVERLY CONFIDENT GLOSSY PR LEAFLETS AND THE WIDESPREAD PRESS COVERAGE PAID FOR BY THE APPLICANTS IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE SAT TO DETERMINE THE APPLICATION GAVE A WIDESPREAD IMPRESSION THAT THEY BELIEVED THEY HAD A GUARANTEE OF SUCCESS.
THE DECISION OF INDEPENDENT PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS MUST HAVE BEEN QUITE A SHOCK.
ANYONE WANTING TO KNOW MORE OF THE DETAIL OF THE HEARING CAN FIND THE WEBCAST ON SMDC PLANNING WEBSITE VBY CLICKING ON THE FOLLOWING LINK OR
We’re raising £5,000 to fight proposed developments in Moneystone Quarry because a large development will ruin the Churnet Valley. We need your support, so please visit our crowdfunding site by clicking on the below link.