PLANS to build four detached houses in Stone that residents say would be out of keeping with a country lane have been put on hold.
Householders turned out in force when the proposals for land at Oulton Croft, Nicholls Lane, Stone, went before Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee.
Stone Town Council and MP Bill Cash objected to the application by Staffordshire Country Homes, saying Nicholls Lane was not suitable for taking the extra traffic and it would be destructive to the rural environment.
Some 32 neighbours also objected raising concerns about Nicholls Lane and traffic.
Two previous applications for the same site were refused last year and in 2009 because of the impact on rural character.
Speaking for objectors David Bryant said: “This is a resubmission of an application refused last year. As then this proposed development will be completely out of keeping with the character of Nicholls Lane.”
Supporting the application land owner Phil Osman said: “It’s where I have lived for 25 years and it’s now surrounded on three sides by modern development.
“Over the last 12 months we have taken on board all matters raised about both previous refusals. We have addressed all the key concerns. I can honestly say as a longstanding resident of this community the scheme fits in with the local area.”
A statement by ward Councillor Joyce Farnham, read in her absence, said: “This is a very contentious issue and I fully understand the objections raised. This development is detrimental to the existing rural character and appearance of Nicholls Lane.
"I feel strongly that had the applicant discussed the new proposal with members of the community directly affected, a compromise could have been achieved but this didn’t happen.”
Her ward colleague Councillor Phil Leason said: “This application still changes the appearance of Nicholls Lane. Residents feel it’s inevitable there will be development on this site and have offered to meet developers but their offer has not been taken up.”
The committee also heard the plans breached their spatial guidelines in several instances, sometimes by 40 percent. They agreed to visit the site to help them consider the issues.