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Stafford's Ashflats appeal opens with "absurd" claim

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

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RESIDENTS turned out in force to see a developer who wants to build up to 320 homes near them appeal the refusal of their plans.

On the opening day of an appeal by developers Milwood Land, Stafford Borough Council, which rejected the plans in February, said it was “absurd” to suggest they didn’t have a five-year housing land supply.

The company said the authority’s housing land figures were out of even though a government inspector approved them last month.

They want to build the homes on a greenfield site between Ashflats Lane and Moss Pit.

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More than 50 neighbours and Hyde Lea Parish Council objected to the plans when they were submitted.

The company’s barrister Hugh Richards said: “The appellant’s case is that the council has not demonstrated that there will be any prejudice on the strategic development locations caused by permitting the appeal scheme.

“From the start of the appeal process the appellant made it clear that it does not accept that the council can demonstrate a five-year supply. Despite the plan for Stafford borough having been so recently adopted, the policies for the supply of housing remain out of date.”

Representing the council Tim Leader said a government inspector had said last month the authority had enough housing land for more than five years.

“There’s just no need to release greenfield land at this time to meet the borough’s development requirements.

“When the inspector reported in June he found there would be a five-year housing land supply.”

He added to suggest the figures were out of date would be “genuinely absurd.”

The appeal is scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

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