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Farm buildings can be used for storage, distribution and light industry after plans are approved

By Kerry Ashdown | Staffordshire | Business | Published:

Dozens of new jobs could be created after the green light was given for agricultural buildings to be used for storage and distribution on a farm near Stafford.

A Google Street View image of the site off Aston Bank, near Doxey, where permission was granted for the change of use of farm buildings for light industry., storage and distribution

Light industrial use will also be allowed at Little Aston Farm, near Derrington and Doxey, following the approval of plans by Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee.

A 2,272 square metre space has earmarked for storage and distribution, while 1,500 square metres has been allocated for light industrial use at the Aston Hill farm. A new access to the site will be used after planning permission was granted for it back in 2017.

The change of use application submitted to Stafford Borough Council indicated that 40 full time and 10 part time workers would be employed if the proposals went ahead.

But concerns were raised about the increase in traffic and its impact on the local road network.

Seighford Parish Council objected to the plans. In a letter submitted to Stafford Borough Council the parish council said: “This proposed use is unacceptable in this rural area mainly because of the high increase in traffic generation and the impact on the local roads network. It is proposed to have a total of 58 car spaces with two light goods vehicles and four large goods vehicles.

“There is likely to be a negative impact on existing businesses including a livery yard and associated horse traffic. The section of road including z bends and narrow lanes is unsuitable for increased large goods vehicle movements.

“We would ask for the volume of traffic at peak times and the access to the site to be carefully considered when determining the application, including the number of HGV movements per day and how this impacts the area.”

But the county’s highway authority raised no objections to the plans, subject to conditions including the change of use not starting until the new access had been completed. And borough council officers recommended the application for approval by the planning committee.

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Councillor Tony Pearce called for the committee to visit to the site before it made its decision.

He said: “I’m pleased this matter was called in and I see the reason why it was called in because of the increase in traffic that would be generated. It is a very rural network and it is a very narrow lane.

“It’s going to be hazardous and will cause problems.”

But fellow committee members did not support the site visit call – and went on to approve the application at Wednesday’s meeting.

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Councillor Andrew Harp said: “It’s nice to see redundant farm buildings being brought back into use and employment within the area. I think this is a fantastic scheme.”

Fellow committee member Councillor Bryan Cross said: “It’s good we can bring these buildings back into use. I am sure these roads have been used widely by farm vehicles – and tractors are such a size these days they take as much space on the road as a HGV.

“I can’t really see any problem with this.”

Councillor Ann Edgeller added: “I think we have got to remember as councillors those meetings and times we have talked about bringing jobs back into the rural areas. I can’t see anything wrong with this – it’s bringing jobs into a rural area and I fully support it.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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