Staffordshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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North Staffs District Group

GREEN BELT THREATS

Wedgwood Redevelopment Plan

The parent company of Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, who stepped in to save the company from closure, have maintained and increased production at the Barlaston site.  The future of the business, however, is clearly problematic in a factory built mainly before 1940.  The company proposes a major redevelopment costing £25 million to streamline production and reduce costs.  To finance this modernisation project they will be seeking to sell parts of the factory and large areas of the surrounding estate to housing developers.  They have a carried out a number of consultations with residents and have modified their plans accordingly.

Even so from the point of view of CPRE there must be objections to the development of large areas of green fields in the North Staffordshire Greenbelt.  An application for the phased development of the site is still awaited even though the original announcement was made in June 2012.

The first site to be developed is the large field where the previous owners proposed a large hotel and conference centre.  All the land involved is within the City of Stoke on Trent who has always supported the development of executive housing in order to attract business to the city.

Strongford Sewage Works.

Very close to the Wedgwood factory on the banks of the River Trent and, again in the Greenbelt, is a rapidly expanding plant that has grown because the old works in the City have closed down. Development now is for new treatment processes to reduce the amount of fertilizers that would otherwise pollute the river.  Because the works can handle sewage and industrial waste from all over the country there is a constant stream of lorries using the narrow road to the site.

This heavy traffic has caused inconvenience to the large number of neighbours who live on estates served by the same road.  Residents have campaigned for a new road to the works from the nearby A34.  This will be a major intrusion into the greenbelt and CPRE Staffordshire will seek an alternative solution.

Trentham Estate

As part of their plans to improve the undoubtedly very popular leisure venue St. Modwen have successfully applied for a 70 chalet development in the woodland and cleared area beside the lake. Sited between the Monkey Park and the lakeside cafe it is hoped that the planting scheme will mitigate the view of the holiday lodges from the lake and further afield. A £100 million refurbishment of the entire estate is also promised.

John Russell Chairman

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