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Plans for retirement village on former landfill site rejected

By Kerry Ashdown | South Staffordshire | News | Published:

Plans to build dozens of retirement homes on a former landfill site have been unanimously thrown out by councillors.

The Seisdon Landfill Site was previously used for tipping incinerator ash, but this activity stopped more than 20 years ago.

Seisdon UK Ltd put forward plans to South Staffordshire Council to restore part of the site at Ebstree Road, Seisdon, and build up to 49 retirement homes there, as well as parking and landscaping.

A planning statement submitted as part of the application said the development would provide bungalows and sheltered housing for the over 50s on a brownfield site.

It added: “The proposal would develop on approximately 50 per cent of the site for dwellings and the remaining area would form part of the restoration of the site and this would be 50 per cent for woodland, leisure and nature conservation.

“The proposed development would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development. Overall the proposal provides for a sustainable form of development meeting the strong need for new housing in the district.”

But the proposals were considered inappropriate development in the Green Belt by council planning officers. They recommended the application for refusal ahead of the planning committee meeting on May 19, which was held by video conference.

A report to the committee said: “Bungalows with 30 per cent affordable would go some way to meeting the needs of the council’s ageing population. However, the site is not considered appropriate for such development, it is disassociated from the village with no walkway or regular bus service providing access.

“Notwithstanding this Seisdon has virtually no facilities for its existing residents, providing only a very small shop and garage. The proposal is to provide a ‘community centre’ but no further details have been received.”

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There were also objections from Trysull and Seisdon Parish Council and 45 residents.

A statement from objector Andrew Hingley-Smith, read out during the virtual meeting, said: “This will be an unacceptable development in the Green Belt – it is not accepted that this is a brownfield site. It is not consistent with planning policy and a requirement for a mix of property sizes and types.

“Seisdon was identified as an inappropriate location for development and this would be well outside the development boundary. It would create an isolated elderly community with no facilities and no transport links – the nearest Post Office is in Wombourne five kilometres (3.1 miles) away.”

Ward councillor Victoria Wilson also raised concerns about the proposals. She said: “This site is in the Green Belt where there is a presumption against development.

“The site is located well away from the current village boundary of Seisdon. Residents would have to travel for services to Wombourne or even Wolverhampton or Bridgnorth – we lost the only pub some time ago to residential dwellings.

“I note the scheme will provide some affordable housing as well as homes for the over 55s but I do not consider this site is appropriate for such homes. We should be encouraging communities to mix and integrate with each other – not keep separate.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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