[20th March 2015]
Burleyfields - Doxey Let Down by Planning Committee
When the Bellway planning Application was considered by the Stafford
Borough Planning Committee last Wednesday (18th March) consistency and
democracy were rejected and the developers were appeased.
Although Doxey's case had very been very ably argued by two of their own
supporters, the controlling group won the day on the chairman's casting
vote after the committee had split 4-4 on party lines. The 170
houses will go ahead with virtually no recreation facilities,
potentially dangerous road junctions and the obliteration of the one
green footpath link from Doxey to Greenway and the Castle.
The vote was restricted to those committee members who had attended the earlier site visit.
The whole of the "consultation" procedure that Doxey fought so hard for,
has proved to be a farce with the Committee and the developer ignoring
petitions, meetings, and pleas by residents, the parish council,
our Borough Councillor and our MP (see letter below to Councillor Isabella
All developers will now see Stafford Borough as an easy touch, or as Parish Councillor Neil Thomas put it "...
the message will go out to all developers that they can easily get
round the need for a masterplan by submitting a planning application
before one has been drawn up. Your planning officers then will
not have the backbone to stand up to them."
Letter from Jeremy Lefroy M.P. to Councillor Isabella Davies
On Wednesday 18th March at 6:30pm
the Stafford Borough Planning Committee will discuss firstly the
'revised' Master Plan produced by Bellway/TaylorWimpey and then the
re-submitted Bellway plan for 170 houses south of Doxey.
The result of the much vaunted
"consultation" is that TaylorWimpey will leave a little more space
around Castlefields and will put more effort into preserving the
footpath by the Golf Course up to the Castle. As expected Bellway
will put no more effort into preserving the footpath from Doxey Church
to the Greenway or to take into consideration the views of residents of
The road layout near the school and the rural footpath running down estate pavements are still Doxey's main concerns.
The revised Master Plan is part of the agenda for Wednesdays Planning Committee Meeting (18th March) and can be found here.
It is hoped that the members of the
committee will be consistent and refuse to approve a planning
application that does not conform to their own Local Plan.
Monday 19th January around 300 people attended an exhibition was held
where the developers displayed their 'Master Plan'. Many questions were
asked regarding the plan and why the area of the Bellway development
was not subject to the same constraints as the rest of the area.
The same questions were asked at a Parish Meeting held on Friday 23rd
when a resolution was passed :
- To thank Taylor Wimpey and Bellway for putting on the consultation event on Monday January 19th 2015.
- To raise the issues with the main access especially in relation to the proximity to Doxey School.
- To put forward the concerns about Bellway who appear to be exempting
their site in Doxey from the consultation of the overall masterplan.
- To highlight the importance of retaining the footpath which runs from
St Thomas and St Andrew Church providing access to Stafford Castle. This
needs to be retained as a “green corridor” as shown in previous plans
- To raise concerns that community facilities will not be available until the first 1000 houses have been built.
- To raise concerns that a specific provision for a Doctors surgery has not been included.
- To request that construction traffic is closely monitored to reduce impact to residents.
- To put forward community concerns that the Bellway Development does not
include adequate green space for the size of development.
- To note that all elected representatives, Parish/Borough/County
Councillors and local MP, should monitor closely the implementation of
It is important that individual comments are made and should be sent to the developers (email to email@example.com
or via their website www.weststaffordconsultation.co.uk
Consultation at Last
TaylorWimpey and Bellway
organised an exhibition at Doxey Church Hall on Monday 19th January
which was attended by around 300 people. The Master Plan was on show
and representatives of Bellway, TaylorWimpey and the local councils
were in attendance. As indicated below the master plan appeared to
rubberstamp the existing Bellway application.
On Friday 23rd January a Doxey
Parish meeting chaired by David Hughes (the new Chairman of the Parish
Council), was held to discuss the Master Plan. The various issues were
discussed and Mark Winnington (County Councillor) talked about the
implications of the new Western Access Road which would eventually
serve the area.
The meeting passed a resolution
[to follow] saying that the Master Plan was welcome but the Bellway
area must conform to the master plan as laid down by Stafford Boroughs
It was important that residents
comments were submitted as these, and the developerss response,
would be taken into account by the Planning Authority.
"In my opinion the plans might be
acceptable if they didn't try to exclude the Belway development area
from the proposals for the rest of the area. These include large areas
of open space and wide footpaths, linking to the Greenway and the
Castle, suitable for family walks (including the dog). The Belway area,
which includes NO recreational area, is marked as if the plans were already approved.
The purpose of a Master Plan is to provide a framework for forthcoming developments, not to rubberstamp plans aready proposed."
Another Victory for common sense (& Doxey)
committee told Bellway that their Master Plan had to go through
consultation procedures before it could be accepted.
Comments (objections?) had to be listed and addressed.
The Planning application (14/20425/FUL) would not be decided until this consultation had taken place.
A Master Plan but no
Consultation (and it
doen't seem to apply to Bellway 14/20425/FUL)
In September the Stafford Borough Planning Committe decided that a
decision on the Bellway Housing Apllication should not be made
without a site visit. This followed a meeting attended by over
100 residents, Councillors and our MP, protesting against the
failure of the developers to produce a 'Master Plan' for 'Burleyfields'
area between Doxey, Castletown, Castlefields, the Castle and the
M6) as required by Policy Stafford 3 of the Plan for Stafford
Borough (otherwise 'The
A petition with over 650 signatures, demanding that the Borough stuck
by their Local Plan was later presented to Borough Council.
Some weeks later we heard rumours, later confirmed, that Bellway
and TaylorWimpey were, after all, going to produce a 'Master Plan' for
the Burleyfields area as laid down in the Local Plan. A partial victory
for local democracy.
Then on Wednesday 26th November it was announced that the unchanged
planning application would again come up to the Planning Committee on
Wednesday 3rd December, again with the planning officer's approval.
time the decision would be be preceded with consideration of new Master
There are no plans for any Consultation on this Master Plan even though
it will determine the next 20 year's development of the 'Burleyfields'
The Local Plan says "The Master Plan for
the whole site should be produced .. and agreed by the Council prior to
applications being submitted". This Master Plan is being
produced 6 months after the application was submitted.
Although Doxey's case had been ably argued by two of their own supporters
The New Master Plan
The Master Plan submitted by the developers (Bellway & Taylor
Wimpey) and landowners (Lord Stafford's Estate and Saint Gobain) is
based on that presented to the public in July -2013 which was then
rejected by Bellway in their 'consultation' in November 2013 and the
planning application of May 2014.
The Plan seems to be a reasonable approach to development of the area
(assuming that any development of the area is reasonable) but suffers
from some defects
- Although the ideas of July-2013 are repeated, in the
version the main 'Masterplan Framework' map (below
Fig 7.1) excludes the area
of the Bellway application ('03' Master Plan Nov-2014
) as if it was not covered by the
provisions of the plan. It is shown in the same way as two other
applications that have already been approved (01 - Public House, 02 -
- In the July-2013 plan there are
extensive green areas within the
development site, including a wide pathway for the existing
public footpath (Doxey Church to Castle). nb. these are implied in
Green Infrastructure Concept (Fig 6.1) of the new plan. In the map
produced in November 2013 there are still extensive green areas.
In the application (May-2014) these have all but
disappeared or moved to the
fringes of the residential area.
- The plan say 'Community
consultation was undertaken on the concept plan in July 2013',
this is true in the sense that the exhibition was held and comments
invited. However there was no published follow up where comments were
listed and addressed. The planning application does refer to the (very
unsatisfactory) 'consultation' of November 2013 where comments are
The state of application 14/20425/FULL
- This was submitted in May-2014 when Bellway had no
providing or being involved in any Master Plan(confirmed in meeting of
Doxey Parish Councillors with Bellway Sept-2014)
- There was reference to the 'consultation' in Nov-2013
and some attempt was made to address local fears
- The site layout varied from that of Nov-2013 in that
the 'green' areas were mostly removed
- The application is basically unchanged, small
additions were made to show links to the rest of Burleyfields.
- There is therefore no reference to the new Master
Plan and therefore no obligation to follow its design 'to guide the development of the broad area of
- The application should now be re-considered against
the Master Plan
[Oct 1st] The planning committee is expected to re-convene towards the
end of October - More news when we have it.
Plans - (put off) Decision Day !- WEDNESDAY (17th) - A partial victory ?
a busy few days contacting Doxey residents, a meeting was held on
Monday attended by about 100 people. The issues were explained and a
petition signed. The meeting was attended by Parish Councillors, our
Borough Councillor and our M.P. The Borough Council was informed
(again!) about Doxey's concerns and by Wednesday evening the Planning
Committee chairman had decided that a decision should not be made
without a site visit. This will be scheduled sometime in the next few
weeks which gives us time to re-iterate our arguments and get some
press publicity. (see the Newsletter) Over 20 Doxey residents
the Committee meeting and heard the Chairman's decision.
Bellway's Plans go ahead it will prevent the proper development of the
area and will reduce the facilities available for Doxey
No overall plan for the
No recreational facilities
No proper traffic plan
170 Cramped Houses
But the planners say it doesn't
May/Sept-2014 - Bellway's More of the Same !
Bellways revised plan - May 2014 (Compare with previous
September 2014 -
The plans, again basically unchanged**,
are up for a decision on 17th Sept. Only this time the planning
department is recommending approval. They accept that the approval goes
against their own Local Plan (see below).
Submissions to Stafford
Borough Council regarding Bellway's Plans
(click to read)
- Doxey Parish Council - 13th June
This describes the history of the project and
- Doxey Parish Council - Sept 2014
Repeats objections and discusses traffic
- Doxey Resident (webmaster) -
Concerned with how the application has been
handled and the 'sabotage' of the local plan
** the only
significant change seems to be the addition of transport links to the
southern part of Burleyfields
| [Sept 2014]
Last November Bellway unveiled their plans for the area south of Doxey.
were fundamentally different from the those published, jointly with
Taylor Wimpey, six months earlier. There was a half-hearted attempt to
consult with an exhibition, arranged at very short notice, in the
Church. The general feeling seemed to be that the plans were
unsatisfactory in that they ignored the previous joint plan and
Stafford Borough's plan for Stafford which is just about to be finally
It was hoped that the reaction would cause Bellway to rethink their
plans to make them acceptable to local residents and the Borough
No such luck !
have now resubmitted the plans with
only minor changes.
The plans can be viewed at the Civic Centre Offices or at
The Case Officer is Mr M Alford Tel 01785 619 524.
for consideration when making comments
- Was it
adequate last November ?
- We need further consultation with Bellway and
- Road Plan
- Need for Western Access Road to be built first
- Not landscaped
& not separated from traffic
- No internal pedestrian routes
- Play Areas/Open
- No play areas within the development
- 'Open Space' too far from houses
- Was originall further
- Excessive landfill needed to increase number of
- Piecemeal Development
- Not concerned with
- Doxey may lose
access to future facilities located elsewhere
Bellway's Plan for Doxey
- December 2014)
as published by Bellway - November
Concept plan published by
Taylor-Wimpey & Bellway - July 2013
Plans submitted May-2014
from November 2013
- Different road layout - Still 2 access roads to
- Possible Link to area south
- Access roads from The Drive
- Pedestrian access to houses by The Drive
- No open space by brook, now culveted
|Master Plan -November 2014
Differences from July 2013
- Footpath runs along estate paths (was green
- Position of Balancing lake (moved uphill !)
- No detail in Bellway application area (03)
- No detail in recreation area (football field)
- Road layouts changed (now 2 exits onto main
The above maps show the area covered by the Bellway plan. As can be
seen it fills in the only remaining open ground south of the Doxey and
the only vehicular access to the area covered by the July-2013 plan,
Bellway plan Nov-2013
| Joint Plan - July 2013
'Burleyfields' (and to Martin Drive)
- no access to Martin Drive
|2 roads plus
|Access to Doxey
roads (both with housing)
|single access (no
|Footpaths - Public
beside and over roads
The main benefits of the joint (July '13) plan are that it is a
comprehensive plan for the area which includes
- An updated road system with access to Stafford, the North (A34) and
Newport Road (A518) using the new Western Access
- A full range of amenities - school, shops, doctors(?) and recreation
The new Bellway (Dec '13) plan includes none of these or assumes that
they will be provided at a later stage and/or by someone else
(29th Nov more details including Parish Council's response when
[posted Dec 2013]
In July we reported that developers Taylor-Wimpey and Bellway had
unveiled their plans for the land between Doxey and Stafford Castle.
The plans, linked to the Stafford Local Plan, provided a comprehensive
view of the future of the area with schools, shops, and recreation
areas serving 2200 houses. Road access would be via Martin Drive and a
new secondary road joining Doxey between Bradbury Rise and the School.
Then Martin Drive would be then linked to Doxey Road and Foregate St by
the new Western Access route.
Now less than 6 months later we are presented with a unilateral
proposal by Bellway to fill in the area adjoining Doxey (Road) with 170
houses, 2 exits onto the main road, no playing space, no amenities and
no conceivable purpose apart from making money for Bellway (and
Saint-Gobain?). This is put forward by Bellway with no reference to the
development of the rest of the 'Burleyfields' area.
If the current plans went ahead Doxey would remain separated from the
rest of Stafford with no possible alternative access to Stafford.
Bellway are asking for comments by 11th December (less than 3 weeks
from the initial announcement).
The Parish Council are hoping to discuss the proposals with the Borough
Council and then call a public meeting to decide on future action.
nb. views expressed are those
of the webmaster
July - 2013 - Plans are announced for the development of the area
between Doxey and the Castle
On 16th July 2013 Developers Taylor-Wimpey and Bellway unveiled
their 'Concept Plan' for the land between Doxey and Stafford Castle. At
a public exhibition at the Church Hall more than 200 local residents
examined maps and talked to representatives of the companies and local
The plans, which are linked to the Stafford local plan which is due to
be adopted early next year, cover the area between Doxey, Castlefields,
Castle Golf course, the Castle and the M6 and includes the rest of the
Saint-Gobain(ex Universal) works as well as the Stafford Rugby Club
Road access will be via Martin Drive and a new 'secondary' road which
will join Doxey between Bradbury Rise and the School. Later it should
link to the new Western Access route linking Martin Drive with Doxey
Road and Foregate St
Two years ago Stafford
published their draft plan for the area between Doxey,Stafford Castle
and the M6. It proposed that 2,200 houses should be built in this
area together with shops, school(s) and recreation areas. (see Map 1)
The council consultated all
bodies including Doxey Parish Council. Details of the plan, so far as
it affects Doxey, and the consultation are on the Doxey website (http://www.doxeyca.org.uk/dm_plans.shtml).
The final plan is due to be
2014, see Borough website (http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/lp)
New 'Concept' Plan
Now, after much behind the
talking, two major house building companies, Taylor-Wimpey and
Bellway have come up with their joint interpretation of that plan (See Map 2),
described as a 'Concept Plan', which was shown to the public at
Doxey Church Hall (St Thomas & St Andrew) on Tuesday 16th
Details : (www.weststaffordconsultation.co.uk)
Comparison with Draft Local Plan
It generally follows the
housing in most of the space between Doxey and the extended Stafford
Castle Golf Course.The area of the Saint-Gobain (ex Universal) works
would be used for mixed development(shops, offices with flats above).
The space to the north of Doxey Road (now the Saint-Gobain carpark
and Chevron Car Centre) would allacated to 'employment' (workshops,
warehousing and light industry). In one change the area of
the rugby pitches are now allocated to housing rather than
'employment'. This is in spite of the widespead feeling that they
should remain for recreation.
of the Plan
There is a large recreation
of the Greenway which includes the current Doxey football pitch.
South of the Greenway is a central services area with a school,
shops, play area and other facilities (surgery etc). These are
situated on an 'avenue' leading up towards Stafford Castle through
the golf course. Near the M6 there would be a small wooded area with
open space leading to allotments.
Access would primarily be
Castlefields with an extension of Martin Drive running parallel to
the Greenway and then servicing the various housing areas. A
'secondary' road would exit in Doxey between Bradbury Rise and Doxey
Primary School. Without a direct access to the roads and villages
west of Stafford, this is probably the most contentious aspect of the
Note. The plan envisages
'Western Access' road will be built from Martin Drive to Doxey Rd in
(via an extention of the existing bridge over the railway).
Eventually this will
join Foregate St. near Halfords. However we understand that this
will not be constructed until 400 new houses have been built.
showing details, Commenting on the Concept Plan
The plans are outlined on a
which gives details of how individuals and organisations can make their
The projected outline
| Aug 13th
to submit feedback
| Summer 2013
changes to 'concept plan'
submitted to Borough Council
| Spring 2014
| Late 2014
| Spring 2016
area of control
It seems likely that if the
approved that Bellway would build on the area north of the Greenway
(on land currently owned by Saint-Gobain) and Taylor-Wimpey south (land
owned by Lord Stafford.
The initial 400 houses would
in the area just south of The Drive (Bellway) and south of the
Greenway, adjoining the open space north of Castlefields
|1. The Plan for Western Stafford - 2011
map for larger version)
beige coloured areas are allocated to 'Housing' including services
and associated open space.
blue areas are for 'Employment' (offices, warehouse workshops etc)
dark red roads are part the proposed new Western Access Route on which
the Development plans seem to depend. The lighter red roads are the
links to existing roads. (nb. the line of the roads within the new
development have not been decided)
- This map is NOT OFFICIAL – it is only our understanding of the areas
affected and possible road lines.
| 2. Concept Plan - Taylor-Wimpey &
Bellway - 2013
|(click on map for larger, clearer version or to download
Thanks to Chris Fidler of Webb Associates for supplying large scale plan
The pale green area at the bottom is the extended Stafford Castle Golf
course (now under construction) surrounding the Castle.
The main railway line is at the top right.
Doxey is at the top (current housing - grey)
The area (top-left) marked 'future phase' (Aston Bank Farm, Brookhouse
Farm) is not under the control of T-W & B and therefore is not
used to provide a practical exit to the north-west of the development