Cheadle Unite would like to convey support for the sensitive development of Cheadle and the Surrounding areas including the Churnet Valley as a tourist attraction for the midlands. Sitting at the southern foothills of the Peak District we believe Cheadle with the Pugin church, Local Alton towers, Churnet valley and Railway, and beautiful scenery (and many other attractions) have a lot to offer Staffordshire and the surrounding Counties, especially in the future were fuel prices will command an ever increasing long term premium. We understand the concerns of Churnet Valley residents as presented at the Inspector hearing. Cheadle Unite recognise the need for a sensitive non-disruptive non-destructive day attraction in the Churnet Valley area and sincerely hope that Cheadle and the surrounding areas can provide local overnight accommodation and linkage to the surround facilities that will make the area prosperous. We recognise that the modifications to the policy have gone some way to re-aligning and clarifying the situation (removal of the term ‘Tourism Corridor’, hopefully in both spirit as well as text) and hope that our neighbouring residents in the Churnet Valley will embrace a sensitive and controlled development of tourism in the area to secure a prosperous and affluent environment for themselves and employment for our younger generations.
Regarding the development of Brownfield sites, we hope that wider sites like the former Co-op dairy at Fole will be considered for redevelopment, assuming local transport links can be accommodated (in this case Fole is very near to Uttoxeter) for a sustainable development.
Cheadle Unite would also like to re-iterate the need for employment provision within Cheadle. The Core Strategy does not provide sufficient credible evidence for employment provision in the area or a strategy to increase the working population ratio for Cheadle. Residents are also keen to protect the character and charm of the town and to support the local businesses. We do not value anything that promotes the development of ‘Clone Britain’ including sizable retail developments or large chain store premises. Any Business land available should we feel, be earmarked for tourism development (e.g. a Hotel) or for services and businesses not currently available in Cheadle. ‘Price comparison shopping’ as it is termed is already available for food products through the existing range of supermarkets and we have an excellent DIY store (Homepoint) in the town. Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas along with the Internet provide adequate access to more specialised ‘price comparison shopping’. A number of other eating establishments (including Weatherspoons) provide a wide range of dining options for current visitors with existing capacity for increased tourism. Their employment and income security (not least in the high street) is a Priority for Cheadle as are all shops and the Market in the high street.
Cheadle Unite have already raised questions to SMDC regarding the Localism bill and how it may influence strategic policy and the issues raised in a number of representations to date. As a key mechanism, for change we believe SMDC should as part of their commitment to its community have made the Localism bill and its potential impact clear to residents and action groups, detailing how residents can enact the Localism Bill. This has not happened despite direct questions to Staffordshire Moorlands Council (as far back as the 20th January 2011 council meeting) and a clear relative link between the Localism bill and the issues raised in numerous representations. We do not consider this appropriate and it could have future legal consequences.
In Section 8: recomendations to make the Strategy Sound, we have stated:
Justify the housing numbers for Cheadle and Staffordshire Moorlands as detailed above and a path for effective democratic changes to parliamentary sanctioned future housing provision.
Reduce the Housing Allocation for Cheadle and Staffordshire Moorlands to take into account the geographic and limited road provision and link road options available for Cheadle to maintain the town’s aspirations for tourism and a local attraction area for Staffordshire and the surrounding counties.
Work with Stoke-on-Trent to ensure sustainable regeneration of our City and accommodate the increased housing provision from Cheadle and to focus development on Brownfield sites in the Potteries were existing infrastructure major roads, rail and canals already exist.
Clarify how a sustainable road improvement can be delivered for Cheadle to accommodate a modest housing development in the town to deliver on local needs and the above justified and proportionate national needs.
SMDC should proactively convey how Cheadle Residents can enact the ‘Localism bill’ to positively influence the current strategic policy proposals, with details regarding its implementation, Council support and detail of how it sits within the wider Staffordshire Moorlands District Council remit. Email, phone and contact address details of Cheadle Unite (and other action groups) are already held by SMDC.
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