Land off Meadow Lane / Chessington Crescent, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent
Full planning application for the erection of a pedestrian/cycle footbridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal between land off Meadow Lane/Chessington Crescent, and the canal towpath adjacent to Arctic Place and Atlantic Grove
We are again disappointed with the approach of Barratt Homes and Ascalon Properties.
Despite having plenty of opportunity to submit a half decent application for this foot bridge over the canal, that could, if implemented properly enhance the area, for reasons known only to themselves have not consulted residents on it’s design or location.
The plan for the bridge places it in the worst possible position with an overbearing impact on Arctic Place homes, creating a rat-run over a grassed area into the Pacific Road estate and to top it off, the side elevations look absolutely awful! A huge eyesore.
We believe that the developers have yet again attempted to do the minimum possible, at the cheapest cost with absolutely no regard for the local community. They even have the audacity to claim that the bridge is not needed to support the poor accessibility of their main application.
You can find the application documents on the Councils Planning website here: https://planning.stoke.gov.uk/online-applications/ Just enter 63887/FUL into the search box.
We have until 16th May to send comments (objections) to the Council.
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.
With the date of the Planning Committee hearing now set for December 13th, Council Officers will publish their official report on the application shortly before the hearing.
We are holding a public meeting at Trentham High School on Monday 11th December at 7:30pm to brief residents on the report and what it means, and for residents to ask questions of our local councillors.
Monday 11th December at 7:30pm
Trentham High School
The Planning Committee date has now changed from the
6th to 13th December.
Ok, the time has finally come (again), the Planning Committee will hear the Meadow Lane application at;
10:00 now at 12:30 Wednesday 13th December 2017
Since our last update, the City Council have commissioned another assessment of the traffic issues by independent consultancy, Mott MacDonald.
The Mott MacDonald assessment is available on the Council’s website and makes interesting reading. In summary, Mott MacDonald have confirmed what we already knew; that Barratt Homes and their co-conspiritors are trying to bend the rules and on a number of points are blatantly trying to cheat to get their redicuolous planning application through.
So this is now two independent assessments confirming that Barratt’s documents can’t be trusted.
Somewhat curiously, these reports do not point out that Barratt have so far failed to explain how they plan to tackle the only factor that makes any substantive difference to the traffic at the end of Meadow lane. That being the traffic flow on Longton Road, and as the junction can not be signalised, it’s simply can’t be done. This is a fact that Barratt are hoping to brush under the carpet.
However, on behalf of residents, we have consulted again with experts at PTB Transport Planning to highlight (again) the usual flaws and ahem…. anomalies ! in Barratt’s application, including the curiously missing plan to control traffic flow on Longton Road.
So, we expect the Planning Committee to throw out this ridiculous application, but to make sure our Councillors are fully supported to take the decision to throw this out, we really do need your support at the hearing. Barratt Homes, through their own actions have proven that they can not be trusted, so we need as much support at the hearing as we can possibly muster. The more residents turn up to the meeting the higher the probability that the application will be refused.
We all look forward to see everyone at the meeting on the 13th December at 12:30.