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Stone residents: We were gagged over floodplain housing plans

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

FLOOD...Councillor Joyce Farnham was against proposals

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RESIDENTS on a Stone estate say they were gagged about plans to build houses on flood-prone land which planners have approved.

Seddon Homes applied to build nine two-storey detached homes on agricultural land off Chandlers Way and although residents were against the proposals they were not allowed to object because of a clause in their lease.

Ward Councillor Philip Leason told a meeting of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee residents had to get a flood risk assessment before they could get a mortgage.

"You may be surprised there are no objections but the reason is as part of their deeds they have had to sign to say they would not object to any planning application made by Seddon," he said.

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“This site lies outside the residential development boundary and is currently considered agricultural land.”

His ward colleague Councillor Joyce Farnham said: “A very serious and real concern is the fact this development will take place on a well-recognised flood plain. In the present amended borough plan there’s no mention of removing (the land) from green infrastructure status.”

Councillor Peter Jones said: “Two thirds of this field is going to flood and we are thinking about granting planning permission. I think we are crazy.”

With the committee tied at six votes for and against approval chairman Councillor Stan Highfield used his casting vote to push the plans through.

After the meeting resident Peter Owen, of Chandler Way, said: “We were gagged. We took legal advice and we were told the closest we could come to objecting would be to send a letter to the council to say we couldn’t say anything, which we did.

“We are very disenchanted with the whole outcome because we know that it does flood including where they’re going to put the houses.”

His neighbour Lisa Russell, 38,also of Chandler Way, said: “We were going to put a dinghy on it last year it flooded so badly. We had swans on it.”

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