This plan is our community’s opportunity to shape and guide development that will take place in our area and make sure that it is appropriate to our needs and aspirations. Keele’s heritage and local environment are its defining assets, and local residents are proud and protective of those features that give the parish its sense of place and identity. With this plan we can have a real say in Keele’s future development – where it goes and how it looks!
Mission: To consult residents and employers within Keele Parish and develop a neighbourhood plan for the future development of Keele Parish that reflects current and future needs.
Vision: Keele’s unique character and heritage is retained and planned development maintains the rural character and economy of the parish
Involving the Community
Making it happen
Creating a delightful place to live, work and learn
Supporting the rural economy
The Neighbourhood Plan has been in ‘hibernation’ for a couple of years because of uncertainty surrounding Newcastle and Stoke’s Joint Local Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan needs to be passed by the local authority and without some idea of their direction of travel with regard to housing, it was impossible for us to proceed with our own housing policy. The JLP is now moving again and a public consultation regarding the draft has allowed us to move forward. We secured funding from Locality and employed Urban Vision as our consultants. They recommended a simplification and restructuring of our draft plan and a reduction in the number of policies. We have made good progress and are now finalising the policies. We have also received funding for help from AECOM in developing design codes for housing.
Joint Local Plan
Following the restart of the Joint Local Plan, Keele and Silverdale Parish Councils attended a series of workshops on Newcastle’s plans, as the landowner of the Keele Golf Course, to develop the site for around 1000 new homes. Both Councils were unable to endorse the plan as it stood and had a variety of concerns including the sustainability of such a development and its impact on local services. We await the publication of the draft JLP which is scheduled for the Autumn.
Policy Development Areas
As part of the restart of the Neighbourhood Plan we have redrafted our policy areas which are now:
Local Employment and Community Facilities
Design and Heritage
Countryside and Environment
Transport and Infrastructure
There has been no change to the scope of the plan but this reorganisation helps simplify its presentation.
The draft policies in these areas are nearing completion and will be posted as soon as they are ready.
Options Consultation events:
Our newsletter of December told residents about the policy options we have been developing. We will be holding two drop-in events to find out which of the options you think should be developed into policies. There will also be information on Newcastle/ Stoke’s Joint Local Plan draft prefered options consultation.
Wednesday 24th January 3 to 7 pm at Keele Village Hall
Tuesday 30th November 7 pm at Keele University Students’ Union
Please come along and let us know your thoughts.
At the end of the 2016/17 academic year, a survey of Keele students was conducted in order to feed into the broader neighbourhood plan process. Due to the transient nature of the student population, it was decided that a quantitative rather than qualitative approach would be the best method of establishing what students thought. As you might expect the ages of those who completed the survey were mainly 18-24 with some 25-34.
The first question asked ‘What THREE things do you like most about living in Keele Parish?’
Three most commonly used words were
- A sense of community
When asked ‘What THREE things do you like least about living in Keele Parish?’
Three most common issues were
- Lack of shops
- Poor parking
Most students had no major concerns about the Keele Parish however issues of parking and the quality of public transport were a significant minority of the answers.
When asked ‘What opportunities do you see for Keele Parish the future? What sort of developments would you like to see?’ The major suggestions were:
- Maintaining heritage and green feeling
The single biggest suggestion around how to improve quality of life in Keele was improved public transport. Students consider it to be very important but not very good at all.
Housing Needs Survey:
The final version of our Housing Needs Assessment by AECOM are now available and will provide important evidence to support the development of housing policy. They have been shared with the Borough Planning Department and it is hoped to hold discussions with them in the near future. A copy of the report can be found here (MS Word format):
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me regarding the attached results. I would note that our question on housing assumed that additional houses would be built in the parish and could be seen as a leading. This was discussed in the design phase of the questionnaire and it was decided to include a question on what sort of housing residents would like to see developed as the Neighbourhood Plan exists to guide development and cannot prevent it. Nevertheless some respondents did note they wanted no further houses or only limited development as we anticipated. To remind us all, the lower ceiling for development lies outside our control and sits with the Borough and its developing Joint Local Plan. We can influence what is built and where.
Consultation Event 24th January
The Neighbourhood Plan options event on the 24th was well attended, we will be posting a summary of the comments in the next week. You can see the posters here.
There was a great deal of interest in the Joint Local Plan Preferred Options draft suggestions. The consultation on this is from the 1st February to 1st March. We urge all residents to respond to the document. Once the consultation is live we will link directly to it here but for the moment, here is the link to the JLP page on Newcastle’s website.