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More than 1,000 say no to controversial housing estate

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Opposition to controversial plans to build a large housing estate in Great Wyrley is mounting as a local MP joins the protest.

Gavin Williamson has vowed to kick-start a campaign to block the building of 136 homes in Landywood Lane.

The MP for South Staffordshire said he was planning to meet residents to thrash out the best way to fight the scheme.

A petition against the move has already reached more than 1,000 signatures within three days.

New SOS - Save Our Space - signs and banners have also been made.

Land in Landywood Lane, Cheslyn Hay where the houses could be built

Two petition points have been set up in the village - at Fusion electrical engineers in Station Street and a gazebo outside the home of residents Glenis and Clive Priest.

Mr Williamson said he was outraged at the scheme submitted by KGL Holdings, run by local businessman Ken Lees who two years ago fronted a similar bid.

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He said: "These plans have been rejected repeatedly. We do not want these properties on our green belt. From what I've seen they are a gross intrusion into the village and take away the individual identities of Great Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay as this development would join them together."

In a letter to residents he promised to 'kickstart our campaign in objecting to these proposals'.

Mother of two Jo Fisher welcomed Mr Williamson's support and said the issue had galvanised the two communities 'like never before.'

She said: "There is loads more traction than last time. A Save Our Space Facebook site I set up last time, which had 550 members, has grown to 1,550 within a week.

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"It's super to have Gavin Williamson on board. He is someone with a lot of clout who gets things done. His support was invaluable last time round."

She said the protesters' current focus was to get the word out as many people were still unaware of what Mr Lees was trying to do.

"I'm distraught and so disheartened to think we are in this position again. My children are aged five and two and I should be spending my time with them rather than fighting this campaign but it has to be done."

The plans also include 90 park and ride spaces for Landywood station, 17 allotments and 23 acres of public park. Twenty-two of the 136 homes would be in the 'affordable' category.

Last time the bid, for 141 homes, ended up in the High Court after South Staffordshire District Council vetoed it but the developer lost his legal challenge. Undeterred, he resolved to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate but changed his mind.

Mr Lees, director of the Cannock-based company, said his decision not to proceed with an appeal had been taken on the advice of the firm's legal consultant.

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