Eccleshall Parish Plan

Mid West Stafford Market Towns Partnership

What is a Parish Plan?
A Parish Plan is a way of summarising what local people think about the area they live in, and what they believe are the priorities for change and improvement in their town or village and the surrounding villages and rural areas. It is not an ‘official’ document – it is produced and designed by local people. Views were gathered between May and October 2003 in a questionnaire survey and then endorsed through public and parish meetings.
Most importantly, however, the Parish Plan sets out actions that should be taken to tackle these priorities, and it indicates who and when the actions should be taken by.
The Parish Plan covers the areas of Chebsey, Eccleshall, Gnosall, Stone and Swynnerton, with the five Parish and Town Councils working together as the ‘Mid West Stafford Market Towns Partnership’

Click here to view the Parish Plan

Key issue across the Parish Plan area and Percentage of respondents who said issue was important
Shops and other retail services 70%
Crime and safety 60%
Public transport services 50%
Health and personal care 48%
Traffic, parking and access 43%
Social activites, leisure and recreation 38%
Noise, waste and other nuisances 32%
Wildlife and natural habitats 31%
Community buildings and spaces 29%
Housing and buildings 22%
Others 18%
Historic sites and features 15%
Businesses and employment 15%
Community information 15%
Tourism and visitors 7%

What will this Parish Plan achieve?
This Parish Plan, and the constituent plans for each parish, will:

  • Provide a base for community action and pressure to get things done
  • Give a set of measures or targets so people can see what progress is being made.
  • Inform the planning process – local authorities and others will understand more clearly what local people’s priorities are. Parish Plans are used by many different local government and other agencies.
  • Help attract funding for agreed actions – funding bids will be supported by information and priorities in the Parish Plan; and,
  • Inspire people, organisations and local agencies to think of new solutions to new and old problems.

The main actions focused on in the plan were:

Traffic Management
Included in this are concerns across all five parishes about speeding; heavy goods vehicles using narrow roads or village high streets; increasing volumes of traffic and congestion; access to business parks; particular problems related to ‘improvement’ schemes recently undertaken in the centres of Stone and Eccleshall; fear of accidents and fatalities; specific issues regarding certain junctions and roads; and, many people in Eccleshall want a by-pass. Related to this are concerns about pedestrian dangers. Enhanced street lighting is seen as essential in certain locations.

Retail Services
A desire for improved retail facilities and a wider range of shops, in particular DIY stores, clothes shops, and teashops. The loss of some traditional retail services, such as bakers and butchers, is a concern. Some feel that there are too many pubs and restaurants in Stone, but a greater range of eating places is desired elsewhere. Many people would like better accessibility to shops for the disabled and those with pushchairs, together with longer opening hours for village shops. There is a demand for post offices and boxes where they do not exist and an opportunity to develop the market and farmers’ market in Stone. Many young people want some form of ‘fast food’ outlet in their area (and as a meeting point).

Additional facilities (and activities) for young people
Older people generally want ‘something for the young people to do’ so as not to be hanging around the streets, whilst younger people want greater choice in leisure and recreation activities. Both groups highlight the need for youth activities and facilities of all types, including community centre developments and improvements – particularly for teenagers. This issue links to enhanced public transport services to Stafford and Stoke, to access opportunities elsewhere

Crime Issues
Fear of crime, and prevention of criminal or illegal activities are prominent concerns, particularly in Swynnerton and Gnosall. More visible policing, including community policemen on the beat; a greater night-time police presence; the use and proper enforcement of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs); neighbourhood watch schemes; and wardens – are all mentioned as ways forward.

In Eccleshall top of the list of priorities was Traffic Management, followed by Parking, Youth Facilities, Crime issues, Pedestrian issues and Public transport provision.

Actions

  • Since the document was produced the A519 Route Strategy has been published by the County Council and the Parish Council has submitted comments and continues to pressurise for improvements to be implemented, especially at the junction of Green Lane with Newport Road.
  • Speedwatch Groups operate regularly in Croxton and Eccleshall.
  • Waiting restrictions are enforced by the Community Support Officer. The Partnership partly funded the purchase of a vehicle and bicycles for the use of Community Support Officers in the area.
  • Completion of the High Street paving was undertaken in 2005.
  • Work on the new the Co-op store is due to commence on June 19th 2006. A zebra crossing is being designed by the County Council and should be installed on Stafford Street prior to the completion of the development.
  • Work to compile a booklet detailing activities available for young people in the area is currently being carried out by the Partnership.