Thank you to everyone in the area for your ongoing support. We are sure everyone is keen to hear the outcome from this week’s hearing so here is a summary of the week….
1. The council’s highways expert gave his evidence and was cross examined by the appellants barrister.
2. Mr James Parker, Hub Transport Planning, the KOMG transport expert, gave evidence and was cross examined by the appellants barrister.
3. The council’s experts on both housing supply and their chief planning officer also gave evidence and were cross examined by the appellants barrister.
4. Keep Our Meadow Green members gave evidence on behalf of residents on the topics of sustainability, ecology, highway safety and construction traffic and were cross examined.
The cases for the Council and KOMG were concluded and the Appellant started to present their own witnesses. First up for the Appellant was ‘Affordable Housing’, although it is both the view of KOMG and the Council that the topics of ‘Affordable Housing’ and ‘5 Year Land Supply’ are irrelevant to the Inquiry, and the only real issue is the provision of ‘Safe and Suitable Access for All’ ( the unsafe junction ‘improvement’ proposal ).
As the Inquiry has run over the allocated 4 days, the Inquiry has been adjourned and will re-convene on the 21st and 22nd May 2019 when the appellant will present the rest of their case and will be cross-examined by Mr Cannock QC for the Council and where appropriate KOMG of course!
Following those two days, closing statements will be made from all sides. The Inspector then may take up to 10 weeks to review the case and make his decision.
We will keep you updated and urge you to attend the final two days to show your support.
Residents and Councillors are holding a public meeting on Monday 4th Feb to update everyone on the progress of the appeal and the latest developments, including the recent letter Knights sent to everyone. A considerable amount of work has been going on in the background we are keen to tell you about.
Once again we need as much support as possible, so please tell you neighbours, friends and family to come along and join us at the meeting.
There will also be a raffle during the evening to help raise more funds towards the costs of obtaining expert advice and securing expert witness testimony at the appeal itself.
4th February, 7:30pm, Trentham High School
See you there!
The appeal process is now well underway via a bespoke programme and the date of 12th February 2019 is now set for 4 days of appeal hearings.
Representing residents, we’re pleased to confirm that we have registered as a ‘rule 6’ party, which means that we take an active part in the appeal and are able to present evidence that supports our case and to also question the evidence of the Appellant.
Process dictates that we have to submit a ‘Statement of Case’ to outline the areas we are are in disagreement with concerning the Appellants case. I have to say that whilst preparing our Statement of Case, we were astonished to find that the Appellant had yet again changed the distances they claimed people would walk to facilities from the site.
The Appellant claims that the facilities and amenities are within a good walking distance of the centre of the site (Ahem!) and that if the only thing they do is add a right turn lane at the end of Meadow Lane, then the junction won’t be any worse than it is now once all of the new houses are occupied.
Given that the Appellants team had previously published via their safety assessment that the junction is currently dangerous and unsafe, which we tend to agree with, we’ve commissioned our road traffic experts to properly model the junction as it is right now. It turns out that when you model the junction correctly without any of the dubious data put in there by Barratts, it turns out that the current junction is dangerous, unsafe and simply fails. When you add the proposed changes and the development to it, it just makes it worse.
A quick check to confirm that Aldi hadn’t migrated over the railway bridge and the Post Office hadn’t repositioned itself into Meadow Lane, lead us to believe that all was not right with the Appellants distance claims too. So contrary to their previously published data, these new claims are simply inexplicable.
Over the coming weeks, you may see some of your fellow resident volunteers at the end of Meadow Lane collecting a few notes about the state of the traffic that we can submit alongside other evidence. Don’t forget to wave!
All of the appeal documents are published on the Council Planning site, so feel free to swing by to get the latest https://planning.stoke.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_STOKE_DCAPR_63811
We’ve now received news that Ascalon Properties (the people who own the field) have lodged an appeal against the council’s refusal to grant planning permission.
We’ve been expecting the appeal and have been waiting for news of this since December, but as I imagine the applicants have been finding it difficult to scrape a case together they’ve waited until the the appeal deadline was about to expire before they took action.
Your residents committee are meeting in the next few days to action our appeal plan and this time around it’s Ascalon Properties ( and probably Barratts ) vs Residents and the Council. Yes, we’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with our Councillors and Officers to finally put an end to this shambles.
Your support is much needed yet again and we’ll post more info once it’s available.
On the bright side, unless any of the facts have miraculously changed since December, which they haven’t! then the outcome should be to uphold the refusal decision.
Thank you for your many kind words and support.
It has been a very long journey (and one that may continue should Barratt Homes decide to appeal). The journey has most certainly had its highs and lows and taken so much of our own personal time but yesterday’s meeting was a huge success for us all.
The KOMG personally want to say a massive thank you to you all for your continued support over the last 35 months. Our local councillors did us proud – they have supported us throughout.
Not forgetting, we all owe a massive thanks to our transport expert who has worked tirelessly for us and whose expert advice got us the decision needed yesterday.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to organise the Santa on the Green this year due to time constraints and us all working so hard to be ready for yesterday’s meeting. However, we will be meeting in the new year to discuss how the group moves forward and hopefully planning some new events for our fantastic residents.
Merry Christmas to you all – our little (but tough) community 👏🏻
The public Meeting on 11th December is CANCELLED, due to Trentham High School being closed. The car park and surrounding roads are deemed un-safe!
Please pass the message on to anyone you know who was planning to attending.
However, it is still VERY important that you attend the hearing at the Civic Offices on Wednesday 13th December at 12.30pm. Your presence as residents will make a huge difference.
The coach is leaving the Trentham Hotel on Wednesday morning at 11am. Tickets can be bought on the day at the coach.