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Golf Course Development: Keele Growth Corridor

The plans of Newcastle Borough Council to build houses on the Golf Course have significant implications for our Neighbourhood Plan with respect to the housing, transport and environment sections in particular.

The Sentinel and Signal Radio have both published articles about the Borough Councils plans for the Golf Course as part of the ‘Keele Growth Corridor’ formerly known as the ‘Western Urban Extension’.  The Plans are proposing 1000 houses on the Golf Course and with 200 more  on land off Park Road, Silverdale together with a expansion of the University with a second development site next to the current site plus other developments within the Campus.  Keele Parish Council have worked with Newcastle in the run up to the release of these plans but do not support the Masterplan in its current form.  We broadly support the proposed development at the University but cannot support the plans to build this number of houses.  No work has been done within the plan on developing the necessary transport infra-structure, supporting existing businesses nor on the environmental impact.  The Parish Council continue to work with the Borough and would hope that the scheme will be amended.  If not, the Parish Council will vigorously oppose it should it go forward to inspection as part of a Local Plan.

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/major-plans-revealed-1200-homes-2006551

 

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Agenda: Keele Neighbourhood Plan Group 2nd November 2017 19:00 Keele Management Centre

Agenda: Keele Neighbourhood Plan Group 2nd November 2017 19:00 Keele Management Centre

  1. Report of meeting with Newcastle Borough Council Planning Department
  2. Policy Options Documents: Housing, Finance, Environment, Transport, Business
  3. News Letter
  4. Policy Consultation event
  5. Next steps

Plan group meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend.

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Policy progress and Student Questionnaire

Policy Development Areas

We now have our first draft of our policy options documents which set out our aims and objectives and possible policy areas.  The Keele Neighbourhood Plan Group will meet to discuss these in the next few week.  We are also producing a newsletter setting out the policy options which will be followed by a community consultation event in early December. The first drafts are available to view by clicking the links below.

Please do let us have your thoughts and ideas on the progress so far!

Housing: based upon the Housing Needs Assessment, community consultation, the university’s developing master-plan and the developing Joint Local Plan.
Transport: parking and road safety remain major concerns. A close link with the developing university masterplan and a promised holistic review of parking issues in Keele by Staffordshire County Council will be key in developing this policy.
Facilities: facilities such as the pub, St Johns, shop and the village hall are significant assets. The policy will be concerned to ensure their sustainability as well as considering further facilities such as a village green.  The University also provides a wide range of facilities which will be considered in policy development
Business: Links with the university and the university’s master plan, the rural economy and supporting SME’s will all form an important part of this policy.
Environment: conserving the character, distinctiveness and heritage of the parish in a rapidly changing world.

We now have our first draft of our policy options documents which set out our aims and objectives and possible policy areas.  The Keele Neighbourhood Plan Group will meet to discuss these in the next few week.  We are also producing a newsletter setting out the policy options which will be followed by a community consultation event in early December. The first drafts are available to view by clicking the links above.

Please do let us have your thoughts and ideas on the progress so far!

Student Questionnaire

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

  • Green
  • Quiet
  • Nature
  • Scenery
  • 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
  • Transport

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:

  • Shops
  • Sustainability
  • 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.

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Summer update

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Questionnaire Feedback Event 14th June 7 p.m. Keele Village Hall

We have a Community Feedback Event for the Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire at 7 p.m. in Keele Village Hall on June 14th. There will be refreshments, a chance to ask informal questions and a presentation followed by a public discussion. Please do come along and let others who might be interested know about the event.

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Grant News and Plans for May and June

Having paid the remainder of our grant back to Locality at the end of the financial year, we have now been granted the money we need for the next phase of the plan (£4,482.00).  The student consultation will close on 9th June, a business breakfast meeting will be happening in early July and policy groups have been form to draft initial policies.  Meanwhile a community feedback session is in planning for June and will be preceded by a newsletter outlining the findings of the residents’ questionnaire.
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Volunteers needed for Village Hall Committee

Keele Village Hall is entirely run by volunteers.  In the last 4 years use of the Hall has increased and Community Social events have been organised in response to popular request.  The Hall also fulfils a unique function as a venue for parties, funeral wakes etc, as a meeting place for yoga, Pilates and singing classes and for village societies and meetings. 

Some of the current committee will be leaving Keele over the next couple of years.  We therefore urgently need new members if the Hall is to remain open. No need for any particular skills other than a bit of common sense and a willingness to muck in occasionally. 

Please come to the AGM at the Village Hall on Tuesday 2nd May at 7.30 pm or contact Bernard Besly (07947 186753), Graham Bibby (07595 946812) or Ian Atherton (0775 692 6991).

Kitchener Poster

Posted in Village Hall

Meeting 11th April and results from residents’ questionnaire

The major item in our meeting of the 11th April was a presentation by Bernard Besly on his preliminary analysis of the results. I would like to personally thank Bernard for the huge amount of hard work and expertise which he put into this process. I would also like to thank Education Survey and Research for undertaking the difficult job of digitising 152 written responses. Some very clear patterns emerge from the data and we decided on the following five provisional policy headings for the next phase of the plan:

Housing: the development of this policy awaits the completion of the Houing Needs Survey which in turn is dependent on the LA comleting its Strategic Housing Market Assessemnt. We anticipate a completion in early July. att
Transport: parking and road safety remain major concerns. A close link with the developing university masterplan and a promised holistic review of parking issues in Keele by Staffordshire County Council will be key in developing this policy.
Local Facilities: village facilities such as the pub, St Johns, shop and the village hall are significant assets. The policy will be concerned to ensure their sustainability as well as considering futher facilities such as a village green.
Business: Links with the university and the university’s master plan, the rural economy and supporting SME’s will all form an important part of this policy.
Environment: conserving the character, distinctiveness and heritage of the parish in a rapidly changing world.

I have attached Bernard’s presentation. Our next meeting will be at 19:00 on Tuesday 9th May, the venue is to be finalised but will not be the village hall.

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.

Analysis of results from residents questionnaire

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Questionnaires transcribed and analysis under way.

Questionnaire

Returns are now closed.  The overall response rate for areas outside of Campus was 72%.  Returns for campus were lower but strong in areas known to have high levels of long term occupancy.  Overall return rates were 44%.  I short, well done everyone who help either in acting as a Neighbourhood Rep or by filling in the questionnaire.

We are very grateful  to Helen and Melanie of the Education Survey & Research Service for transcribing the data from over 150 questionnaires and for Tim Denning and Mike Johnson for offering advice on analysis.  We are taking a number of routes to this but an initial approach is to generate word clouds to show themes and patterns for subsequent analysis.  As an opener, the cloud below shows answers to the question “What three things do you most like about living in Keele.  Meanwhile the student questionnaire is underway and should close at the end of March.

Q1 like

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Update 8th March: Questionnaire returns looking good, delay in SHMA

Our questionnaires are now just about all in but we are still open for late returns. Percentage returns are very healthy. The Student Questionnaire is now ready for distribution and will be mailed to all resident students in the next few days. Less good news is that Newcastle’s new Strategic Housing Market Assessment has been further delayed and will not now be available until the end of June. This means that our Housing Needs assessment will not be available until then as it needs the projections from the new SHMA. We knew it was going to be a long journey and we have plenty to be getting on with!

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