CHURCH-OWNED land in a village near Stafford is being earmarked for a housing development.
Up to 11 homes are being proposed in the grounds of The Rectory in Haughton.
The land is currently owned by the Lichfield Diocese, but property agent Fisher German is seeking outline planning permission for residential development before the land is put up for sale.
Liberty Stones, a partner at Fisher German, told a meeting at Haughton Village Hall: “The Lichfield Diocese is a charity and as a charity they have to get the best out of their assets.
“A recent planning appeal decision identified a shortfall in Stafford Borough Council’s five-year housing supply requirement and there are opportunities for sites not allocated to be brought forward for development.”
A planning application for the site has yet to be submitted to Stafford Borough Council.
Friday’s meeting, hosted by Haughton Parish Council, gave villagers the opportunity to put their views forward and around 30 people attended.
They were given indicative plans for the site, which showed how seven family homes of three to four bedrooms and four two-bedroom “starter homes” could be arranged. The existing trees on the site were all set to be retained, with just a section of hedgerow removed on Rectory Lane to create an access to the site.
But Ms Stones said that the housing type and number of homes was subject to change, as these details would be covered by a further planning application if the outline permission was granted. A developer would need to submit a further planning application if they wished to build more than 11 homes on the site however, she added.
Villagers at the meeting raised concern about the potential for three storey homes. They also said the village needed bungalows for older residents.
Parish and borough councillor Barry Stamp said: “We have to make sure as a community that we specify we don’t want three-storey houses.
“The plan we have here talks about 11 houses, with seven four bedroom and four more affordable, but there is no reason Liberty cannot go back with the message the village wants bungalows. All they are trying to do is establish the principle of housing.”
In neighbouring Gnosall several sites are being earmarked for housing, which has sparked concerns about how the village infrastructure will cope. To read more click here.