• Identifying a list of “Asks” - local community benefits to be argued for, especially if we are faced with new developments in the Green Belt

Identifying a list of ‘Asks’

Norton Canes is in a difficult position.
We have seen significant housing development.
This has brought funding for transport, education and sport and recreation facilities.

BUT no new infrastructure or services have yet been committed AND there will still be a requirement to provide space for further housing in the next Local Plan period.

The Parish also accommodates large employment areas including Kingswood. The District Council needs to decide on what level of additional employment land should be made available in the District. It’s current thinking in its Preferred Options document is to support development of Streetway Farm between the M6 Toll and the A5 east of Churchbridge and land around the Turf pub/restaurant at the junction of Watling Street and Walsall Road for employment uses which can be seen here. Both of these sites are currently in the Green Belt.

There is already wide interest from landowners and developers for additional housing  development on Green Belt land all around the village and at the northern edge of the Parish south of Cannock Road A5190. The District Council, in its Preferred Options document, is currently proposing to allocate the land south of the A5190 (site SH1 on the map) and one other site (site SH5 on the map) west of Hednesford Road and north of Norton Terrace for housing thereby proposing to take these sites out of the Green Belt. A map of all these potential sites can be found here.

We should make it clear that the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan are not in control of strategic decisions on the Green Belt and new housing and employment land in the Parish.

It is possible that the new District wide Local Plan will propose development which is against the will of many in the Parish possibly as set out above but other sites may be proposed when the District’s Local Plan reaches its public examination stage next year.

However, in these circumstances, we believe the Parish should be prepared to argue for compensatory benefits.

To be able to do this, it is proposed that the Parish develops a wish list for investment – we are calling it a list of ‘Asks’.

We first want to gather a consensus of ‘Asks’ from the community.

The following is a suggested list of ‘Asks’ which relate to our policy approaches and suggestions in the various Neighbourhood Plan topic areas.

It is hoped that the list can form the start of a consultation and debate with the local community and landowners on the Neighbourhood Plan.

The list is in no order of priority:

Investing in heritage-led regeneration at the former Grove Colliery and in linked recreation uses in the surrounding countryside including Wyrley Common

Investing in the core footpath/cycleway network including circular recreation routes

Investing in improving environmental areas and the Sites of Biological Importance (SBI’s)

Investing in open spaces and play areas identified as priorities

Resolving gypsy and traveller site issues which damage parts of the parish including providing replacement sites for the unauthorised encampments on Stokes Lane and Long Lane

Identifying a site or sites for specialist housing for the elderly, including a care home facility and affordable bungalows

Committing to higher proportions of small bungalows for the elderly on major new development sites

Providing for the improvement of highways and junctions identified as priorities for the parish

Providing for a safe crossing of the A5 for pedestrians and cyclists in the vicinity of the Cannock Extension Canal

Helping to deliver leisure facilities supported by the community

Delivering good quality smaller units for new and expanding businesses, and local businesses

Support for initiatives to employ/train local people

Supporting the expansion of health services to meet the needs of a growing population

We would love to hear your thoughts on this list.

Do you agree or disagree with the points mentioned?
Do you have anything to add?

The plan is to benefit you and future generations of Norton residents, so please get in touch with your views. Help us to help you.

Tell us your thoughts, fill in the form below with your comments.

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