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Row over lodges

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: November 03, 2013

An artist’s impression of the planned lodges.

An artist’s impression of the planned lodges.

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A VILLAGE action group has been left shocked by the inclusion of 250 holiday lodges planned for a former quarry site.

Whiston Action Group said this week that residents had been alarmed to see the number of lodges planned at the former Moneystone Quarry near Whiston, drafted in the Churnet Valley Masterplan being produced by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

The action group claims that adjacent villages will be overwhelmed by thousands of visitors in an unsuitable location and is at odds with a bid to allocate the area as an Area of Natural Beauty.

Spokesman Nick Cresswell, said: “Two-hundred-and-fifty lodges is ridiculous.

“The Peak Park Planning Authority sets a maximum of 30 units per development, but the district council planning officers consider the beautiful Churnet Valley to be so unimportant that they are prepared to propose a development more than eight times this size.

“During the consultation on the options for the Churnet Valley, residents gave a clear message that they wanted only minimal development.

“As is becoming the norm, the views of residents are being completely ignored, and council taxpayers are being treated with contempt.

“It begs the question of why do Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have consultation at all?” However, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, said: “The Churnet Valley Masterplan sets out how we intend to manage this important area based around sustainable tourism and the regeneration of key brownfield sites in a manner which is sensitive to, and enhances, the area’s heritage and natural environment.

“There are, however, parts of the valley, such as the Bolton Copperworks site, which need significant improvement.

We need to be able to tackle these issued to ensure that the Churnet Valley continues to be protected and enhanced, and that it continues to contribute to the local economy, by managing development in a positive way.

“We’re currently seeking views on the draft Masterplan and people have until Monday, November 11. to tell us what you think. We’ll be considering all points of view before adopting the Masterplan.”

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