Express & Star

Home plans for Eccleshall pub’s former car park rejected

Plans for two new homes on an Eccleshall pub’s former car park have been rejected by councillors after concerns were raised about their effect on neighbours.

A google Street View Image of the Eagle Inn's former car park on Newport Road, Eccleshall

Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee went against the recommendation of officers to approve the latest application for the land at Newport Road on Wednesday.

Instead, members voted to refuse permission because of fears the new properties would result in loss of daylight, shadowing and privacy issues for existing residents. The land was previously used as a car park for the nearby Eagle Inn on Gaol Butts and outline planning consent was given for up to two houses in 2020.

A neighbour who spoke out on behalf of Spring Hollow residents against the detailed plans at Wednesday's meeting said: “We are objecting because of the sheer scale and mass of these two houses in relation to our homes.

“It has been said that these houses are grossly and disproportionately high for the plot. I understand the builder wants to maximise profit – all we ask is for consideration for those of us that live next door to the proposed houses.

“Our homes are two storeys and the new plans are for 2.5 storeys – in reality, three storeys. Neighbours are going to lose significant sunlight to homes and gardens, they will have no natural sunlight after midday.”

Architect David Woodfine, who spoke in support of the application, said the car park was currently an “unsightly” area and the new development would enhance one of the entrances to Eccleshall.

He added: “The dwellings will provide an attractive frontage. There have been numerous amendments, resulting in a reduction in the size of the dwellings. We have worked positively with officers to come to this point – it’s difficult to revisit and we have tried several times.

“The proposals are supported by the council as being acceptable and we have agreed specifications for high-quality materials. The site sits outside of the Eccleshall conservation area.”

Committee member Tony Nixon suggested the design could be reconsidered. “Maybe the developer could come back with something more appropriate”, he said.

But the council’s development manager John Holmes responded: “This is at least the fourth amendment. It started out with a larger floor space.

“The first plan that came in was refusable and there have been incremental changes. We have got to the stage where officers believe it has become acceptable.

“You might have a different view from that. I don’t think deferring it is going to make the architect go and draw up different plans – in the meantime, they could appeal against non-determination.”