PLANS for 130 new homes at Eccleshall have moved a step closer after community leaders agreed “reluctantly” not to oppose the scheme.
The plan by Richborough Estates for land off Stafford Road would deliver low-density housing, public open space and play spaces for young children and teenagers, Eccleshall Parish Council’s planning committee heard.
Chairman Councillor David Pimble said negotiations with the firm had resulted in “substantial” revisions, including road junction improvements and a ban on through traffic from Badgers Croft onto the new housing site.
He said allowing the scheme could help meet the planned allocation of housing in the villages around Stafford and prevent other, more unsuitable developments getting through in planing appeals.
But he blamed government housing policies for putting villages under pressure from large developments.
“Sadly, the planing position we are in has been imposed by the government,” Councillor Pimble said. “The presumption in favour of development is landing us in trouble.”
Councillor Paul Mullee said the Richborough scheme could act as a “firewall” preventing further development.
Councillor Bryan Delanchy said:”The planning floodgates are open, and the potential is for us to go the same way as Gnosall.
“It doesn’t sit well with me to support this application, because of its size, but this is a location where we would be likely to accept housing under the neighbourhood plan.”
Borough councillor Jeremy Pert said he was concerned at the impact of 130 new homes being built at once, and said a phased development over several years would be easier for the area to cope with.
“We need phased and balanced development,” he said.
“We o need more housing, but not this number and not all at once.”