Controversial Stafford apartments set to be approved despite parking concerns
Controversial plans for 80 apartments are set to be approved this week.
The move would see a four and five-storey building for affordable accommodation built for those aged 55 and over at the corner of Lammascote Road and Riverway in Stafford.
The site was previously used as Staffordshire County Council offices, a school and long-stay car parking.
But residents raised concerns about parking issues on nearby residential streets, its proximity to busy roads, harm to character of the area and the height of the building at 16.36m. One resident says in a letter to the council’s planning department: “The building at four and five storeys will be far too high.
“The existing building Portway House at three storeys is more than high enough.
“Any building higher would have a harmful impact on the character of the surrounding area. There can never be sufficient parking space. We already have parking problems in Fairway and the surrounding street.”
Altered plans for the 4,119sq m site have been put forward to Stafford Borough Council by developer Panacea Property Developers Ltd, which will be reviewed on Wednesday (Jan 3).
The number of parking spaces have been increased from 72 to 78 in order to address parking concerns.
The council’s highways authority said: “Given the sustainable location of the site and the now increased parking provision, it is considered the parking ratio is acceptable.” The corner of the building at Lammascote Road would also be moved further away from the footpath under the revised plans by three metres to be 7.5metres away. In the application, the developers argue the height of the building is ‘not out of character’ because of Pennycorfts, stands at 16-storeys high.
It report states: “It is considered that the visual relationship of the two buildings would serve to counter the perception that the proposal would be excessive in size and scale.” Under the revised plans, the residents’ garden has also been relocated to the east side of the site to make it quieter for prospective residents and more attractive after concerns were raised that it was too close to a petrol filling station.
A council design advisor added in a further report: “Overall, my view of this scheme is largely unchanged from that previously expressed, but the recent modifications (namely the relocation of the resident’s garden and the rotating/straightening of the building within the site), do further improve the designs response to its context as well as previously identified issues and I am therefore supportive of these changes.”
The 80 apartments would be managed by social housing provider, through rent or shared ownership, if the council gave the plans the green light.