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Controversial housing plan near Stafford withdrawn days before meeting

By Kerry Ashdown | Stafford | News | Published:

Controversial plans for more than 150 homes on farmland near Stafford have been withdrawn – just days before were due to be considered at a council planning committee.

More than 800 people had signed a petition against Gladman Developments' proposals for the land off Cannock Road.

While there were also more than 160 objections sent in to South Staffordshire Council.

The application was due to come before the authority's next planning committee on Tuesday(20). But it was withdrawn earlier this month – and residents and community leaders have welcomed the news.

South Staffordshire Councillor Len Bates, who represents the affected Penkridge North East and Acton Trussell ward, said the application had been recommended for refusal by planning officers ahead of next week's meeting.

He said: "Gladman put in an application some two years ago and I managed to get that refused at the time. This application was virtually a carbon copy of the original one – nothing had changed.

“If it had gone through it would have had a terrible impact on the town of Stafford. It would have had impact on medical services and on the roads – particularly the A34.”

Councillor Jenny Barron, who represents the Weeping Cross and Wildwood ward in neighbouring Stafford Borough Council alongside her husband Ray, said: "It is fabulous news and we are both absolutely delighted.

“We are grateful to Len Bates and pleased the farmer can carry on with his crops there – it’s prime agricultural land. It would have brought such chaos to Wildwood, with all the traffic we currently have on the roads.

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“A lot of residents are delighted, particularly those who are affected by Acton Hill Lane and in the bungalows opposite. It would have been horrendous having to look out over that.”

Fellow Stafford Borough Councillor Ann Edgeller said: "I’m so pleased it has been withdrawn – I was really concerned about the traffic and the impact it would have on the area.

"But I’m very cautious. It might appear again, but I hope not.”

A previous application for the site was refused permission by South Staffordshire Council and went to appeal – which was withdrawn last year, just weeks before a public hearing was due to begin.

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A fresh application for up to 155 homes and 55 apartments with care facilities was submitted at the end of 2018. There were also proposals for public open space, landscaping and a vehicle access point from Cannock Road.

A design and access statement, submitted as part of the latest application, said: “The overall vision for the site is to provide a distinctive and high quality place which complements the qualities and character of Stafford.

“South Staffordshire Council have a need for both open market and affordable housing. Approval of the development will help towards addressing the need for housing within the district."

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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