Agenda item

SMD/2019/0646 - Moneystone Quarry (Reserved Matters)


Reserved matters application proposing details for the appearance, scale, layout and landscaping for phase 1 of the leisure development comprising 190 lodges; erection of a new central hub building (providing farm shop, gym, swimming pool, spa, restaurant, cafe, games room, visitor centre, hub management and plant areas) reuse and external alterations to the existing office building to provide housekeeping and maintenance accommodation (including meeting rooms, offices, storage, staff areas and workshop); children's play areas; multi use games area; quarry park; car parking; refuse and lighting arrangements; and managed footpaths, cycleways and bridleways set in attractive hard and soft landscaping.  


(Report recommended approval subject to conditions)


Received representation from the undermentioned speakers:


Against the application:

Councillor Mike Worthington – County Councillor

Mr David Walters – On behalf of the Churnet Valley Conservation Society

Councillor Linda Malyon – Ward Councillor (on behalf of Councillor Fallows)

Cllr Tony Loynes – On behalf of Oakamoor Parish Council

Cllr James Aberley – Ward Councillor

Cllr John Steele – On behalf of Kingsley Parish Council


For the application:

Jon Suckley – Asteer Planning

Adam Gombocz – Lithos

Liz McFadyean – Asteer Planning


Members discussed the style, appearance, energy supply and occupation of the lodges/caravans. Some members expressed concern around the safety and stability of the lodges overhanging the water.


During the debate, there was also discussion around the road access to the site, the Travel Plan, biodiversity net gain, the Habitat Management Plan, monitoring, foul and surface water and the Council’s Tourism Strategy.


Officers advised that a number of conditions was standard for a major planning application, should the application be approved, these would be monitored and matters dealt with should they arise.




1.     That the Late Letters report be NOTED;


2.     That contrary to officers’ recommendation, the application be REFUSED for the following reasons:


This site lies within the Chunet Valley which is an area of significant landscape, wildlife and heritage value. Policy SS11 sets out the strategy for the Churnet Valley. It says that all development should be of a scale and nature and of a high standard of design which conserves and enhances the heritage, landscape and biodiversity of the area. The consideration of landscape character it says will be paramount in all proposals in order to protect and conserve locally distinctive qualities and sense of place and to maximise opportunities for restoring, strengthening and enhancing distinctive landscape features 


It is considered that the proposed lodges, which are little more than caravans with cladding, fail to deliver  the required high standard of design. Owing to the proposed materials and lack of any green roofs, lack of creativity and detailing the lodges could not be said to be of an appropriate high quality nor do they add value to the local area. They have not been designed to respect this sensitive site or its surroundings, noting that it is in part adjacent to the Whiston Eaves SSSI


For these reasons the proposal fails to comply with Polices SS1, SS11, DC1 and E4 of the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework including but not limited to Chapters 12 which says that good design is a key aspect of sustainable development and Chapter 15 which says that planning decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by amongst other matters recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and minimising impacts on biodiversity.


3.     That in the event of any changes being needed to the wording of the Committee’s decision (such as to delete, vary or add conditions / informatives / planning obligations or reasons for approval / refusal) prior to the decision being issued, the Head of Development Services be delegated authority to do so in consultation with the Chair of the Committee, provided that the changes do not exceed the substantive nature of the Committee’s decision.


(Proposed by Councillor Roberts and seconded by Councillor Plant)

Supporting documents: