Project Justification & Initiation

PROJECT JUSTIFICATION & INITIATION

A village pinfold has been known to exist at the junction of Ashbourne Road (A52) and Black Lane on the north side of Whiston Village since the mid-19th Century, but unfortunately it was filled in before living memory and now only appears as a grassy mound. Visible stone wall remnants suggest it is square in shape, measuring approximately 6m x 6m.

In late 2014 local residents expressed interest in seeing the heritage feature restored by sensitively excavating the estimated 72 cubic metres of infill material to expose the remnant walls and original foundations, followed by re-building of the stone walls.  An approach to the parish council resulted in the formation of a project team.

 

Consultation

A consultation document was circulated to interested parties in December 2014 and publicity in the local newspaper gave the public the opportunity to comment on proposed restoration.    The adjoining land owner and local residents groups were also made aware and given the opportunity to contribute.  The local historical society was consulted and members are keen to see the feature restored.

 

Grant Funding

The positive community comments led to a Proposals Document in Feb 2015 that received unanimous support from members of the Parish Council and formed the basis of successful grant applications. The cost of the project is currently estimated at £8,533, with the majority of the funding secured by an SMDC Moorlands Partnership Environmental Enhancement Grant of £4,000, together with a grant from the Churnet Valley Community Grant Scheme of £3,000.  Kingsley Parish Council has also made a contribution of £413 and Councillor Howard Mycock has made a personal donation.  The remaining £1,000 has been provided by County Councillor Mike Worthington from the SCC Members Local Community Fund.  Traffic management arrangements are being funded by SCC Highways under the Divisional Transport Plan.

 

Management

The project team, headed by Parish Councillor Howard Mycock, reports on a monthly basis to Kingsley Parish Council, which makes all strategic decisions and maintains control of the financial aspects of the project.

 

Liaison with Professional Agencies

The process has involved liaison with a variety of agencies, including the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership, Staffordshire County Council Highways, SCC Principal Archaeologist and SCC Record Office, together with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Conservation Officer and Environmental Health Officer.

 

Pre-application discussions

In February 2015 an SMDC planning consultant advised that the proposals are engineering operations which would in fact constitute development under the provisions of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.  Unfortunately there would appear to be no allowances for this type of development within the Permitted Development Order 1995 and accordingly a planning application is required.  In May 2015 permission was sought and granted by the planning consultant to conduct a preliminary exploratory slit trench excavation to allow a SCC Highways engineer to examine the support to the Black Lane carriageway, prior to the planning application being submitted.

 

Benefits

The benefits of the pinfold restoration include:-

  • Conservation of a long lost part of Whiston history.
  • Creation of a welcoming feature on the approach to the village.
  • Provision of an educational opportunity for young people.
  • Contribution to the aims of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership in making the Churnet Valley a better place for all.
  • Contribution to the District Council aims under the Core Strategy and Churnet Valley Masterplan in relation to environmental enhancement and tourism encouragement.
  • Generation of community spirit within the village through active involvement in the project.
  • Supporting the community’s Best Kept Village and Jubilee Garden Committees by providing another village focal point for their endeavours.

Constraints

The main potential obstacles emanate from:-

  •  Confined & difficult site working conditions adjacent to a main road.
  • Sourcing of any additional sandstone requirement.
  • Funding limitations.