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Controversial plans for hundreds of homes in greenbelt set for refusal

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

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PLANS to build up to 320 homes on a greenfield site look set to hit a brick wall after planners recommended they were refused.

Stafford-based Milwood Land want to demolish an existing property and develop land between Ashflats Lane and the A449 Moss Pit.

More than 50 residents have objected to the plans because of concerns including traffic, wildlife and noise.

Leonore Ashwell, of Ashflats Lane, said: “The entrance to this development will be onto the main A449 directly below the railway bridge. This road is incredibly busy on a normal day and when there are problems on the motorway this road comes to a standstill. If traffic lights or an island is put in, this would most certainly make the traffic problem a lot worse.”

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Brian and Susan Causer, of Moss Pit, said: “Ash Flats is part of a natural flood plain. It is surrounded by higher ground. The railway and the M6 have been built across the Ash Flats reducing its area over various years. To completely cover it with a housing estate would completely alter the surface area for the ground to absorb heavy rainfall and could increase local flooding.”

Hyde Lea Parish Council say the development would be a blight to prospective residents.

The borough council’s parks and open spaces development officer has asked for contributions of £112,432 for a swimming pool, £147,357 for sports courts and halls, £20,424 for artificial turf pitches and £9,163 for bowling green.

The application has been called in by Councillor Geoff Rowlands because of concerns about access to the A449 and the authority’s planning committee will consider the application tomorrow (FRI).

A report to councillors said: “The proposed development is on a greenfield site outside the residential development boundary for Stafford. The development of the site for housing would therefore be in conflict with (council policy).

“The council can demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land including a 20 per cent buffer.”

A statement on behalf of applicants said: “The site and its environs have been examined in great detail by a variety of expert consultants to ensure that all relevant planning and environmental aspects have been considered.

“This development will provide much needed variety of residential provision including affordable houses and sheltered accommodation for the elderly in the locality.”

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