Penkridge village ‘couldn’t cope with 200 new homes.'
Residents and councillors have hit out at 'unsuitable' proposals to build 200 homes in Penkridge at a public inquiry.
One resident raised concerns about already having to wait six weeks for a routine appointment at the doctor's surgery in the village – with the new estate only increasing the pressure on the service.
They were speaking at a four-day planning inquiry, which began on Tuesday(19), which will determine if the proposals for the homes off the A449 Stafford Road, backing on to Nursery Drive, should be given the go-ahead.
South Staffordshire Council's planning committee threw out the plans last summer, despite council officials backing them, due to fears services in the village would not be able to cope with the influx of new residents. There have also been concerns about the rate the village has been allowed to grow.
The plans came after about 300 homes were built at the nearby Lyne Hill Industrial Estate.
Developer Bloor Homes Limited is hoping to build up to 200 dwellings – including 40 per cent affordable housing – an access roundabout on Stafford Road, public open space, landscaping and associated infrastructure.
Penkridge North East and Acton Trussell Councillor Len Bates, who is also chairman of South Staffordshire Council, said: "There are already a number of major planning applications for Penkridge and Acton Trussell – including one adjacent to the proposed Bloor Homes site.
"The existing infrastructure cannot cope. The medical centre cannot cope with an influx of people and there is insufficient school places in the village. The A449 truck road struggles to cope with the influx of traffic and when the motorway is closed which is a common problem.
"Penkridge cannot cope with anymore development. The village has grown and grown and is now in danger of becoming a small town.
"This application is not right for Penkridge. I ask the inspector to uphold the decision made by the council."
Penkridge resident Joanne Taylor added: "The big thing for me is I don't feel this development is sustainable.
"While waiting for a routine doctor's appointment, I was told the next suitable appointment is six weeks away – how can we consider such a big development if I already have to wait six weeks for a routine appointment?
"In terms of the schools, they are struggling. Since the Lyne Hill development and the influx of pupils, the level of education is suffering and they are struggling to provide adequate space for children to eat their lunch.
"I really believe there is a more suitable site."
The inquiry previously heard that the council believed the development would cause harm to the landscape character, leading to a loss of 'valuable, good quality agricultural land' – while Bloor Homes Ltd said the the proposals would provide 'much-needed new housing' with extensive benefits.
The hearing continues.