A number of Aston by Stone residents fear the crates on land at Stone Business Park will be an eyesore. There are also concerns about light pollution from the site, which is used to store vehicles.
But Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee approved Jaguar Land Rover’s request to change the use of a 2.9 hectare (7.2 acre) area of the site to enable crates containing vehicle parts to be stored there. Committee members visited the area before making their decision at a special meeting on Monday.
Councillor Ann Edgeller said: “Looking at this site I personally have no objection to it. What I would like to see is a fence repaired which is falling down.
“There is an embankment there – why can’t we plant some trees there? It would help with the visibility.”
Fellow committee member Councillor Brendan McKeown said: “Today’s site visit, if anything, convinced us the original approval of the lighting on there was a dreadful decision. The lights are so high and there are far too many of them.
“If this committee were in a position to ask, we need to reduce the amount of light pollution and visual intrusion. It seems to me completely unnecessary to have so many lighting columns when you can make security much easier by infra-red beams.”
Councillor Gareth Jones, who chaired the meeting, said: “I don’t think we are in a position to suggest that. But the point you made is a valid one, having seen what we have seen.”
Jaguar Land Rover was granted permission for the 21 hectare (52 acre) vehicle storage site on land at Jasper Way in 2018, despite strong opposition from Stone community leaders and residents of Aston by Stone.
A planning statement submitted as part of the latest application said: “This storage use is in association with the primary storage and vehicle distribution use of the site and will provide Jaguar Land Rover additional flexibility in the use of the site and to maximise storage space. This storage use falls within Use Class B8, however due to the restrictive nature of Condition 3, the crate storage falls outside the scope of the existing condition.
“Operating hours for crates to be delivered in to/out of Stone would be between 7am and 5pm. HGV movements will be less than what was previously considered acceptable, therefore there will be no material change in the intensity of the use of the site.
“The layout scale and appearance of the site will not be altered. There are no physical alterations planned to the site.
“The proposal seeks to utilise existing car parking spaces to store crates. Maximum storage height will be no higher than three metres (the fence line height) and no more than two crates high.”