The Neighbourhood Area comprises the three parishes of Chapel & Hill Chorlton, Maer & Aston and Whitmore. It covers an area of 4,290 hectares (16.57 square miles). At the last Census, in 2011, its combined population was 2,468. The overall density of population is 0.57 persons per hectare.
The three parishes are chiefly a dairy and livestock farming area, with smaller areas of woodland and commercial forestry.
Two primary strategic routes (the A51 and A53) and the northbound carriagway of the M6 pass through the area. The West Coast Main Line passes through Whitmore parish and the south-eastern part of Chorlton parish. The proposed route of HS2 also passes through Whitmore parish.
Chapel & Hill Chorlton
This is the smallest of the three parishes, with an area of 706 hectares (2.73 square miles). Its population in 2011 was 425.
The parish has no villages, but several hamlets and smaller settlements and a campsite, plus some isolated dwellings. The two main settlements are Chapel Chorlton and Hill Chorlton. Hill Chorlton comprises the hamlet on the A51 and a number of isolated dwellings on Kennels Lane (the original location of the settlement) and Mill Lane and in Coombesdale. It is the home of the North Staffordshire Hunt. Stableford Court is a new development, built some 15 years ago on land belonging to the former Cock Inn. The campsite at Stableford has both permanent residents and holiday homes. A short distance west of Stableford on the A51 a track leads to a small group of houses at Springfield and the former stable block of Springfield Hall (now a dwelling, and all that remains of the hall, which burned down some 100 years ago).
The parish has three areas of biodiversity that are designated as ‘Natural Areas’.
Maer & Aston
Maer & Aston is more than twice the size of Chorlton parish, with an area of 1,523 hectares (5.88 square miles). Its population in 2011 was 489. It has two villages, Maer and Aston, a couple of hamlets at Blackbrook and Willoughbridge and some isolated dwellings.
The parish is known for its association with the Wedgwood and Darwin families. Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgwood (daughter of Josiah Wedgwood II) were married in Maer church. Josiah Wedgwood II lived at Maer Hall and his sister Sarah lived at Camp Hill House.
The parish has three ancient monuments, a conservation area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one area of biodiversity that is designated as a ‘Natural Area’. The Dorothy Clive Garden is at Willoughbridge.
You can read more about Maer & Aston on the Parish Council’s website: http://www.maerastonparishcouncil.co.uk/about-us.
This is the largest of the three parishes, with an area of 2,061 hectares (7.96 square miles). Its population in 2011 was 1,554. Its largest settlements are the village of Baldwins Gate, Madeley Park Wood and Whitmore Heath. Smaller villages are Acton, Butterton and Whitmore village. There are also small settlements at Shutlane and Lymes Road and isolated dwellings on Three Mile Lane and Trentham Road.
The parish is dominated by green belt, which stretches from the M6 motorway to the West Coast Mainline. On the other side of the railway line the undeveloped land beyond the village envelope of Baldwins Gate is classed as ‘open countryside’.
Whitmore parish has two conservation areas, in Whitmore village and Butterton, and three areas of biodiversity that are designated as ‘Natural Areas’. Wilkins Pleck garden and Cudmore Fisheries are located on Three Mile Lane.
You can read more about Whitmore parish on the Parish Council’s website: http://www.whitmoreparishcouncil.co.uk/.