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Eccleshall homes plans spark mixed reaction

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

By Kerry Ashdown

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PROSPECTIVE buyers were among the visitors to an Eccleshall housing development exhibition – but current villagers fear it could make existing drainage problems worse.

Building firm Taylor Wimpey is yet to submit a planning application for the development at Shaws Lane, but the homes have already attracted interest from people interested in moving in, Taylor Wimpey’s land negotiator Adam Holmes said.

“We have had varied responses”, he said. “Some people are concerned about issues like drainage and we have had some people wanting to buy the properties.

“One person has sold their house in Cumbria, and is currently renting outside Eccleshall but wants to buy somewhere in the village.”

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The potential buyers were among more than 150 people who attended the public exhibition of the plans at Eccleshall Community Centre on February 5.

Outline planning permission has already been granted to develop the site, which is next to the community centre and currently contains Bishop Lonsdale School’s former building and playing fields. The school, which had two sites on either side of the lane, moved fully into the other building in September 2013.

Taylor Wimpey has pledged to make a contribution to educational provision if plans are approved and sports pitches have already been replaced.

Out of the 82 homes earmarked for the eight acre site 25 would be affordable housing and the development would include open space and play equipment. The homes would be a mix of 2, 3, 4 and 5-bedroom properties, with some apartments.

But Eccleshall residents raised a number of issues at last week’s event, including concerns the apartments could overlook neighbouring homes and gardens flooding.

Joy Clark, of Trinity Road which backs onto the site, said: “We are very disappointed. The properties are very close to us at the back and they include a three storey block of flats two metres higher than our ground level.”

Neighbour Sarah Neeld added: “Drainage is a major issue. My garden already becomes a quagmire and we are concerned it is going to get worse.”

Mike Cheadle said: “Towns need development but it needs to be the correct development. I am concerned about whether the site will be overdeveloped.

“Nearby gardens flood at the moment and I wouldn’t want the new houses to be flooded.”

Taylor Wimpey is proposing a number of measures to ensure the risk of flooding to neighbouring sites does not increase. These include storing excess surface water on site within oversized sewers and a dry pond.

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