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New homes approved for open space deemed surplus to requirements

Nine new homes are set to be built on open space in Rugeley deemed surplus to requirements.

The land between Hardie Avenue and Ashleigh Road in Rugeley. Photo: Google

The sloping land between Ashleigh Road and Hardie Avenue on the Pear Tree Estate is currently owned by Cannock Chase Council and is part of the area’s Green Space Network.

But it has been affected by issues including antisocial behaviour and dog fouling, members of the council’s planning committee heard on Wednesday. And the land was “not particularly well managed partly as a consequence of the difficulty in mowing such a steep site”, a report said.

The land is due to be sold, subject to planning permission being granted for development. On Wednesday planning committee members granted consent for nine new homes to be built on the site.

There have been no objections submitted to the council from members of the public in response to the application. One detached three-bedroom property and eight three-bedroom semi-detached houses are proposed for the site.

The planning committee report said: “These are proposed to take access from both Hardie Avenue (the lower road) and Ashleigh Road to the south via a driveway with a 1 in 7 gradient. The Hardie Avenue properties will front the main highway in a similar manner to the existing dwellings adjacent.

“The properties off Ashleigh Road will be set down from the height of the dwellings on the higher land but owing to the steeply sloping nature of the site, will sit substantially above the finished floor level of the dwellings at the foot of the slope. The dwellings will straddle the proposed new formalised public footpath link that is to be sited within the centre of the site.

“The development (site) in this case, as has previously been confirmed by the council’s Landscape Officer, is considered to be poor quality open space owing to the steeply sloping nature of the site. In their view, the site is surplus to requirements and does not fulfil its status as designated Green Space Network land.

“The site is also immediately adjacent to properties who report they have been burgled in previous years. The disposition of the public space around these existing dwellings means easy access is available to land that is not particularly overlooked, is in close proximity to private spaces and offers opportunities for individuals to linger unchallenged which in turn would likely contribute to antisocial behaviour.

“To remove opportunities such as these via the provision of the new dwellings would promote natural surveillance of the spaces, increase territoriality and ownership of the public space, and would remove unmanaged or unmaintained corners where individuals could linger without challenge. Such changes display clear benefits in terms of reducing crime and the fear of crime and in terms of the aesthetic appearance of the area.”

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