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Controversial plans for homes in Wootton Drive in Stafford given the go ahead despite concerns

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

Controversial plans for homes in Wootton Drive in Stafford given the go ahead despite concerns

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ANGRY residents have lost their battle against houses being built on land originally earmarked open space in Stafford.

The borough’s planning committee this week gave the go ahead for eight two-bedroom and six three-bed homes on land next to Wootton Drive in Tillington despite opposition.

Resident Tony Lavelle made a last-ditch bid to persuade councillors against approving the scheme by Hallam Land Management Ltd at a meeting on Monday.

But members said although they had had reservations about the development, which is next to a sports pitch, there were no good planning reasons to turn it down.

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Controversy has raged for some years over the proposals. In 2009 Mr Lavelle took the borough council to the Local Government Ombudsman, who found the authority guilty of maladministration because it had failed to keep the land for public use. The council was ordered to pay him £250 compensation as records were found to be incomplete.

This week councillors visited the site before making a final decision.

At the meeting Mr Lavelle said it would change the character of the green network in the area, render the embankment useless as it was put in to shield against the nearby M6 motorway and separate living space from the recreation area.

He added: “We are concerned it will create parking problems, which will lead to disharmony. There will be little privacy, motorway noise and there are concerns about anti-social behaviour.”

But Councillor Ian Hollinshead said: “I am still concerned but it is very difficult to refuse it on planning grounds.”

And Councillor Geoff Rowlands added: “We should accept the recommendations to approve but on condition that barriers are put in to prevent cyclists going past the houses but do not prevent wheelchair access.”

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