Just five of the 13 garages at the site in Trent Close, Moss Pit, are in use according to a report by Stafford Borough Council planning officers. But several cars were spotted parked on the private land during a weekend visit, the council's planning committee heard on Wednesday (August 4), and worries remain about where these vehicles will be parked in future if the site is redeveloped.
Social housing landlord Stafford and Rural Homes put forward plans for three bungalows on the land last year but Stafford Borough Council's planning committee referred the application back so that more parking spaces could be considered.
Plans were revised to include three visitor parking spaces and two of the bungalows are now proposed to be two storey semi-detached homes instead, alongside one bungalow. Each property will have two parking spaces.
On Wednesday seven committee members voted to approve the latest application, with one abstention.
The meeting was told that residents with garages on the land had been offered alternative provision on other sites.
Committee member Councillor Marnie Phillips, who abstained from the vote, said: "I was eager to get this through due to the fact we were getting bungalows and I know this was sent back because some members of the committee wanted to find out about additional parking for residents with garages there.
"I'm disappointed to see it has come back and the applicant has changed their mind – instead of having three bungalows for families with disabilities we have one. Those bungalows are desperately needed.
"It has removed the opportunity of opening up the lives of families with disabled children. I fail to see how this scheme coming back in this form is better than the original."
Councillor Andy Cooper said: "This might have been an ideal spot for provision of homes for disabled people. It is a shame we have got to sacrifice that for a couple of extra parking spaces."
Councillor Aidan Godfrey said: "I share the concerns regarding parking – where are the residents going to go. I would have preferred the original scheme with the three bungalows but unfortunately we cannot dictate what the developer will put forward to us.
"While it is a shame the residents are going to lose their parking spaces there isn't a reason to turn it down."
But Councillor Gillian Pardesi said: "Very few of those garages are used for parking cars – a lot of them are used for storage space."
Councillor Jill Hood said: "It seems awful for those people who are going to lose their car parking. They will be displaced somewhere else.
"One neighbour states Stafford and Rural Homes don't know how many garages are being used because they can't gain access to them. I don't believe all these garages they are saying are empty are empty."