RESIDENTS battling controversial plans for 320 homes in Stafford are gearing up for the next stage of the fight as a planning appeal begins this morning at the civic offices.
The appeal by developers Milwood Land is being heard by a government planing inspector and is scheduled to last for two days. It begins at 10am, and objectors are expected to be out in force.
More than 50 neighbours, and Hyde Lea Parish Council, objected to the homes plan on land between Ashflats Lane and Moss Pit, and celebrated earlier this year when Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme.
Householders had a range of concerns about the development, including the size and scale of the planned housing, traffic dangers on the busy A449 road into Stafford, disruption to wildlife, and housing being built too close to the noisy M6 motorway.
Members of Stafford's planning committee voted unanimously to reject the plan, which they ruled was outside the development boundary for the town and one councillor said it would be "absolute lunacy" to site a new junction on the A449, said to be one of the busiest roads in Stafford.
But Milwood Land claimed there were no planing grounds for the refusal and wrote a letter to all 59 borough councillors.
The applicant’s letter said: “The site will produce 94 badly needed affordable homes in a very short time frame as we are already negotiating this with your selected provider South Staffs Housing and will help considerably with your council’s massive shortfall of provision of affordable housing.”