Stafford Local Plan Review Consultation
Stafford Borough Council is currently seeking comments on the latest stage of its Local Plan Review process. The consultation process began on 24th October 2022 and ends at noon on Monday 12th December.
The Council is required to review its existing planning policies and proposals for new development across Stafford Borough up to the year 2040. A short video helps explain this. Click the link below
Short YouTube video introducing this stage of the Local Plan
There are eleven separate documents in the review package which invite individual, groups and business views on topics such as climate change, economic development, housing provision, transport and the environment.
Housing development is probably an area that most concerns people in the rural parts of Stafford and Stone. The target number for new housing units across Stafford Borough between 2020 and 2040 is 10,700, of which 6,200 have already been built or sites allocated. Three thousand of the remaining 4,500 units will be built at a new Community Garden Village (Meecebrook) situated between Swynnerton and Yarnfield. It will be an almost self-contained village, shops, schools, leisure facilities, health centre, open spaces and even its own railway station on the West Coast Main Line. Three thousand more homes are planned to be added at Meecebrook after 2040. Click here for Further information about the new garden community
Unlike previous Local Plan reviews, there does not appear to be any desire to build more housing developments what were known as Key Service Villages (KSV) which include Hixon and the Haywoods. In fact, the Local Plan Review proposes 1,000 new homes within and around the current Stafford urban area, with the remaining 500 units to be built in Stone, Gnosall and Woodseaves.
An additional allocation of 80 hectares of new employment land will largely be accommodated along the A34 corridor between Stafford and Stone and extending the Ladfordfields Recognised Industrial Estate (RIE) boundary near Great Bridgeford.
The existing residential development boundaries in Hixon and the Haywoods. As defined in the current Neighbourhood Plans are not planned to be extended. The same goes for the RIEs at Hixon Airfield, New Road, Church Lane and Pasturefields.
So, should we in Hixon and the Haywoods be complacent and not bother responding to the Local Plan Review consultation invitation?
No we should not be complacent.
The success of proposals in the Stafford Borough Council Local Plan Review are highly dependent on, you guessed it, HS2!
If HS2 were to terminate at Birmingham and not continue north to Manchester, the capacity on the West Coast Main Line would not enable a new railway station at Meecebrook Community Garden Village and would undermine the environmental viability of the site. Those 3,000 houses have to go somewhere!
For further information about how to respond to the Stafford Borough Council Local Plan Review click on following link Local Plan 2020-2040 Preferred Options document (pdf 20mb)
You may also wish to look at pages 5 (Great Haywood); 7 (Hixon) and 8 (Little Haywood & Colwich) via the following link:
Notwithstanding this fairly parochial observation for Hixon and the Haywoods, there are many other issue within the consultation documents which we all share as residents of Stafford Borough. For example:
Policy 4: Climate Change Development Requirements;
Policy 5: Green Belt;
Policy 6: Neighbourhood Plans;
Policy 18: Home working and small scale employment uses;
Policy 19: Town Centres;
Policy 20; Agriculture and Forestry;
Policy 21: Tourism;
Policy 22: Canals;
Policy 23: Affordable Housing;
Policy 41: Historic Environment;
Policy 43: Sustainable Drainage;
Policy 45: Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB);
Policy 49: Trees;
Policy 52: Transport;
Policy 53: Parking and Electric Vehicle Charging Points Standards.
Researched and written by Cllr Brendan McKeown: Stafford Borough Council, Haywoods & Hixon Ward. Email: email@example.com