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Controversial plans in Stafford village passed without residents having say

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

NO CALL IN...Councillor Mike Smith says he is convinced the plans would have been passed

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 24 homes in a Gnosall field have been passed without residents' knowledge, it is claimed.

Developer Bellway Homes Ltd submitted the application for land off Knightley Road.

The application was similar to one that was rejected by members of Stafford Borough Council's planning committee in November.

The company appealed against that decision and submitted another application which was not called in for debate and was approved by officers.

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Furious resident Doug Webb, of nearby Old Barn Close, said other applications that would bring more than 100 new homes into the village had already been granted.

"There is nothing we can do about it, we have no right of appeal unless we engage upon a judicial route costing many thousands if not millions of pounds," he said.

"If this application had gone to the full planning committee for debate and then passed for approval, though I wouldn't have been happy, I would have accepted the decision as being democratically arrived at.

"My concern now is that the rest of the planning applications (and more possible future ones) could also follow this path and we end up with hundreds more unwanted houses with no infrastructure to support them.

"All we want is a chance to have a say in where these developments should be built in our village, not that there should be no development. Once these green field or green belt sites are built on they are gone for ever."

A report by planning officers said: "This site is a preferable option for some additional housing compared to other sites being advanced for housing development in the vicinity."

Ward councillor Mike Smith said: "Before Christmas we said we would call all applications in. The original application was called in and went to committee and was refused on the grounds of prematurity. Councillor Ken Williamson and I are convinced that the new application couldn't be defended on that reason now that the local plan is where it is."

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