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Council drops open space funding requirement for bungalow development

By Kerry Ashdown | Stafford | News | Published:

A social housing landlord will no longer have to pay almost £12,000 towards open space in Stafford Borough as part of planning permission for new bungalows.

Ivyhouse Drive

Stafford and Rural Homes secured consent in May to build 13 new bungalows and a convenience store on land at Ivyhouse Drive, Barlaston. Garage blocks and an existing convenience store are set to be demolished to make way for the new buildings.

The permission was subject to a number of conditions, including a financial contribution of £11,902.46 towards open space provision – known as a Section 106 Agreement.

But the application returned to Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee last week.

A report to the meeting said: “The DVS conclude that on the basis of the provision of a contribution of £11,902.46 for off-site open space the proposed scheme is not financially viable. Furthermore, even without the requirement for this contribution the applicant would still need to contribute to the development from their own internal resources.

“The Sports and Outdoor Leisure Policy Officer however states that without the contribution towards open space being secured, the application should be refused. The reason given is that the additional units would result in increased pressure on the open space available in Barlaston which should be enhanced via developer contributions.”

All 13 bungalows set to be built are classed as affordable properties. They would assist the council in tackling an annual shortfall in affordable housing, the report added.

Councillors gave the go-ahead for the £11,902.46 open space funding requirement to be dropped.

But concerns remained about parking and traffic issues in the area.

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Councillor Michael Dodson said: “I was asked to look at this application by the ward member, and I went onto the site yesterday. In spite of it being the middle of the day, when many of the residents were at work, because of the parking down Ivyhouse Drive I had to stop twice to let traffic coming the other way go past.

“The road was littered with cars parked on either side so that it became a single track. That was the sole objection the parish council had to this development; otherwise they were in support of it and the opportunity for local residents to downsize.

“Surveys have suggested there is demand for that type of property. The garages are too small for modern cars and are mainly used for storage.

“Stafford and Rural Homes, who manage the whole of this site, have already drawn up plans for extended car parking on Ivyhouse Drive to move traffic off the highway.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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