October 2021 – Chairman’s Blog

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Wedgwood Memorial College

Activity has been seen at the Wedgwood Memorial College site and both the Clerk and myself have been liaising with the appropriate parties involved.  It has been reported by our Borough Councillor Gareth Jones to the Conservation Officer at Stafford Borough Council, and the Parish Council are liaising wih the selling agents as we have been advised that the site is once more on the market. Vigilence is required in this matter and we would welcome observations of any activities taking place on these sites. We have been advised by the selling agents that they have taken note of the ‘Lichfield Plan’ and are aware of the listed trees on the site.

Walking Bus Scheme

Cllr Emma Adams-Elsmore has been nominated as Chair of the PTA for Barlaston First School, she is actively working on the walking bus scheme which will see the number of vehicles parking on Longton Road and Station Road reduced.  This will include a breakfast for children participating.


The Borough Council have still yet to make a planning decision on the land behind Brookhouse Drive and Old Road. [1]Following a Planning Overview session with the Campaint to Protection of Rural England (CPRE) attended by myself and the Clerk, it was noted during the first 10 years of the Borough’s Local Plan (2011 to 2021) the Borough reported in ‘Land for New Homes – the Housing Monitor 2021’ that 6,196 new homes were completed; an average of 620 new homes per year which is 120 dwellings per annum (20% over target). This leaves a remaining balance to be built (2021-2031) of 3,804. Using the Borough’s March 2021 figures there were 5,672 commitments with planning permission and 2,224 allocations which await planning permission; a total of 7,896 for the remainder of the plan period to 2031. This gives a total of 14,092 (already 14% above the plan’s allocations and more than twice the number required to meet the plan’s requirements for the next 10 years).

The Local Plan Proposals regaring housing: The Local Plan proposed a total number of 10,000 new homes over the 20 year plan period. For the Key Service Villages (Barlaston is not identified as a Key Service Village in the new plan, no doubt because we are situated in the North Staffordshire Green Belt) this gives a total of 1,200 over the 20 year period. (60 dwellings per year on average.) What has been built or committed in the Key Villages in the first 8 years of the plan period is 1,380. (This amounts to an average of 172 per year) and by the end of the plan period the number is likely to have increased still further.  If this rate continues for the remaining 12 years of the plan period to 2031 there would be an additional 2,064 dwellings giving a total of 3,444 whilst the Local Plan proposed 1,200. This would be 287% of the Local Plan proposal of 1,200 for the Key Service Villages.

The NEW Local Plan 2020 to 2040:  What the Consultation document fails to point out is that homes completed by April 2020 which exceeded the current Local Plan requirements will not be taken into account.  Effectively, the plan starts again afresh even though in the first 8 years of the plan period six Key Service Villages housing numbers exceeded the local plan requirements for the 20 years plan period.

With the amount of ‘windfall’ housing development having taken place, which has not been counted within the planned figures and the fact that the Borough have far exceeded their house building allocation we cannot understand why the Borough would wish to consider building in the green belt.  The Parish Council will do everything within its power to ojbect to the development on this site.  We await the Borough’s decision.

Solar Panels; we are aware of activity on behalf of a local land owner, although we have contacted the Borough Council for information, they have advised us that as a Staturoy Consutee we are not yet in a position to comment.  When the planning application is formalised and submitted for consideration, we will be informed accordingly.

Drainage Works

Cllr Chris Hurst and Mr Chris Roberts have been working hard to eleviate drainage problems on the green.  This has resulted in the flooding issues along Vickarage Lane being reduced / eradicated and seen a reduction in water run off by the walled tree on the green onto Station Road.  Further works are planned on the wild green.


Cllr Bentley has provided public WiFi through his Company in the Methodist Church to facilitate community access. This offer is open to any public building wishing to do the same.

Lakewood Drive

Cllr’s Dando and Bentley facilitated a public meeting at Wedgwood Cricket Club on 6 October 2021, which was attened by representatives of the Borough Council, Fiskars, the Parish Council, the County Council and residents.  Various actions were taken away including Fiskars to check their records with regards to land ownership; Cllr Ian Parry to check if works had been undertaken by Highways; Cllr Bentley to view and report back on historical records at the County Records Office.  A follow up meeting is scheduled for 10 November at 6:30.

Paul Fisher
Chairman Barlaston Parish Council


[1] Figures obtained by CPRE Staffordshire