Stone’s Neighbourhood Plan formally adopted

Stone’s Neighbourhood Plan has become a legal document more than five years after the project began – and it has already helped residents win their battle against unwanted development of a green space just weeks after winning the public vote.

Stone High Street
Stone High Street

The plan, which has been produced by the community in conjunction with Stone Town Council, sets out how residents wish to see the area develop in the coming years, as well as identifying open spaces they wish to protect.

A public referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan was due to be held in May 2020, but delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll finally went ahead this year – and 3,811 voters backed it, with just 636 ballots cast against the plan, meaning it achieved well over the 50% of supporting votes needed to pass the final hurdle.

A full meeting of Stafford Borough Council, the area’s planning authority, unanimously approved the formal adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Stone councillor Jill Hood told fellow members: “We worked as a group for over five years on this and it was a real tough slog – especially when Covid came.

“The people of Stone spoke out very well in May and we were delighted.

“We have been able to implement part of the Neighbourhood Plan with an application that came forward in a tiny cul de sac with a large enough green space to build two bungalows on. It’s certainly worth putting together a Neighbourhood Plan.”

Last month a bid for planning permission in principle on land at Heath Gardens was rejected by Stafford Borough Council planning officers because the site was classed as local green infrastructure in the Neighbourhood Plan.

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