Latest News ... Site Expansion
Statement on the Withdrawal of our Planning Application
The Trustees have now requested Stafford Borough Council planning department to withdraw the current planning application (20/32512/FUL for the recently purchased land, north of Derrington Millennium Green.
The plans we had submitted were for:
Change of use from agricultural to Nature Reserve.
Create wetland areas to accommodate increased flood water to help elevate flooding downstream, and create wetland wildlife habitat.
Provide a hard-standing path to benefit wheelchair users.
Unfortunately there have been a number of objections to our plans, with the majority focused on the provision of additional car parking for visitors to alleviate parking in Church Lane, which did increased during the Covid lock-down, but has since reduced.
To help alleviate parking pressures our volunteers worked hard to create additional spaces down the lane, and on the Millennium Green car park, but at present we are unable to do any more. People parking cars in Church Lane to use the Church, the Children Play Area and Sports Field, Duddas Wood, the Greenway Walking & Cycle Route as well as Local Footpaths is beyond our control.
Any car parking issues in Derrington will have to be resolved through our Parish, Borough and County Councils, and not just by the Millennium Green.
However the good news is, we have secured the protection of valuable flood meadows, and can still continue the important work of habitat creation for local wildlife and tree planting, whilst providing much needed access to green open space via permitted paths. The area will be managed in line with the Government’s Environmental Land Management Scheme, which is a 25 year initiative to promote sustainable ecosystem recovery.
The sad news is that at present we won’t be able to provide a hard-standing path for wheelchairs access, and there may be a delay in digging out the scrapes.
The Trustees would like to thank all of the supporters of this project.
Posted 8th March 2021
Statement on the creation of Pryce Meadows Nature Reserve and Derrington Village Parking
These are the reasons we are applying for planning permission to create a new nature reserve:
Provide a dedicated nature reserve to encourage endangered species to thrive and to support our natural environment.
Provide increased capacity for flood water (after minor ground works undertaken) to help reduce flooding downstream including Stafford town.
Provide a wetland meadow, an important habitat massively lost due to intensive agriculture in the UK since WWII, to once again encourage endangered species to survive.
Enable the planting of additional trees and shrubs
Give additional space for the visitors of Derrington Millennium Green (the majority of our visitors are local and arrive by foot or bicycle).
Provide further amenities for disabled persons.
There have been some concerns from some of the residents of Church Lane and Meadow lane regarding parking. People park their cars on Church Lane to use the following amenities:
The Children's play area
The Sports field
The Greenway Walking and Cycle Route.
Derrington Millennium Green
Local Footpaths (e.g. to the Castle)
Of the above Derrington Millennium Green (with the exception of two spaces at the Church) is the only one that has a dedicated car park (10 spaces).
It is not the responsibility of the Derrington Millennium Green Trust to provide parking for all of the above village amenities.
Any issues must be referred and dealt with at a village level with both Parish and County council input.
The Millennium Green has submitted a planning application for the expansion fields (see picture of disabled access gate). It’s taken longer than expected as there have been some issues (for a whole manner of reasons – see below) therefore, If you’d like to support the application please go to Stafford borough council planning- planning public access and type in 32512 and submit your comments (this needs to be done within 10 days)
One concern locally has been with parking, especially during the Covid-19 period, outside of some residents’ houses in Church and Meadow Lane. The Millennium Green trustees are very keen to resolve the peak hours parking issue to the benefit for all locals and users of the Millennium Green, however, it must be a workable solution.
The parking in Church Lane serves the Church, the Children’s play area, the playing field, Duddas Wood, Greenway walk as well as the Millennium Green and therefore this needs to be a joint solution.
The trustees have already improved the access road and now have managed to provide parking for up to 10 cars away from Church Lane (with potentially another 3 to come - see picture of new hard-standing). There has been a request to increase this number
There have been several suggestions from the requester as follows:
1. On the Millennium Green – This is not an option as under our own governing document created in 1998 to enable public money to be granted, we are only allowed a certain amount of hard-standing, which we’ve used up for the all year disabled access paths, exceed this amount and we’d be liable to return all our grants. Ironically the then Countryside Agency used this clause to stop people receiving public money and then creating car parks etc.
2. Convert a small area at the bottom of the playing field - at the moment the parish council object to this.
3. Have a remote car park, on the other side of the Greenway walk opposite to the old Red Lion Car Park (in the fruit field). – The Trustees do not believe that people will park ½ mile away to come and use the Church, children’s play area, Duddas wood or playing field. Thereby the parking issue will remain.
Any constructive comments on ways to resolve the issue would be welcomed via our e-mail address Derringtonmgt@btinternet.com
While we try to increase parking spots could we ask that all visitors to the Church and Meadow Lane park responsibly and do not block any driveways. If you can leave your vehicle at home, even better.
It's been a winter wonderland. Please see some photo's from the recent cold spell.
Unfortunately the opening of the expansion fields is taking a lot longer than we thought, there are several reasons:
1. Covid-19 has seen many people Furloughed which has meant we have been unable to proceed.
2. The power poles in the 2 fields need to be replaced - again Western Distribution Employees have been furloughed.
3. The council, after asking for a full Site Survey and Architect's submission, have decided that the pond 'Scrapes' will now be deemed as 'Engineering Works' so, it's a change of planning permission again and an additional £1500.
On the positive side nature has loved being left alone, especially the 2 beehives we now have on site.
From this in February to
this in May
The latest update on the fields is that we are have to apply for planning permission to change from agricultural to recreational use. This has required a complete site survey (levels) followed by engaging with an architect to be able to gain planning permission, which has taken some time.
Until we have this unfortunately we aren't covered for public access by our insurers.
We are also waiting for the ground to dry out so that Western Power Distribution can replace the power poles (electricity). We can't secure the site with perimeter fencing until this happens.
The trustees have great pleasure in announcing that both Council fields have now been purchased.
Millennium Green News sheet June 2019
The Trustees of the Millennium Green are delighted to announce the purchase of the 2nd expansion field from Staffs County Council. This takes our total expansion to 4.7 acres.
We are now pursuing a grant to landscape and fence part of the new site. There will be a planning event on Saturday 6th July from 12-2pm in the Millennium Green shed to give people a chance to make suggestions for the expansion fields.
Please read the attached News-sheet for more details.
The Trustees of the Millennium Green were delighted to invite a large group of villagers and supporters for a guided tour of the new expansion field on Sunday the 10th March. Fortunately the rain held off and although breezy, the sun came out and gave everyone an excellent opportunity to look around our new acquisition.
At this stage the ideas for the new field are still in the formative stage so hopefully, now people have seen this field, they may be ready with some suggestions when the formal planning event takes place in the near future.
Derrington Millennium Green Expansion - Success!
Millennium Green News sheet 10 February 2019
We are delighted to inform you that the purchase of the proposed Millennium Green expansion field from A.j. Busby and Son has now been completed. The field at last is ours!
In addition we are also delighted to announce that we are in the process of purchasing an additional field adjacent to the new field and Millennium Green (please see the News sheet pdf)
We are actively pursuing and likely to receive, a sizable grant to develop and maintain (e.g landscape, fences, plant trees) these new the fields.
The new field maybe viewed from the Green but will not have access for a while as we make arrangements for insurance, safety inspections and fauna study
Map of Future Expansion
Proposed Site Expansion - Update
The purchase of the proposed expansion land is progressing but, is quite slow due to some complex overage provisions placed on the new owners by the old owners. As a consequence of the overage, the trust would be required to sign a covenant which basically says that if the site were ever to be developed, then a proportion of the development revenue would go to the original owner. As we are an environmental charity and also the land is a floodplain, we will never develop the land and therefore we don't see the need for the covenant. We will get there hopefully quite soon!
DMGT converted to a CIO, expansion land purchase imminent
We are pleased to announce that finally we have converted to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This now allows the Trust (we retain the same name) to purchase the proposed expansion land.
Sorry, its taken so long, we've had to create a new constitution and document and then we've been at the mercy of the solicitor (who's had 2 big legal cases) and the Charities Commission.
This is a fantastic milestone.
We will now cash the cheques people have given us and proceed at pace with the purchase.
Our new charity is listed on the charitie's commission website under the number 1179302.
Further posts will follow.
We, the trustees of Derrington Millennium Green, are delighted to inform everyone that we have made a provisional agreement with the Landowner (A.J. Busby) to purchase the field adjacent to Derrington Millennium Green.
We apologise for the lack of news recently (we haven't been idle!). As we did not achieve the initial target for the appeal, we have been negotiating and trying to raise further funds. We are now, however, delighted to confirm that our pledge total, including the valuable gift aid, means that we will have enough funds to go ahead with the land purchase. This has been made possible partly through the generosity of Helen & John Busby who have reduced the price of the land so we can now go ahead with the first phase of the project and make the purchase.
As you can imagine this is great news for the Derrington Millennium Green and the village.