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Hixon homes plans put back for second time in two weeks

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: March 03, 2014

By Kerry Ashdown

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A CONTROVERSIAL decision on plans for more than 70 new homes in a village near Stafford has been delayed for the second time in a fortnight.

Many Hixon residents have objected to the proposed new housing development on land next to New Road.

The director of a machinery manufacturing business, Turfmech, which neighbours the site has also hit out at the plans because of concerns that the potential new residents would suffer noise problems.

On Friday Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee agreed to defer their decision so they could seek further detail on noise issues from their environmental health department. This delay comes just over a week after they deferred the decision at their last meeting, so they could go on a site visit.

The application, submitted by Lloyd Stoddart Development, originally indicated up to 81 new homes could be built on the site. But this number has been cut to 76, the committee heard on Friday, and the plans have been recommended for approval.

John Heath, speaking on behalf of the applicant at Friday’s meeting, said: “The land was once part of the airfield and is of very poor agricultural value.

“A local and well respected builder will provide much-needed family homes to sustain this key service village.”

He added that 23 of the homes will provide affordable housing, through shared equity schemes or social renting. And following the February 19 meeting, when the plans were last considered, the distance between the neighbouring factory and the nearest house had been increased.

But Austin Jarrett, managing director of Turfmech, which has been operating in Hixon since 2000, said his company needed to operate around the clock to stay competitive and residents living hundreds of metres away from the site had already highlighted noise from his site.

“I can’t understand why a committee would approve a housing scheme next to an industrial factory,” he said.

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