Stafford bungalow plans deferred because of parking concerns

A social landlord has been asked to reconsider plans to knock down garage blocks in Stafford and build bungalows on the site because of concerns residents will lose parking space.

One of the garages. Picture by Google Street View
One of the garages. Picture by Google Street View

Three bungalows are earmarked for the land at Trent Close, Mosspit, by Stafford and Rural Homes. There are currently two blocks of garages on the site, which is also used for off-street car parking.

Stafford Borough Council’s planning officers have recommended the plans to demolish the 13 garages and redevelop the site for housing should be approved.

But Councillor Angela Loughran, who represents the Manor ward, called in the application for consideration by the authority’s planning committee.

Councillor Loughran told the committee at their latest meeting: “This is not a former garage site – there are garages still being used in that area. People have in fact applied for garages in that area and have been told there are no garages available.

“When Stafford Borough Council built the houses in this area they had the foresight to provide them with garages. At the moment four of those garages being proposed for demolition are being used by residents who live in Blythe Road.

“If the garages are removed then I’m afraid there is going to be a depletion of a very important amenity. The plans for the bungalows are excellent but it is where they are being positioned which is the problem.”

Councillor Loughran called for the application to be referred back for reconsideration. Committee members Michael Dodson and Jack Kemp spoke in support of a deferral so that that a parking area could be added to replace the facilities set to be lost if the plans were approved.

Design

Councillor Jill Hood said: “It is clear from what the ward member has said if we lose these garages on-street parking which is going to cause a problem in the area for residents.

“I admire the design of the bungalows but I wonder if it is worth the loss the residents are going to feel when they lose the garages and the area where they can park.”

Fellow committee member Councillor Marnie Phillips called for the application to be approved because the new bungalows were needed in the borough by disabled residents requiring suitable places to live independently.

She added: “I do empathise as far as parking is concerned.

“But we have far too many people in our borough trapped in their own homes because they are not suitable, who are desperate for bungalows. We are talking children who are wheelchair-bound and can’t access more than one room.

“We have a social housing provider who are willing to build them. I don’t see how we can refuse this – it’s going to improve lives and mental health.”

Seven members backed the proposal for the application to be sent back for reconsideration, with four voting against the deferral.

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