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Apley Castle Park -
It's a special case


Download our latest document outlining the very special nature, history and biodiversity of this site...

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NEWS ARCHIVE

LATEST ON STEERING GROUP NEGOTIATIONS - February 2008
At the last meeting, on 1st February, there was agreement to look at the proposed layout drawings in the light of the concerns residents have raised. EP are very willing to enter into further discussions on density and buildable a

If, as you have suggested, the meeting does not take place until September, can you give us an indication of when the information will go out to Councillors and to us? You have also suggested that there are occasions when a special meeting can be convened. Can you explain who will make that decision and the reasons why it may be considered necessary?

We also need guidance on how we can make representations to the board, should we choose to. We know how it works with the Plans Board; however, as the team who represented the applicants and produced the closing statement at the hearing, we should be able to speak to the board, and not just through our Councillor.

Would you explain, therefore, how the board will work and when we will be able to speak to Councillors ourselves?

Are we able to make written representation to the committee and to the Councillors individually? Are observers welcome at the meeting?

It is rea and will be in touch to arrange a meeting.

The ‘special case’ issue is still on the table; the LPA are still reluctant to conduct the full survey which we believe is required by law. We are persisting with this issue.

A business plan for the arboretum has been produced and will be discussed at the next meeting which will be some time in April.
(Full minutes of the last meeting are available - click on ‘Find out more’). 

 

APLEY-PRESERVATION-ASSOCIATION-NEWS-Dec 2007

NEW WEB SITE - ADDRESS – www.apley-castle-park.org The new web site now reflects the emphasis on the special nature of the whole area which includes the two fields, the woods, the water meadow and Apley Pool. AN ARBORETUM IN THE MAKING.

Discussions at the steering group meetings are now focussing on the arboretum concept which you the residents voted to pursue. We have posted all the reports and surveys recently presented to the steering group in support of our claim that we should ‘keep Apley special’.

In the meantime EP are working on designs – their latest is on the site and shows a total of 136 dwellings across the two fields – down from the original 200. The final design will, of course, depend very much on the outcome of the steering group’s deliberations.

YOUR INVOLVEMENT Please check the site regularly to keep up with current events – there is an interactive section, so we would like to hear from you. Please send your e-mail address to the site - we are creating a new data base using e-mail to get information to you faster.
If you cannot access the web site let us know and we’ll get print outs to you, please let us know by phone on 248383.

VILLAGE GREEN The application is lodged, with one objection, from EP. There is likely to be a hearing in the New Year. We are receiving advice on how to present our case from the Open Spaces Society. We can still accept evidence statements from anyone in the area who has used the field (B3) recreationally, within the last 20 years. Please get in touch on 01952 246528. We are particularly interested in contacting more people who were using it pre, or around 1985 – if you know of anyone please alert them and let us know.

PUBLICITY New posters can be downloaded from the web site. Please display them in your windows. We can provide A3 size, laminated, if you require them – at a small cost.


MEMBERSHIP Many more residents from the other side of the Silken Way have now joined the Association, as have those in Apley Castle. Our current total is now 366 – nearly one hundred more than in the first year. The group known as the ‘Friends of Apley Wood’ have asked to become part of our Association and will use the web site to publicise the community working groups which maintain and care for the woods. All members are welcome to join these groups. PUBLIC MEETING & AGM The AGM will take place towards the end of March.

Finally a Very Happy Christmas to everyone. Thank you all for your continued support. We have made great strides this year and have great hopes of the steering group. We are grateful to the Leader of the Council, Andrew Eade, for setting this up and continuing to show such interest.

John Davis, Chairman and the APA c’ttee.

 



 

NEWS UPDATE 21/08/07
POINTS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

SUBSCRIPTIONS – thank you very much to those who have taken the trouble to deliver your £5’s – and thanks for the extra donations too.
We are now door knocking and leaving an envelope if you are not in.
It would be a great help to your footsore committee if you could pop it in to No. 17 Peregrine Way. Thanks again.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITY – how about a novelty cricket match? Open to everyone, children too, just to emphasise our claim for a village green.
We are thinking about an afternoon towards the end of September.
Would you like to help to organise it? Will you take part? Do get in touch, either by phone, 248383, or via this site.
It will not only be fun, we hope, but will also bring us publicity, as the press are very interested in this application.


VILLAGE GREEN – there is still time for you to support this application – closing date is September, 14th ,2007.
You can have input in two ways _
a) just by writing a letter saying that you support the application and have seen various activities taking place in the field over the years.
Send the letter to Emma Harvey, Telford and Wrekin Legal Services, P.O Box 215, Telford, TF3 4LF
OR b) by completing an evidence questionnaire yourself. This would show that you have personally used the field for recreation. The longer the better, but it does not matter if it is only a few years. To do this please ring Angela on 246528. It is an easy procedure and will not take long.
Please see below for the minutes of our latest committee meeting.
As always, if you have any comments or queries, please do get in touch.
With thanks for your continued support,


Your APA committee.
APLEY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION


Update, 9th August, 2007
AUGUST 6th MEETING.

Cttee met with EP, planners, and Andrew Eade on 6th. A lively meeting culminated in agreement to form a steering group, including planners, developers and APA, which will determine the parameters against which we could establish that the site is one of special significance. This, in turn, we hope, will enable the LPA to look at issues such as density and layout in a more flexible way and facilitate movement towards our Arboretum and Village Green concept.
VILLAGE GREEN
Many of you will have seen the notices posted at the field entrances. You can help, if you wish, by writing to Emma Harvey, Solicitor, Telford and Wrekin Council Legal Services, Civic Offices, P.O. Box 215, TF3 4LF.


Your letter of support should say that you have seen numerous people, over the years , continuously using the field for recreation. Please stipulate the number of years and the activities you have witnessed. These can include dog walking, frisbie games, kite flying, football, etc. etc.
In addition, anyone, or anyone you know, who has used the field, and continues to do so, should complete an ‘evidence questionnaire’ - with which we will help, of course. Please contact Angela on 246528.


We have already sent in 27 such questionnaires and more would be beneficial to ourcase.
We would also like to emphasise our claim on the field by holding some sort of community event there. Your ideas are most welcome! (246528)

MEMBERSHIP AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
All those who joined last year must renew and that means a new subscription. We have had some delivered – thank you for that – but some of you have not yet done this. Please do so; we know that you continue to be grateful for the work the ctte does - we are getting there, folks!
PLEASE make the effort to drop your money in to No.17.Peregrine and save us having to go door to door. This is all we are asking you to do – your bit!
You will understand that the number of members registered (275 last year) is what has given us the clout to get as far as we have. We need at least that many again, or even more. This community initiative has been successful so far and we must not lose the impetus.
Many thanks, APA cttee.

UPDATE ON DEVELOPMENTS –AUGUST, 2007
Since the last public meeting the committee have been fortunate in securing two meetings with the new Leader of the Council, Andrew Eade.
We are most grateful to him for the sympathetic hearing that he gave us, and for paving the way for a full, round table meeting, at the highest level, between ourselves, the LPA, English Partnerships, and Andrew himself.


This will take place on 6th August, 2007, when we will have further opportunity to put forward residents’ views, hopes and aspirations for the proposed development.
The cttee have also met with EP personnel, and a set of draft drawings for the design has been offered to us. Disappointingly these drawings did not meet our criteria, but discussions are on-going – the outcome of the 6th August meeting will obviously affect the design draft. The committee has been working to incorporate our Arboretum idea, together with the village green concept.
As yet these initial drawings are not available in an electronic form but copies can be seen at No.17 Peregrine Way, if any of you would like to have a look.
In the meantime we are in touch with all key players who are providing technical, practical and legal advice, all of which will support us and lead, we hope, to a successful outcome on 6th Aug.

VILLAGE GREEN APPLICATION
Our thanks to those of you who took the trouble to submit your statements for this application for field B3. This was registered on 14th June, 2007, with the Council’s Legal Department, where it will follow the appropriate process, which may take some time, we understand. EP, obviously, will challenge it, but this is to be expected.
Much of the work on this project was undertaken by Angela Twyford, to whom the Association should be most grateful.

ASSOCIATION BUSINESS
To ensure our credibility as an official association, representing local residents we now need to update membership for a second year. NEW MEMBERS WELCOME!
As you will remember we collected a £5 membership fee from each household. The money helped to finance cttee expenses in terms of photocopying, postage, computer items, etc.
Finances are now very low (see enclosed financial statement) and we need to ask you for your second membership fee.


If you are able it would help us tremendously if you could drop your subscription into No.17 Peregrine (please show your name, address and number of adults over 18 in the household). Rememberthan Harris, gave a presentation of ideas received so far. Other ideas were put forward and these will be passed to the developer very shortly.

Update 7th May 2007 -Background to an Important Meeting
Dear colleagues,

You may have seen details in the press or read the press release on this site about our meeting with the senior members of the council on the proposed development at Apley Castle. We thought that you might like to read the story behind that meeting.
Firstly our session with Steve Wellings, CEO, Keith Austin, then Leader, Michael Barker and Julian Pye LPA, ran to an hour and a half. Steve Wellings was a solid and professional chief executive throughout, non political, though obviously influenced by the demands of his political masters. He was quite happy for us to talk openly oth a government ruling if they did not follow laid down guidelines.
Big brother is with us!


We presented some large scale photographs and layo it is only £5 per household.


We would appreciate you getting it to us, but will do the house to house collection as well, as soon as possible, weather and energy permitting!
Apologies to those of you who do check the website regularly – we have had some problems in getting recent updates on. We are dealing with it and should be back on line very soon. You can still contact us via the website e-mail address.
Lastly, with the renewal of membership we should be looking at the make up of the committee. New members are most welcome. Please make contact – 248383.
APA/ctee/August. 07


There was an excellent turn out for the latest public meeting, held by APA on Monday, 21st May.
Residents were asked to give their views on a design for the proposed development, which would be acceptable to all, and which would enhance this special and valuable area of open space. The Chairman of the Association, John Davis, and member, Jonauts which proved very useful and allowed us to clearly raise the issue of why they came up with 180/200 dwellings in the first place. They must have 'forgotten' the lime trees! We added that achieving the physical density they were all talking about, given the physical constraints of contours and other issues, would be difficult.
We assured them of our dialogue with EP and they seemed pleased, but of course recognised that this will save the LPA some work. Incidentally they acknowledged our diligence on research and our persistence as a team. Well done to all, that's the reason we are at the table.
It was clear that Steve Wellings was not overly familiar with the details of the area and had not seen the web site, but Keith Austin had been involved in defending the water meadow in the past, so was well aware of the situation. We floated the arboretum concept and got assurance from Keith Austin of his direct contact with the EP chief executive on the need for a fresh look and a compromise approach on these sites. In other words not a rushed job, which was our underlying objective. Keith Austin did not come across as the hard man he's painted to be and appeared concerned at the need to create the right quality in the area.
They agreed to examine our ideas and respond to our suggestions, a positive outcome.
What next you ask?


We are continuing our approach with the open spaces society and the authorities, to achieve village green status, as this might solve the problem for us. On the 'design' front we are working on expanding what an Arboretum could mean and what we would like the site to look like, that much they had conceded.
We might end up with a mixed plan that does not leave much room for social housing but saves face for everyone. The goal could be a combination of village green, arboretum and high standard housing, not giving EP as much money as they want but leaving Telford with a global standard Arboretum.


On the Arboretum idea it is accepted that access could come through various routes and not just Peregrine Way as that could require additional council expense and increased traffic flow. So now we need to be imaginative and create some virtual images to indicate what might be possible. As you would expect we are formulating suggestions of what could be created and then consulting on what that might cost.


Angela Twyford will continue the fantastic progress with the village green concept and Helen Hampton will maintain diligent contact with the LPA, building on her excellent relationship with Michael Barker. Jonathan Harris is looking at the arboretum designs and John Snell is gauging the costs.
Thanks again for the diligence from the team. It raised a wry smile from Steve Wellings and Michael Barker when we said that we are not going away and will continue to be persistent!!
OK, good bye for now, thank you for your continued support and we’ll keep working hard to create an outstanding environment around Apley Castle.
Kindest regards John Davis, Chairman APA
May 2007

APLEY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
WE NEED YOUR HELP - UPDATE FOR MEMBERS - ARBORETUM

Despite the disappointment of losing at the December Plans Board meeting, the committee has continued to work towards ensuring that the development is one of quality and suitable for the location. On Wednesday of last week two representatives of English Partnerships met with the committee, at No 17 Peregrine Way. Over lunch they listened to our views and re-confirmed that residents would be allowed input into the design. There is no design at this stage and they await our input before the initial plan is drawn up. We will then be consulted again, and at every stage.
On Thursday of last week your Chairman and Secretary met with Steve Wellings, Chief Executive, Keith Austin, Leader of the Council and Michael Barker, Head of Environment and Planning. We were able to persuade them of how concerned we all are that this unique and very special area is one of the last attractive open spaces left in Telford and as such, any development should be very carefully designed and planned.


We put forward an idea which would take into account and value the whole of the Apley Castle area, including the pool, woods, meadow and fields. We put to them that to treat and develop the whole area as an ‘arboretum’ could be a concept which would not only enhance this area, but also be a landmark development of which EP and Telford Borough could be proud. They took this idea on board and Keith Austin offered to write to EP’s Chief Executive suggesting that the site be considered in this new light. We have no guarantees of course, but we will take heart from the responses of both agencies and continue to press for what we think will be acceptable to us all.
However, we need to consult and we are now asking fo Jonathan Harris 0n jonathan@jharris.free.online.co.uk or on 247734
Or Helen Hampton on helenchampton@aol.com or on 248383


PRESS RELEASE – 1STMay 2007
The campaign to modify an application to build up to 200 houses and flats off Peregrine Way, Apley, continues.
Outline planning permission was granted for this development at a Plans Board meeting in December, 2006, albeit only by a narrow margin of 6 votes to 4.
The residents of the area continue to work hard to ensure that the development is of a style and character which preserves this last piece of historic open space in the Leegomery area.
To this end two important meetings were held last week.
The first was with the land owners, English Partnerships. Two of their representatives met with the Association committee on April 25th, at one of the homes which face the proposed development site.
The meeting was positive and the views of the residents were able to ber your innovative ideas which may contribute to the ‘Arboretum’ concept. Make contact with us. Complete a drawing, sketch or description and post at No. 17 Peregrine Way.


Time is quite short as we have been asked to get back to EP. Please do get in touch asap if you have anything to offer. We are already working on a design and will then present it, together with any options you bring forward to all residents at a public meeting at the first opportunity. This will be Monday 21ST May at 7.15P.M. Leegomery Community Centre. Please note the date in your diary.
We have issued a press release and the web site is updated. Can we suggest that you do check the site as often as you can as that is the best way to keep you informed. Rest assured we have not gone away and will continue to work on your behalf, but we do welcome your input now at this important stage.


Contact either John Davis on john@scottdavismtg.fsbusiness.co.uk or on 244006
Or fully explained. EP listened and promised to take on board what was said. They have not yet come up with an initial plan with which they are satisfied, but have left maps with residents for them to begin to shape ideas on the concept of the design they would like to see.
The group will meet again in two or three weeks to discuss the design further, and to set up a more formal run of meetings to put in greater detail.
A second meeting was held at Telford and Wrekin Civic Centre on April 26th.
Participants were Steve Wellings, Chief Exec., Keith Austin, Leader of the Council, Michael Barker, Head of Environment and Planning, and two members of the Apley Preservation Association Committee.


Again the meeting was fruitful in that views were expressed openly. The Association is very anxious that the development does not slavishly follow the government idea of ‘one size fits all’ and is adamant that this area should be treated, and preserved, as one of the few attractive open spaces left to Telford.


As such the Association has put forward ideas which will consider the value of the whole of the Apley Castle area, taking into account the existing woodland, pools, meadows and fields to produce a development which will be an asset to the town and remain attractive to visitors and residents alike.
All present agreed that this is a proposal which should and could be considered. Councillor Austin offered to write to the Chief Executive of English Partnerships to suggest that another look is taken at what is a very special and unique location.
Chairman of the Association, John Davis, commented ‘We are happy with the responses from both meetings. They were far more positive than in earlier discussions, and it seems that both EP and the Borough officers and Councillors have now realised that the views of over 275 residents, the Parish Council, and the local MP cannot be ignored.
We are pleased to be able to report to all our members that the campaign is still very much up and running and moving in the direction we want it to. We are particularly pleased at the LPA’s reassurance, from Mr Barker himself, that they do have the best interests of the residents at heart, and will ensure that there is a full and meaningful consultation before any further permission is given.’

NEWS UPDATE 27th March 2007
"Dear Members of APA and Residents of Apley Castle,
You may have already guessed that we have had a meeting with Mark Pritchard our MP after the note on local 'planning styles' in the local press. We believe that local democracy regarding the planning application for the Peregrine Way open spaces and others is somewhat failing local residents and needs a review by the LPA and council executives. After all when 275 residents, the local councillor, the Parish Council and our MP are all against a planning application and it still goes through then something, as they say is wrong. As we outlined before we will use every means at our disposal to ensure that our environment is treated in the appropriate fashion to meet all our wishes. There will be more information to follow in the next couple of days so as they say watch this space. Thanks for your continued support and we'll keep in touch, kindest regards form the APA Team, John Davis, Chairman, APA"


click here to download the questions we have asked concerning local planning proceedures - sent to T&W council leader Mr. Austin & Mr. Wellings
Neighbourhood Watch
Dear Neighbour(s),


The Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Co-ordinators for Telford & Wrekin are keen to extend their coverage in our district and we as The Apley Preservation Association (APA) have agreed to oversee its extension in the Apley Castle area.
It is not intended that APA will run the schemes but merely undertakes to seek out an Organiser for each street just to get things going.
There is no cost attached to joining, since all the literature is provided free of charge and for the time being the street signs will also be free (in the past these had to be paid for).
There is also one material benefit to membership in that most insurers will give up to 10% discount on household insurance premiums provided that the householder is a member of a recognised scheme.


If anyone would like to receive further information concerning NHW or is interested in becoming a local co-ordinator please contact us at info@apleyprotests.co.uk
As soon as we have appointed local co-ordinators for your street we shall be in touch with you.
If you would like to receive any further information regarding the associations accounts please contact our Treasurer Mr. John W. Snell FCA johnsnell1936@hotmail.com
click here to download APA accounts balance sheet @ Feb 2007

NEWS UPDATE 15th February 2007 Dear friends of Apley Castle
At this time of overly aggressive planning authorities and borough councillors who seem to miss the focal point of local needs I wanted to write to you to say thank you for your support so far for the APA. Some in authority believe we have achieved outstanding recognition and that is thanks to you and my predecessor Jonathan Harris for an outstanding job well done.


We have gained a place at the planning table, to try and ensure that ultimately what gets constructed on the ground around Apley woods will reflect the beauty and tranquillity of the place and serve to maintain the high standard achieved thus far. Your Apley Preservation Association will continue to negotiate hard, with the help and support of parish councillors and others to ensure we all get a good deal.


We may need your help in the future, as you gave it freely at the council planning meeting and we will only succeed as one team determined to ensure the survival of local democracy. We will try hard to keep you informed of all correspondence through the web site and hope that you will continue to support us as you have kindly done thus far.
Kindest regards and thanks, John Davis, Chairman, APA"
click here to download the latest letter to Mr Baker at English Partnerships
click here to download the latest letter to Mr Barker at our Local Planning Authority


NEWS UPDATE 30th January 2007

We are pleased to announce that Mr John Scott-Davis a consistently active member of APA and a Peregrine Way resident, has graciously agreed to take over my role as Chairman of the Apley Preservation Association - with immediate effect. An international management consultant with a breadth of expertise and dynamism which will enable our campaign to move up a gear into the next phase. As outgoing Chairman I would like to thank everyone for all your hard work, effort, commitment and support. The past few months have been an emotional roller coaster with a very steep learning curve.
I have every confidence in John and know that you will find him a worthy champion for our cause – please give him your full support in the weeks and months to come.
Rest assured that although my illness, my personal workload and commitments have led to me step down as Chairman, I will by no means be out of the campaign and will continue to be an active member of APA. – Jonathan Harris.

...We have now received a reply to our correspondence last Month from Mr Baker, EP & Mr Barker LPA following the outline approval of the application on the 13th December 2006.
We are now writing to the Government Office for the West Midlands, to ensure they have the fuller picture of what we beleive to be a fataly flawed proposal. We will keep you informed of any further developments.


Dear all,

We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of you who came and offered your support at the meeting last night. Thank you also to Karen Blundell who spoke passionately in support of our case and who’s continued efforts along with Mark Pritchard, numerous councillors, APA and residents are a constant reminder of the commitment and determination that we all share to succeed.
APA are obviously disappointed at the determination of the T&W plans board to approve the outline application for residential development off Peregrine Way.


Outline approval for further residential development on Apley B1 & B3 was approved by T&W plans board last night 13/12/06. A vote of 6 in favour and 4 against the proposal marks the beginning of the next phase of our campaign. Many councillors spoke out against the proposals and sought assurances from the planning officers and the plans board ‘chair’ that they would retain control over the many details causing concern once the application reaches the reserve matters stage. Although the application has been approved, it was by no means an easy win for EP. The plans board clearly understood our concerns and we must gain strength from this. There are 17 conditions to approval, which will ensure that many of our concerns are addressed during the ‘briefing’ stage to which APA are consultees’ and be assured we will do our utmost to achieve our goals.
Although we were initially ‘shell shocked’ at the result the fight is by no means over and we will continue to fight.


Mark Pritchard MP, who has also been against this overdevelopment from the beginning, made the following statement today:
“The decision will upset many local residents. The Borough Council leadership have clearly ignored the justified views of those residents who will be affected by the proposals. It will be important to try and ensure that the details of the application take olife – a ‘desk top’ survey with no substance
**Heritage – no allowance for beauty and historical significance of site,
or for previous design for whole area. etc., etc.
**Flooding & water run off
**Request that the entire plans board committee make a site visit.
**Demand that the outline plans be withdrawn.
**Please email APA and all councillors a copy of your letter of objection
(all contact details are on our information page)


WHAT DO WE NEED NOW?
• DETAILED TECHNICAL SUPPORT
• IN DEPTH SPECIALIST ADVICE
APA KEY MEMBERS’ HAVE FREELY GIVEN UP MANY LONG HOURS OF THEIR TIME TO WORK ON THIS CAMPAIGN.
BUT EXPERT, PROFESSIONAL ADVICE COMES AT A HIGH PRICE-BUT IS CRUCIAL FOR THE CAMPAIGN TO PROGRESS WE NEED FUNDS NOW!
PLEASE GIVE AT LEAST £10.
WE ARE ACHIEVING RESULTS-PLEASE SUPPORT APA BY HELPING US TO HELP YOU!
To help wNNING DECISION DELAYED
• HIGH PROFILE TV & MEDIA COVERAGE
WHAT WE ARE DOING
• NEGOTIATING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DWELLINGS
• NEGOTIATING TO SAVE OPEN SPACES
• FIGHTING FOR MORE CONSULTATION
• FIGHTING FOR MORE TIME
• PLANNING NEXT PUBLIC MEETING
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW!


WRITE YOUR NEW LETTER OF OBJECTION IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT REVISED APPLICATION- DO NOT BE FOOLED-THIS IS A VARIATION OF THE ORIGINAL PLAN-NOT A SOLUTION.
POINTS YOU COULD INCLUDE IN YOUR LETTER …


**Increased density 30-50 dwellings per hectare – unacceptable in this semi-rural area;
**Parking – inadequate provision,
**Infrastructure – no school places, medical facilities, etc.
**Transport – overload of estate roads and junctions
**Sustainability – area cannot support such numbers.
** Wildn board people’s concerns about design and build as well as the number of units proposed. It is important not to give in”.
The Labour leadership on the Council, and John Prescott MP, need to take the blame as it is their urbanisation plans that are driving the housing policy.
Rest assured, of my continued support.
Mark Pritchard MP
www.markpritchard.com


"I am totally incandescent with rage.
Each and everyone of the Labour Cllrs spoke and received ovations from objectors in their vocal rejection of the planning application. All spoke of the numerous yet unresolved problems the development would bring.


I was certain each would vote with the consensus of the meeting as elected Labour Party members on the Planning Committee. All speakers gave the impression that the application should be refused or at least deferred until more and better information was forthcoming.
Here you see Labour Party, Local Politics at work. No matter what personal view is held by individual party members all must vote in the manner as laid down by the Executive. Labour members voted for the outline planning permission to be granted, each having spoken against it.
This vote was a disgrace to democracy and should be seen as such. May you all hang your heads in shame you have not even got the courage of your convictions". Ron Plenderleith

We have also received many telephone calls and emails from local residents, many of them upset, disappointed, outraged, amazed at last nights outcome. One example email:-
“I was the one (of many I expect) who came up to you afterwards to say thank you for what you did for us tonight.
I wanted to go on to say that you were excellent, but I was too choked up to say it, and had to walk away.
Just wanted you to know I think you did a great job. You spoke with conviction and controlled passion and it was clear to me that you'd spent a lot of time >You should have recently received a letter from Telford & Wrekin planning department with a modified plan of the proposed residential development off Peregrine Way.
The slight changes to the plan are little more than “lip service” to our requests. The key differences are an agreement to face existing detached dwellings with ‘new’ detached properties. This is a positive step, but may lead to even higher density ‘flats’ in the areas behind the larger frontages, compounded by slightly more green space retained.


WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
• MEETINGS WITH SENIOR PLANNERS
• RECOGNITION OF OUR CONCERNS
• UPDATED URBAN DESIGN PLANS
• SUPPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
• SUPPORT FROM KAREN BLUNDELL
• SUPPORT OF MARK PRITCHARD MP
• CHECKED OUT EP SITES IN CHESHIRE
• LIVE WEB SITE WITH FULL DETAILS
• PLAtheir properties, as well as the inevitable problems with traffic, parking, etc.
Apley is a recognised recreational area of beauty, and is visited by many people from further a field. To build flats in such an area would be vandalism, especially when blocks of flats are being demolished in other parts of the Borough.


On 7th November Hadley and Leegomery Parish council voted unanimously to support APA and will write another objection letter asking the LPA to recommend rejection of this application in its current form..
Circulation:- Shropshire Star, Telford Journal, Wellington News,
Newport Advertiser, Radio Shropshire, Telford FM, Beacon Radio, Midlands Today, Central News.
For further information please contact
Angela Twyford, 01952 246528

NEWS UPDATE 9th November 2006
ATTENTION ALL APLEY RESIDENTS & MEMBERS OF APLEY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION. The campaign goes on – Don’t build flats here!
Please do feel free to email or telephone us with your comments, questions or concerns – we will do our best to help.


AND FINALLY
THERE IS STILL A CHANCE THAT THIS WILL GO TO PLANS BOARD ON DECEMBER. 13th. 2006 – 6p.m. ish.
IF THAT DOES HAPPEN WE WILL NEED EVERYONE THERE –
Make a note in your diary.
THE FIGHT GOES ON…
click here to download our letter to Mr Barker LPA & Mr Baker EP following our meeting 30th October 2006


click here to download our questions to Mr Barker at our last meeting
Click on the image for a larger view
EP's award winning design led site specific Bellway development in Warrington....
News Update 21st October 2006
Progress! – Pleimmense distress to hundreds of residents. Many of them will have made contact with you already, and we attach just a sample few of the hundreds of objection letters which have been written.


Despite these objections the LPA has seen fit to recommend to you, in it’s report, that you grant outline planning permission at this time.
This, despite the fact that they themselves admit to being unhappy about the lack of detail provided on the density, style and type of the proposed buildings, and will, indeed, need to conduct a further survey into it’s potential impact on the existing residents and the environment.
Additionally they are still concerned enough to make the permission subject to at least 17 conditions – for which data is still needed.


It is our contention that, as there is still so much doubt and speculation about this application, no Councillor should be asked to make any decision at this time.
(There is also thpreparing.
I know that in some ways tonight was the beginning, rather than the end.
Thanks again for your commitment and support.
Adrian Hide”
Members of APA are a committed team who will continue fighting to achieve the best possible outcome for us all. For now we intend to take a short break over Christmas, regain our strength, recollect our plans and be ready to re-apply the pressure in the New Year.
We will continue to keep you informed of all developments and update this site on a regular basis.
Jonathan Harris
Chairman APA

Open letter:
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE PLANS BOARD
TELFORD AND WREKIN COUNCIL

Monday, 11th December, 2006
Dear Councillor,
Ref. Application W2006/0291 (Peregrine Way).
We are taking the time to write to you one last time, before this application is heard on Wednesday, hoping that you will take just a few minutes to read our comments.
This application has caused ANNING APPLICATION FOR APLEY, AND FEAR THAT AN ‘URBAN’ DESIGN WILL BE IMPOSED
DESPITE MASSIVE OPPOSITION.
Mark Pritchard, MP is due to meet with members of Apley Preservation Association, local councillor, Karen Blundell, and local Parish Councillors John and Pat Smart and Ron Plenderleith, on 8th December, 2006..


They are all concerned about the proposal put forward by English Partnerships to build on the last remaining fields surrounding the historic Apley Castle site.
Local Planners, and English partnerships, want to present their controversial ‘urban design’ before the Council Plans Board, on the 13th December, 2006.
Their determination to rush this through has prompted Mark Pritchard to write to the CEO of Telford and Wrekin Council, to ask for more time for residents to challenge a recently produced set of new drawings.


Despite a meeting between the APA cttee and Michael Barker, Head of Planning, on 30th October. 2006, most of the concerns and questions raised remain unresolved.
Have the LPA forgotten that their job is to protect the interests of local council tax payers?
APA featured in the Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme in July 2006. On that programme Yvette Cooper, Minister for Housing, said that, despite government ‘guidelines’, local planners do have the power to reject applications which are deemed inappropriate for an area in terms of character, style and location.


APA, whose membership is over 265, maintain that to build 200 dwellings, including flats, in such an area, is inappropriate and unsustainable. The local infrastructure cannot cope with such a massive influx; the proposed density will increase housing in this small area by 100%!
They are also concerned that while the developer and builders will make massive profits out of such a development, residents are expected to put up with the resulting loss of value to e issue of the legal points raised by our Solicitor in his recent letter to Mr. Barker – a copy of which you have all received.)
At the meeting on Wednesday our Ward Councillor will give more detail about our concerns, and will ask that you reject this application, as flawed, and lacking in enough detail on which to base any informed decision.


Failing that, she will ask that you, at the very least, defer the decision until
i) a site visit can be made and
ii) the LPA can provide the missing data required to satisfy their own misgivings, and inform on the issues raised in the conditions.


We see no reason for haste in this matter.
This is a large development which, once approved, will destroy an area of open space for ever.
We ask that much more time is taken to ensure, that whatever development eventually does take place, it is sympathetic to the heritage and character of the area.
We trust that you will feel that the views of so many residents, Parish councillors and visitors from other parts of the Borough, should, on this occasion, be listened to.
We feel that, as Councillors whose role it is to protect and speak up for those who vote you into office, you can do nothing less.
Thank you in anticipation,
Yours sincerely
The Officers of Apley Preservation Association, on behalf of all our members.

click here to download Planing officers report to the board - pages 10-22 are relevant to our case. This is the report that will inform the board on the 13th December 2006
Thank you! For those of you who have kindly forwarded financial contributions to the fighting fund – Please drop off any remaining funds into No 17 Peregrine Way ASAP. We shall organise door to door collections in the area over the next few days for the few remaining households .

PRESS RELEASE – 24 NOVEMBER, 2006
RESIDENTS CONTINUE FIGHT OVER CONTROVERSIAL PLase review the latest advances regarding the outline application for residential development of our fields.
click here to download Latest summary of the outline planning application from English Partnerships
We have now secured a meeting with Mr Barker, Senior planner on the 30th October to discuss our comments regarding the revised outline application.
Please find our letter of the 15th October 2006 to Mr Baker of English Partnerships following a presentation made by EP to all T&W councillors, which APA was NOT invited to attend.
Please note a date for your diary, there is a chance that the outline application may be presented to the plans board on Wednesday 13th December. If this turns out to be accurate we will need full support from APA members to attend the meeting at the council offices. Details will follow ASAP - WATCH THIS SPACE!!


Mr.C.Baker, Senior Dev.Manager
English Partnerships,
Jordan House West,
Hall Court, Hall Park Way,
Telford, TF3 4NN
15th October, 2006


Dear Mr. Baker,

We understand that a meeting was called for all Telford and Wrekin Councillors some two weeks ago, during which they were given information on the outline application for Peregrine Way.
We were disappointed that no-one from either the Council or yourselves had thought it necessary, on the grounds of courtesy alone, to inform this Association of the purpose of that meeting.
Local councillors, who had assumed that the Association would at least be aware of the meeting, contacted us and kindly made copies of the documentation available to us.
These documents show that you have summarised some of the initial statements in the first outline planning statement, although there are, in fact, some actual changes to wording.
This suggests to us that you are, as you indicated in your July letter, revising the initial application, and are attempting to incorporate changes whook forward to hearing from you by return.
We have, recently, received a letter from Mr.M.Barker of Telford and Wrekin Council, agreeing to meet with us.
It may be that this would an opportunity for us all to meet together, and iron out any issues which are still not entirely clear to us.
We will copy this letter to him and all other concerned and interested parties.
May I also draw your attention to our web site which shows a letter, recently circulated to all residents in the area, from our MP, Mark Pritchard.
Yours sincerely,
Helen. C.Hampton, Secretary, Apley Preservation Association.
cc. Mr. M.Barker, T & W. Council; Karen Blundell, Ward Councillor; Pat Smart, Chairman, Hadley & Leegomery Parish Council; Mark Pritchard, MP

LATEST NEWS UPDATE 6TH OCTOBER 2006
NOTES OF DISCUSSION WITH PLANNING OFFICER
ON 28TH SEPTEMBER, 2006
click here to download notes from planning meeting with V Hulme 28thich appear to respond to some of the issues we and other objectors, have raised.
While this appears to be a genuine attempt on your part to meet and address some of our concerns, it does worry us that the partnership we have entered into with you is not fully functioning yet.
We have asked to be included in this current revision, as you know.
2
It would be of great concern to us if the application was to be submitted to the Plans Board containing adjustments which had not been made available to residents and other interested parties, to enable their comments to be made.
It may be that it is the intention of you and the planners to open it up for another period of consultation; however, in view of the recent, apparent breakdown of communication we now request that another meeting is held between the Association Committee, EP and Planners, so that these issues can be fully explored.

We will endeavour to make ourselves available at any reasonable time and l September Letter from Mark Pritchard MP to local Apley residents.
Please respond to his calls for support by writing to your local T&W councillors, planners and English Partnerships with your objections and concerns. All contact details can be found on our information pages.
Latest News update 14th September 2006
Click Here to download the Ecology report (large file)
NEWS UPDATE.


Five members of the Association together with Councillor Karen Blundell visited three of English Partnership’s current development sites in Warrington, on Monday 11th September.
We were accompanied by three of EP’s senior personnel who gave freely of their time and attention for much of the day.
The sites varied in size, density and style, but it is evident that EP do keep control of the quality of design and finish.
There were, however, large quantities of three and even four story apartments/town houses within each development.
Where previous development existed, on one of the sites, EP had attempted to face ‘like with like’ in terms of large detached houses with gardens, and they were at great pains to re-assure us that this would be a priority for our development.
None of the sites was as large as ours, and they varied in density – the highest being 39 per hectare. There were no low cost or social housing type dwellings in any of the areas we visited, which were all out of town, surrounded by open space.
It was interesting to learn that Warrington Council will only put low cost and social housing near the centre of town where infrastructure, shops and other facilities already exist, as a matter of policy.
We will shortly be meeting with our local planners and will pursue this aspect of policy with them, and our Councillors, at length.


The visit to Warrington was useful and informative; we have reminded EP of our role as consultees in the design process, should outline planning permission be granted.
Telford and Wrekin Planners have just received an Ecology report on fields B1 and B3 – posted on the site for your information. If there is anyone reading this with any specialist knowledge who could help interpret this report, please make contact with the Association.
The consultation period for response to this report ends on 6/10/06 – so do write to Val Hulme if you have any comment on it.
We still have no date for the application to go to Plans Board.
Your Association committee meets on Monday,18th at 7p.m. If you have any issues to raise or require any further information please do make contact, via the e-mail address on the web site. We are as busy as ever in pursuing the campaign and would welcome any contact from members.
HCH/Secretary/13/9/06


Latest NEWS 12th August 2006
click here to download APA objection letter to planners 6th Ar.


On the plus side their letter has acknowledged that we are now consultees, although they are suggesting that this will only be after outline planning is granted – our view is that we became consultees at the 30th June meeting and will insist this is honoured.
EP have refused to withdraw the planning application but they are ‘reviewing’ it in light of residents’ concerns. As consultees, we are adamant that we should be involved in any further ‘reviewing’.
On the negative side it seems that their letter is simply repeating the generalised blurb already in the original planning statement, so we are really no further on at this time. Further advice from our experts should, however, help us to comment and pursue the issues.
EP have indicated that most of the ‘meaty’ issues will be decided by our local planning authority -
THEREFORE WE SUGGEST THAT YOU WRITE TO VAL HULME AT THE LOCAL PLugust
click here to download APA further questions to planners 02.08.06
click here to download APA letter to English Partnerships 02.08.06
Latest News 14th July 2006
BBC Radio Shropshire -
Friday 14th July after 8am ish...
Reporter Susie Parkes interviews APA as part of a series of programs on developing Telford.
ITV 1–
Tonight With Trevor McDonald.
Friday July 21st at 8pm.
Reporter Jonathan Maitland investigates high density residential developments up and down the UK. The Apley Castle Development for 200 new homes will be featured as part of the programme.
WEB SITE UPDATE – 18/7/06
The response from EP, following the 30th June meeting, is posted for your information, together with our initial reply. We await their copy of the minutes and will check against our version of the proceedings, before we are in a position to comment fully. We will also take advice on the content of their letteANNING OFFICE AGAIN – ASKING HER WHAT THEIR VIEWS ARE ON THESE ISSUES.
BY ALL MEANS COPY YOUR LETTERS TO EP AND TO LOCAL COUNCILLORS, ESPECIALLY THOSE ON THE PLANS BOARD –( SEE WEB SITE FOR THESE DETAILS.)
The main questions they have failed to answer relate to parking, traffic, noise, and most importantly infrastructure – i.e. lack of facilities, no school places (we have the figures), and the fact that this application is not sustainable and as such is actually going against the government policies they love to quote at us. We do not believe they have fully grasped the issue of ‘facing like with like’, as promised verbally at our last meeting, and now seem to be pulling away from this assurance
PLEASE ACT NOW – THE FIGHT GOES ON.
Working towards a sustainable community…
17 Peregrine Way, Apley Castle, Telford, TF1 6TH Telephone: 01952 248383. Email: info@apley-castle-park.org
WWW.APLEYPROTESTS.CO.UK now www.apley-castle-park.org

Mr Chris Baker
English Partnerships
Jordan House West
Hall Park Way
Telford
TF3 4NN
19th July 2006


Dear Mr Baker,
Thank you for your letter of 24.7.06, the contents of which have been noted.
We will respond more fully when we, in turn, have had opportunity to consult with our advisors.
You appear to have omitted to enclose a copy of the minutes from the meeting on 30th June. The Association committee will be pleased to receive this copy as a matter of urgency to enable us to complete circulation to our members, and to clarify several issues.
We, too, are content to be consultees in all further aspects of the planning process and understand that we became consultees from the 30th June meeting at Jordan House. We therefore expect to be involved in any further discussions regarding the outline planning application and will be happy to meet with you to discuss the proposed 'review' and 'supplementing' you mention in Para 4 on Page 1 of your letter of 13th July 2006, which you expect to do before the application is submitted to the Plans Board. As partners in the process we wish to be involved at every stage from now on.
We also look forward to working together to ensure that any development is of a quality and standard that we will all be proud of, and more importantly that our Apley Castle neighbourhood continues to be a sustainable community where people wish to live and work now and in the future.
We look forward to receiving your response and will make every effort to accommodate any dates you wish to suggest for the next meeting.
Yours sincerely.

Jonathan Harris
Chairman.
Apley Preservation Association

CC by Email:- K.Blundell, M.Pritchard, Valerie Hulme Planning , Lance Haughton EP, Steve Robson EP. All officers and members of APA

Latest information posted 4th July 2006
Copy letter sent to English Partnerships following our recent meeting.
M. Baker
English Partnerships
Jordan House West
West Hall Court
Telford, TF3 4NF 3rd July 2006

Dear Mr. Baker,
Thank you for agreeing to meet with us last week, (30.06.06). Both Mrs. Hampton and I felt that it was a productive meeting in terms of enabling all parties to talk through our concerns constructively and openly and to visualise the way forward for the development of B1 and B3 at Apley Castle.
We will report favourably to the residents and hundreds of members’ of APA, the fact that you confirmed the outline plan that has been submitted for approval, is indeed just ‘an outline’ and likely to change drastically. We understand that through closer consultation at the next ‘briefing’ and ‘reserve matters’ stage, our concerns will be taken into consideration, in particular that of the high density and style of proposed dwellings, which is currently extremely worrying.
We were very pleased to hear your comments assuring us that the character of the area will be preserved and that sympathetic re-designing will allow ‘like’ to face ‘like’ in terms of the type and size of dwellings, which are currently four and five bedroom homes with double garages, large driveways and front and rear gardens.

We are delighted that you have agreed that Apley Preservation Association will be a consultee in the process from now on, and request that all communications regarding this application should be sent to Councillor Karen Blundell and APA at the above address.
As confirmed at the meeting, we very much look forward to receiving your written response to the list of our questions supplied to you from Valerie Hulme and would value your feedback regarding our request that you consider withdrawing this outline application as it was greatly informed by out of date aerial photography, which does not fully show the type and extent of existing residential development in the area. In light of this disclosure we formally request the outline application W2006/0291 be withdrawn to enable up to date aerial photography and more time to consult with residents and to redesign some of the more contentious aspects of the plan.
As you are aware this proposed planning application in its current form, has created many contentious and concerning issues amongst the local and even some further a field residents. We hope you agree that all of our comments and suggestions are constructive and been carefully considered. We have received many emails and calls from our members’ following our meeting and therefore, we are eager to put minds at rest and would appreciate your timely response to our questions and concerns -may we suggest within the next ten days?

We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Jonathan Harris
Chairman Apley Preservation Association
cc: Mark Pritchard MP, Councillor Karen Blundell, Michael Barker – Head of planning BTW, L. Houghton – Head of sales EP,
S .Robson - Senior Planner EP.

Mr. M. Barker
Head of Planning and Environment
Derby House
PO Box 212, Lawn Central
Telford, TF3 4LB 3rd July, 2006


Dear Mr. Barker,
Re: application W2006/0291
During a meeting on Friday, 30th June, 2006, between English Partnership personnel and representatives of this Association, reference was made to the fact that the Ward Councillor, Karen Blundell had been told, at the outset, that this application was to be decided under ‘delegated powers’.
Councillor Blundell, as a result, had to ‘green card’ the process to ensure that it would be heard at Plans Board level, by local councillors.
Residents were variously told the same thing when they telephoned your department soon after some of them received notice of the application. It was implied, also, that as the applicants were English Partnerships it was likely that permission would be granted as formality.
In response, Ms. V.Hulme, insisted that the application had never been ‘delegated’ and that the information we had been given was wrong.
If that is the case, we are concerned that our Ward councillor should be given incorrect information in this way; and most concerned that residents should be led to believe that there was no point in offering an objection as the result was a foregone conclusion.

We obviously feel some confusion in this matter and I request, on behalf of our membership of some 250 residents, that you make enquiries as to how this situation has arisen.
We will be pleased to receive your response in the very near future.
Yours sincerely,
Helen C.Hampton, Secretary.

Unanimous support for the campaign!
The Public meeting was a great success – the venue was packed – standing room only.
A full report of the points covered will follow shortly.
Most importantly it was agreed that now is the time to lobby our local councillors and make sure they feel the strength of opposition to the proposed development. You will find their email address on our contacts page or from Telford and Wrekin council web site.
We can now confirm the long awaited meeting with EP and the Town Planners will be this Friday 30th June at 11.00am The venue will be English Partnerships offices at Jordan House, Telford. Although only two residents can accompany Councillor Blundell into the meeting, it was agreed that a show of support outside the offices prior to the meeting from 10.30 onwards would be constructive, and give the arriving delegates a feel for the strength of opposition to the plans.
Please come along to Jordan House with your no flats posters and show your support for the campaign – the press will be there.
News Flash!
Public Meeting Thursday 22nd June 7pm Leegomery Community Centre.
A public meeting has been organised for members of the Apley Community to discuss their worries and concerns regarding the imminent planning proposal by English Partnerships to build 200 homes off Peregrine Way.
All members of the Apley Preservation Association are welcome – new members are also welcome and will be able to join the association at the meeting.
This is your opportunity for your questions & comments to be included in the agenda for the forthcoming round table meeting Apley Preservation Association has with the land owners and the borough council planners.
Trevor McDonald Tonight.


On the same day as the public meeting, Thursday 22nd June, there will be a film crew from ITV’s flagship current affairs programme, Trevor McDonald Tonight, with members of Apley Preservation Association, to gather interviews, background and video footage of the neighbourhood to be included in a program looking at contentious residential planning proposals up and down the country.
30th June 2006 Round Table Meeting
A meeting has finally been organised between English Partnerships, Telford & Wrekin planning officers, GVA Grimley, Councillor Karen Blundell & two representatives of Apley Preservation Association! This is a breakthrough opportunity to ask questions and get a more detailed idea of what is really planned for our neighbourhood.
More details will follow shortly …
We look forward to seeing you on the 22nd June, 7pm at Leegomery Community Centre.
Click here for the standard letter to planners.

UPDATE – 9/06/06
Membership of the Association is up to well over 200 currently, and growing. Thanks to those of you who have paid your subscriptions; if you haven’t had a visit yet you could use the form available below to indicate that you wish to join us. In the meantime we will be mopping up those we have missed as well. Re: the meeting with English Partnerships, planners, etc.
We are still waiting for a response to our offer of six possible dates for this meeting – we persevere!
However, we are very pleased that Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council have given us their wholehearted support and have amended their original response to the application with a strongly worded letter of objection to the council. We are grateful for the time they gave us to speak at their meeting on 6/06/06 and for their immediate and positive response.
We have no date yet for the meeting of the Plans Board, but will keep you informed.
Thanks for your continued support – the campaign goes on!


APLEY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
Minutes of meeting on 18/5/06

Present – J.& A.Snell, Merlin Coppice; J.Harris, A.Twyford, J.&.S.Davis, S.Edmonds, H.Hampton – all of Peregrine Way.
Karen Blundell, Local Councillor.
Apologies – J.Hampton, Peregrine Way, J.Norwood, Shoveller Drive, R.Groves, Goldcrest Grove, and Mr.& Mrs. J.Smart, Parish Councillors.
F.Tart, Goldcrest.
Minutes of previous meeting_
The minutes of 2/05/06 were accepted as a true record.
Matters Arising


a) The collection of subscriptions is underway but not completed. More help in this task was requested. The Chairman is to address this issue.
Nevertheless there has, so far, been almost 100% agreement with membership of the Association by residents, except for one household who, while supporting the work of the group, felt that writing an objection letter was sufficient for them.
b) The Secretary had written to Wrekin Housing Trust requesting information on empty properties in the borough, but no reply had been received. It was agreed that another letter should be sent, re-iterating the request, and that, in addition, Mark Pritchard, MP should be asked to assist us in accessing the information.
c) Karen Blundell was able to repor