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CHURNET VALLEY CONSERVATION SOCIETY

                       protecting and conserving this natural area of outstanding beauty  

                                                        

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News Flash
1.The Moneystone Holiday Park determination by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's Planning Applications Committee has been put back yet again to the 22nd April 2021. This is because Laver Leisure have been unable to satisfy the Planning Officers on a number of concerns but most importantly on the stability problems in Quarry 3.

2. Two Planning Applications have been posted on SMC's Planning Portal for developments at Froghall. 

 SMD/2020/0684 – Froghall Wharf, Froghall Road

Proposed Development: Residential development (49 dwellings) including formation of new access, landscaping and associated works, and restoration of listed farmhouse and re-use as a dwelling house.

SMD/2020/0685 – Froghall Wharf, Froghall Road, Froghall

Proposed Development: Listed building consent for a residential development, including formation of new access, landscaping and associated works, and restoration of listed farmhouse and re-use as a dwelling

house.


An early 2021 message to all
Our MP Karen Bradley maintains her support of the bid for AONB status. She has responded positevely to an update letter sent to her by the CVCS.

 

Minutes for joint CVCS/WAG video conference - Thursday 4th February at 7.30 pm
1. Attendees: - JS, DW, DF, JW, PC, JF, MJ, DK, GB, AvA
2. Apologies. SM, GS
3. Matters arising from the minutes of the previous meetings covered under the following headings.
4. Alton Planning Applications: - Participants and members are encouraged to further object to all these applications. DG advises that Planners at SMDC are covering other duties in the lockdown and there are delays on determining applications.
4.1. Application for two Lodges, Nabb Lane, Alton - SMD/2020/0656 (DK/JW): - This is an officer’s Delegated Decision application. Conservation Officer’s report is however negative. DG to encourage more local letters to support the Conservation Officer’s report.
4.2. Application for two lodges, Little Ranger Youth Hostel, Greendale, Oakamoor, Staffs, ST10 3AS - SMD/2020/0679 (DK/JW): - The proposal is to be built in Ancient Woodland. Since 2019 a buffer of 50m is required around woodland adjacent to proposed developments including this one. http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=142524
4.3. Proposed Agricultural Building, Little Ranger Youth Hostel, Greendale, Oakamoor, Staffordshire, ST10 3AS – DET/2020/0011 (DK/JW): - Objections should be sent in for this application.
5. Date for the three Moneystone Quarry planning applications to be heard by SMDC’s PAC is again rescheduled and is now set for 11th March 2021, items relating to the arrangements beforehand and comments were made as follows: -
5.1. Report on the latest responses to enquiries: -
5.1a. Continuing PAC date changes (DF/JS): - DF reported LL are keen for SMDC to give a determination in March 2021 but whether all the documentation/ late reports will be available by then is unknown at present. He will continue dialogue with SMDC.
5.1b. Fire Safety and Lodge Car Parking issues (DW/DF): - Any updates are to be advised to LM for her PAC speech.
5.1c. Update on legal status of lab buildings (DW): - Continuing to ask for precise legal precedent from SMDC.
5.1d. Moneystone Park Development’s Impact on agreed Restoration plan of 2014 (DW): - Ongoing with letters going back and forth with SMDC/SCC.
5.1e. Request for access to SMDC Electronic Planning Files (JW): - Access now granted to files. Link awaited from SMDC.
5.1f. Letter sent to SMDC Chief Executive regarding the iniquity of 3 mins rule (JW): - The request was turned down by SMDC however DF will contact the PAC Chair to discuss the issue. DF to lobby PR on the issue
5.2. Quarry stability and associated Safety issues (DW/JF): - JF is preparing a blockbuster report which he plans to send to SMDC in the run up to the PAC. This now looks likely to be end February as the matter is likely to be determined at the March meeting
5.2a. Letter sent concerning highlighting comparison of geology problems caused by water on sand, mudstone and shale (DW/JF): - More letters to be sent on completion of research. JF/DW reported that that CVCS are in communication with the EA regarding Q3 designation as an above ground reservoir or a closed quarry tailing lagoon. JF also reported that there was worrying amount of seepage of water through the bund above the SSSI. DW also reported that Climate Change was also an issue and it would also appear that a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment plan is also required but has questioned whether this has been prepared by SMDC taking into account emergency provision for the dam failure at the lagoon. Continuing.
5.2b - No mandatory ‘State of Quarry Report’ upon cessation of quarrying has been produced so far (DW): - A forthright letter has been sent to SCC and SMDC. A response is awaited.
5.2c. - Underwater stability survey request sent (DW/JF): - At this moment in time there is no available knowledge regarding the state of the underwater areas of Q3. The proposed rock and rubble slope has not been stress tested from the point of view that such dumping will actually stabilise the slope. A request for a survey to be done has been sent by DW.
5.2d. - Other Churnet Valley landslip areas (Consall to Denstone) (JW): - Some areas have been identified and have been pointed out to SMDC. This item will also be taken forward to the next meeting for further action as necessary.
5.2e. - Quarry 3 water level reduction and fill material issues (JF): - Concerns have been raised regarding the suitability of using ‘rock and rubble’ to stabilise the north slope of Q3. SMDC to be informed.
5.2f. - Leek Post and Times article sent in by (DF): - As anticipated LL were given space for a comprehensive, albeit misleading, response. The front page headline was inaccurate and a correction was displayed in following issue. After discussion it was agreed not to get into a tit-for-tat contest with the developer. It was then decided to send letters to the editors of the Cheadle and Tean Times and the Leek Post and Times regarding the Moneystone Quarry applications to further our aim of defeating the 3 planning applications in the former quarry.
5.2g. - Letter to SMDC’s Chief Executive including some of the issues above with reference to an earlier response from the case officer that safety was not a planning matter (JS): - SMDC’s Chief Executive has replied to letter from JS. This merits a response, which thanks to DW for a comprehensive analysis, will be sent shortly.
5.2h Woodland buffer issues (DW): - See also items 4.2 and 5.3d. - Letters to SMDC, Natural England, SWT and Woodland Trust on threats not recognised by SMDC's comment.
5.2i Caravan stability above water (DW/JF): - SMDC to be informed of major safety concerns regarding the lodges that are to be situated high above the Q3 deep water lake.
5.2j. Q1 Concerns (JF): - Since of cessation of quarrying, Q1 has now become a newly created wetland and could well be unstable for the lodge/caravans that are to be sited near to it. It was suggested by LL that “cut and fill with the quarry’s mudstone will stabilise the quarry - if it doesn’t get wet”!
5.2k Q3 Road Bridge Stability requirements (DW): - This is currently being investigated.
5.3. Other Issues: -
5.3a. SWLT and Natural England's response to site meeting and test pitting results awaited. CVCS has updated them on latest investigations and urged them to maintain their holding objections until new safety reports have been made public.
5.3b. Inadequate and outdated reports on tunnel between quarries 1 and 2 (DW): - If used for movement of infill tor Q3 a new safety survey will need to be compiled. SMDC have been informed.
5.3c. Bat survey of tunnel (DW): - Request to be made to SMDC.
5.3d. New concerns about Key Wood & Frame Wood’s ecology as well as the continuing Woodland Trust objection (DW): - Plans submitted will impact on Ancient Woodland and adjacent replanted Ancient Woodland. PAWS informative states that since 2019 a buffer of 50m is required around woodland adjacent to proposed developments.(see also items 5.2h and 4.2)
5.3e. Request for members to write to SMDC regarding 5.3d. (DW/JW): - Email request sent to members. Discharged.
5.3f. Letter sent to SWLT re new flora and fauna survey. (JS): - Ongoing..
5.3g. Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) for Trees in WEA etc. (JW/All): - Individual members are requested to apply for TPO’s for trees along Whiston Eaves Lane, both on public property and within the Moneystone quarry. N.B. Any can request TPO’s even for trees on other people’s property. “Protecting a tree. If you wish to protect a tree in your area, write to the Planning Authority stating your reasons, and include a map to aid identification. An immediate, temporary (six month) TPO can be put in place by the Local Planning Authority. The Authority would then inform neighbours and interested parties.” This can be done via the link below:
5.3h. Whatstandwell Caravan Park - Public Inquiry (JS): - Public Inquiry info to be incorporated into final letters to SMDC and in PAC speeches.
5.3i. Kingfisher Holiday Park, Skegness removal of older caravans (JW): - . Letter to be sent to SMDC requesting their policy on aging lodges/caravans.
 
5.4. Tactical issues: -
5.4a. Future Moorlands Radio interviews (JS/DW): - Delay on access due to staff changes and restructuring, likely again from March. New internet radio Churnet Sound being set up for end February, we have already been solicited for interviews.
5.4b. Virtual PAC Meeting considerations (All): - We have 6 nominated speakers. All will need to review and update as necessary their speeches with regard to the Planning Officer’s report which precedes the PAC by 1 week so could be 4th March
5.4c. Timeline considerations (JW): - All to liase with JW.
5.5d. Letters to all PAC members (All): - It will be necessary to send these to their home address close to the time of the meeting.
6. WAG and CVCS arrangements in the run up to the PAC: -
6.1. Lobbying of all PAC members will be undertaken by AvA, JF and others. Bullet point are considered best although more extensive reports may be necessary on key issues.
6.2. Late representation letters are vital and need to be sent to the Planning Case Officer JC as soon as her recommendation is visible. Note: This report does not appear in the application files but is to be found in the Agenda notes for the PAC.
7. Whiston Hall Golf Course update: - There was a lot of issues raised concerning sending in representations to either SCC or SMDC about all the following 8 applications at this location. The applicant does not seem to be respecting any planning protocols and is proceeding with work before approval is given. This is unacceptable. It was decided to hold a WAG meeting where WHGC would be the primary item to be discussed due to the imminence of the end of the Public Consultation Period. Item 10 below.
7.1. JS will alert KPC and propose a letter to SMDC Senior Planner BH to have the applications put under the control of 1 Officer. Cllr. James A will be asked to continue his good work on enforcement actions.
7.2. Whiston residents must be encouraged to write objections to any and all applications now on file....let’s not forget the basics...every member of a household over 18 should write their own letters....contact all local households.... Also, residents are urged to contact their ward district councillors, James Abberley and Elsie Fallows. The matter is to be raised at the next Kingsley Parish Council. DF /JS.  N.B. Current Case Officers are shown in square brackets below: -
7.2a. Reprofiling (JS): - No further activity at present on SCC’s planning website.
7.2b SMD/2019/0527, Completion of existing structures to form two holiday lets [AB] (All): -
7.2c. SMD/2020/0007, 1 new Bungalow. [LJ] (All): -
7.2d. SMD/2020/0735, 6 new home conversions. [AS] (All): -
7.2e. SMD/2020/0738, New Caravans, Whiston Fisheries Blakeley Lane. [BH] (All): - Concerns regarding power connection at the caravans. Concerns about discharge of human waste from caravans. No applications made for newly installed septic tanks.
7.2f. SMD/2020/0739, New Agricultural Building (Certificate of Lawfulness) [AS] (All): -
7.2g. SMD/2021/0040, Proposed Carpark Extension [AS] (All): -
7.2h SMD/2021/0056, New Agricultural Shed [AS] (All): -
8. AONB Letter to Karen Bradley MP reply awaited. (JS): - Ongoing
9. Any Other Business: - None raised.
10. Date Next Meeting: -
10.1. Date for next WAG virtual audio meeting 7:30pm, Thursday 11th February 2021
10.2. Date for next CVCS Zoom meeting 7:30pm, Thursday 4th March 2021.

 

 

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Who Are We?

Churnet Valley Conservation Society dates back to the early 1980s and is a recognised stakeholder by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.  We are concerned with the whole of the Churnet Valley and wish to represent the interests of local inhabitants, human and wildlife. Join our growing membership so that our collective voice is even louder. Please help us in "keeping an eye on the valley" to protect it from undesirable development.



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Our Vision 

 The valley must be an excellent rural living environment which also attracts countryside visitors to enjoy the pleasures of the landscape and appreciate the fascination of its industrial heritage. We do not expect the valley to be frozen in time, it must evolve in line with modern living but at the same time preserve the tranquility of this unique area. Many projects and developments will be proposed on both a large and small scale, all of these must support our vision. We hope that future generations will look back at what is decided now and thank us for the care and effort involved in sustaining and evolving this part of North Staffordshire.