Planning Kidsgrove’s Future – Joint Local Plan ready for public consultation

Local_plan400pxStoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are working together on a new Joint Local Plan which is now ready for public consultation. The Joint Local Plan will shape where new housing, roads and development will take place in the future between 2013 and 2033.

Cabinet members at both authorities have agreed to send the document, which identifies a number of potential sites in Kidsgrove for possible housing and employment developments, out for a month-long public consultation.

The important aspects of this for Kidsgrove includes the allocation of nearly 1000 new homes to be built in the area with some of the sites being proposed for development including green belt land. The most controversial of these is the inclusion of Clough Hall Playing fields (also known as Barnet’s Fields or Barney’s Fields) with a potential capacity of 424 houses.

While there is a clear need to plan for the future needs of the area there is a lot of opposition to some of the proposed sites. Many residents are concerned about the further loss of recreational space and the lack of infrastructure to support a large development and a petition has been set up to try and get Clough Hall Playing fields removed from the list of preferred housing sites.

The public consultation on the latest stage will run between February 1 and March 1 with all comments received being fed back to both council’s planning committees and cabinet in autumn.

The comments will be used to produce a full draft Joint Local Plan, which will go out for public consultation in November/December. Comments at this stage will again be considered before a final Joint Local Plan is produced in summer 2019 which will be consulted on, before being submitted to the Government for independent examination in autumn 2019. It is hoped the final document will be formally adopted in spring 2020.

Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at the city council, said: “I am pleased cabinet has agreed to move the Joint Local Plan to the next stage where we look forward to receiving comments from the public on the latest outlines. I’ve read the arguments and listened to the challenges made about prioritising jobs over houses – what the Joint Local Plan will do is enable both which is a great news story for our city.”

Councillor Paul Northcott, cabinet member for planning and regeneration at the borough council, said: “This now gives residents, developers and all other interested parties an opportunity to have their say on the visions and aspirations of the plan.  We recognise there is still work to do and the sites listed are preferred sites and not final as yet.

“We need to gather more information to identify where there is potential capacity and at the same time safeguarding the identities and sensitivities of villages thereby protecting their special characteristics where they exist.”

The petition against the inclusion of Clough Hall Playing fields on the proposed sites list can be found at: The consultation document will be available online from 1 February.

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