74 homes on the way to Stafford rugby pitches
Dozens of homes are to be built on training pitches at Stafford Rugby Club with the plans set for the green light, despite concerns over traffic.
Lovell Partnerships and Touch Developments want to construct 74 properties at Mansell Close just east of the Stafford Castle Golf Club house.
The rugby club, based nearby in Castlefields, will no longer need the land after securing planning permission to relocate to Blackberry Lane.
But residents have raised a raft of issues, including access problems and the loss of open space. But Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee is poised to grant permission at a meeting next week on the back of recommendations from development officers.
The site is just north of a playing field by Newport Road which has been earmarked for a 63-bed care home by YourLife Management Services and Francis Melfort William the Baron of Stafford, although that application has yet to be determined by the council.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge has called in the rugby pitches plan for discussion.
She summarised her concerns as: "Lack of green space for children to play, positioning next to duel carriageway and water retention area is not in the interest of the potential owners. Loss of communal parking to Mansell Close, first design on masterplan showed none of these."
Meanwhile, the Newport Road Area Residents’ Association has lodged a ‘strong’ objection having previously applied to register the land as a community asset because of how much it is used.
The proposed access to the site would be close to the entrance to the Mansell Close cul-de-sac from Redgrave Drive.
The borough council has received more than 30 consultation responses with many raising fears it will bring dozens of extra cars daily as well as claiming the access is dangerous.
Margaret Lockley of Gillingham Crescent said: "The proposal will result in significantly more traffic along Redgrave Drive with the proposed site access being via Mansell Close.
"The exit onto Redgrave Drive is very close to the island at the end of Kingsway, the prospect of this increase in traffic volume would present an increased safety risk to existing road users and pedestrians."
Maureen Neligan from Newport Road added: "The development will add significant extra dangers to existing residents, and to those in the new development.
"These include: water accumulating in the attenuation feature, traffic exiting onto Mansell Close and Redgrave Drive, and pedestrians and cyclists exiting the estate via the footpath onto Castle Way, which is already a risky location, but which will be worse with a formal footpath."
Sport England also raised initial concerns about the loss of the playing fields but did not lodge a formal objection because the rugby club has secured a new site.
A report for Wednesday’s meeting recommends approval and concludes: “The layout and design is satisfactory and will provide satisfactory levels of residential amenity for both existing and prospective occupiers.
"Proposed access, parking and drainage details are satisfactory and arboricultural and biodiversity interests can be safeguarded by appropriate conditions."