Councillors call public meeting to discuss Local Plan concerns

Stafford residents concerned about a potential new housing development on the town border are being called to an urgent meeting this month.

South Staffordshire Council has earmarked land off the A34 Cannock Road, next to Stafford’s Wildwood area, as a potential site for at least 81 new homes in its latest Local Plan.

But residents and community leaders in Stafford Borough fear that homes built on the land would put extra strain on the town’s existing services, such as GP surgeries and schools. Borough councillors Ann Edgeller and Marnie Phillips have organised a public meeting for Wednesday, November 30, to discuss opposing the site’s inclusion in the Local Plan.

Previous proposals put forward by a developer to build more than 150 new homes on farmland off Cannock Road were rejected by South Staffordshire Council. But last year the land was identified as a potential site for more than 160 new homes by the district council as it revealed its “preferred options” for the Local Plan.

The authority has now reached the “pre-submission” stage of preparing the plan, which sets out a blueprint for future development in the South Staffordshire district in the years leading up to 2039. A public consultation is currently open to enable residents, community groups and other organisations and individuals to give their views on the legal soundness of the document.

The Local Plan has already sparked strong feeling from many, with protesters packing into a special council meeting earlier this month and displaying placards raising concerns about housing numbers and building on the Green Belt. The aim is for around 9,000 new homes across the district during the plan period, which includes some of the unmet need from the wider West Midlands region.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7pm and it will be held at Stafford Boat Club, off Maplewood, Wildwood. Councillor Phillips said: “We understand that Gladman Homes is looking at the site again too.

“We have no school places in the Baswich/Wildwood area to accommodate children and our go surgeries are at capacity. It would impact on our local amenities in a negative way and I don’t believe SSDC fully understands or appreciates the impact that this site – and the development of it – will have on our area.”

The latest Local Plan consultation is open until Friday, December 23. For more information visit sstaffs.gov.uk/planning/local-plan-review-publication-plan.cfm

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