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Village homes plans passed despite dozens of objections

By Kerry Ashdown | Staffordshire | News | Published:

Plans for eight new homes in a village have been passed – despite more than 50 objections to the development.

A Google Street View image of the land fronting Turnbull Road Fradley where planning permission has been granted for eight new homes

The proposed development of the land fronting Turnbull Road in Fradley caused so much concern in the village that a public meeting was called, which was attended by more than 200 residents, Fradley and Streethay Parish Council said.

Tree felling and clearance of vegetation at the site also sparked anger in the village – and the parish council’s strong objection to the plans prompted the application to be referred to Lichfield District Council’s planning committee for consideration.

The authority received 58 responses from the public raising concerns about the plans. These included the effect on local wildlife and ecology, road safety and loss of green space.

But agent Christopher Timothy, speaking in support of the application, told a planning committee meeting on Tuesday the site had previously earmarked for development.

“The application site is located within the Fradley village settlement boundary and it’s allocated for housing”, he said.

“There is no designation of this site regarding open space – this is not an area of protected local space, for the site has been allocated for housing in the Local Plan.

“The proposed development of this site will provide a sustainable, well designed development. It will not cause demonstrable harm to living conditions of local residential properties.”

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Fradley and Streethay Parish Council said the application contravened the village’s Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out how residents want to see their area develop in the coming years, however.

A statement from Simon Roberts, chairman of Fradley and Streethay Parish Council, read out during Tuesday’s meeting, said: “The parish council has objected from the outset and the developer has upset many residents – I’m sure you will be aware of the 50-plus objections received from residents and how the developer cleared the vegetation before putting the application in.

“It’s just scrubland – but for residents provided a buffer zone. And it has raised serious questions as to whether a Neighbourhood Plan has any validity at all.”

The application was recommended for approval by planning officers ahead of Tuesday’s meeting – which was held via video conference and streamed live on YouTube for members of the public to watch.

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The plans were approved by 10 votes, with two members voting against the recommendation.

But committee members did raise concerns about the development’s effect on road safety and visibility and the type of homes planned for the site. Detached four and five bedroom properties have been proposed – but the council’s local plan requires more two and three bedroom homes.

Councillor Diane Evans said: “Smaller units are needed – I think that’s particularly important where people want to stay in a village but can’t afford to do it. We have missed an opportunity to build smaller units in areas such as this.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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