In mid January we were made aware of an SMDC council meeting to discuss the Core Strategy and housing allocation for Staffordshire Moorlands. While we did have access to notes that preceeded the meeting, the discussion and decisions made at the meeting were held in a closed session.
From the notes we had access to, we composed a question for SMDC at that meeting.
Whilst our letter was acknowledged on the day, it was not read out or presented to Councilors for debate.
Our concern was and is that SMDC are looking to push through some precedent for high numbers of housing allocation prior to the localism bill due by the end of the year ,where greater power may be handed over to the local community. Our letter requested open discussions on acceptable housing allocation (not just some token reduction) within the community before presenting any further formal representations to the community (especially given last years fiasco, from which we still haven't had direct feedback or opportunities to attend an oral examination).
We have copied the letter to MP Bill Cash.
The letter reads as follows:
In relation to points made in the Report for Council Assembly - 20th Jan 2011
Given that the higher Regional Spatial Strategy phase 2 target of 6000 properties is not a binding agreement (7.13) and is unlikely to be (7.11) and that Stoke and Newcastle are clearly willing to take on an as yet undefined extra housing allocation (7.36) and that ‘The Thrust of the Regional Spatial Strategy for North Staffordshire is also that there should be a degree of restraint within the wider housing market to encourage investment in those areas in greatest need’ (7.36).
SMDC should as an option, identify a negotiated minimum housing requirement that satisfies the outgoing published Regional Spatial Strategy, given the significant objections from Cheadle residents to housing developments, recent plans for Leek and an expectation from Society that future action from SMDC as of now should be flexible and move towards harmony with the highly publicised December 2010 Localism Bill due for enactment later this year.
In the interim, development of brown-field sites for example those detailed in the Cheadle town plan and the above negotiations within North Staffordshire on re-apportioned housing allocation could be considered deliverables against the outgoing Regional Spatial Strategy with future flexibility.
Cheadle Unite request that SMDC please consult with residents and local groups on allocation numbers prior to any formal proposals following the 20th Jan meeting.
Cheadle Unite Committee 17th Jan 2011
When we have more details as to the outcome of that meeting we will update this website.
The following link is to the SMDC notes used as a basis for the above letter to council