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Eccleshall school site homes set for approval

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Plans to build more than 80 homes at a former school site have been sent back to the drawing board.

It comes as residents deemed a new application for 81 homes at the former Bishops Lonsdale School site on Shaws Lane, Eccleshall, as 'inferior' to the previous one.

The latest application was put together in response to concerns raised over the proposal by those living nearby to the site.

It was set to be approved at a Stafford Borough Council planning committee meeting on Wednesday.

Councillor Jeremy Pert, who has called in the application, said he hoped the developers would listen to residents concerns and 'go away to make a better application'.

Applications seeking to build originally around 90 homes at the site date back to 2010 and have twice been sent back so changes could be made.

Outline permission was granted in 2013, however changes to the site layout and drainage schemes were requested.

More than 170 residents signed a petition against the development in 2011, with a new petition for the application gathering 77 signatures, while 58 letters of objection have been received.

Mr Pert said: "I don't have a problem with homes being built in Eccleshall and this site is suitable for that purpose.

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"However, I am concerned over the size of the houses, the impact on local roads, the impact on existing residents privacy and drainage issues.

"I would hope that the developers don't just listen to what the authorities say and take on board the opinions of the people who will be living right by this scheme.

"I think they can go away to make a better application and I don't see why they wouldn't do that.

"If this is going to be here for the rest of our life times why wouldn't you want it to be as good as possible."

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Other concerns from residents include potential noise and disturbance issues, as well as a belief that Eccleshall has already provided 'a significant portion' of new housing needed to comply with Government guidelines.

Councillor Bryan Delanchy, chairman of Eccleshall Parish Council's planning committee, said residents still have concerns about the development.

He said: "I am not against housing developments in Eccleshall, we have a responsibility, as does every area in Staffordshire, to accommodate new housing to tackle the ongoing crisis.

"However, that doesn't mean that the homes we do get can't be done to our liking, rather than just having them hoisted on us by a developer.

"People in Eccleshall have concerns regarding the size of the homes and drainage issues mainly.

"Although changes have been made, we feel that this latest application is actually worse than some of the ones that have been put forward in the past.

"It is a foregone conclusion that these homes are going to be built."

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