No go for houses to join up villages
FAMILIES have won their fight against plans for 97 new homes amid fears it would ‘join up’ two villages.
All 12 members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning applications committee voted to refuse a planning application last week for the proposed properties on land between Folly Lane and Cheadle Road in Cheddleton.
Some 85 letters of objection to the plan were received raising issues including:
■ It would ruin the countryside;
■ Plans have been turned down on numerous occasions;
■ The site is in the Green Belt;
■ It will join up Wetley Rocks and Cheddleton and lead to more traffic on a dangerous road;
■ A lack of infrastructre.
Speaking to the planning committee, Cheddleton councillor Mike Bowen said: “We have been here before.
“It has twice been refused and dismissed on appeal on the grounds of the Green Belt. This is an opportunist speculator offering to fill their pockets.
“The hollow is the biggest black spot in the village. Many accidents do not get reported. There was one last week. The highways personnel do not live in Cheddleton.
“Give this message to the developers, get out of the village.”
Cheddleton Parish Council strongly objected to the application, saying: “The development would result in the coalescence of two villages and would conflict with the Green Belt policy.
“Over the years this land has been the subject of two planning applications both were refused by the SMDC and consequently when one went to appeal the decision was upheld by the Government Inspector on the grounds that it would effectively join two villages.
“The council also object on the grounds of urban sprawl, the lack of infrastructure and amenities and the sewerage problem which also needs to be borne in mind.
“The dangerous access from Rock End Drive onto the A520 Cheadle Road is a very busy road with a 50mph speed limit; a stretch of road that has a history of accidents.”
Another Cheddleton councillor, Mike Worthington, said: “Folly Lane has no pavements at the end. “It is an accident black spot and will cause chaos. Do people of Cheddleton and Wetley Rocks want to be joined up?”
The applicant’s agent Gez Willard said that only two affordable
homes had been built in this rural area over the last two years.
He said: “This application gives 30 affordable homes. There has been eight years of austerity. Pubs and petrol stations have closed, more will wither away. New homes are essential to keep them alive. This would give viability to Cheddleton and rural and affordable houses.”
Planning committee member, councillor Paul Roberts, said that there had been plenty of applications for affordable homes.
He said: “Many developers have come back, as no one wants to build them, saying it is not viable.
“How can there be an extra 200 cars on Folly Lane and the main road without causing an accident? I see no special circumstances and it is harmful to the rural setting. The people of Cheddleton do not want it.”
Councillor Gail Lockett said: “It is quite simple, there are no special circumstances and the residents have spoken very loudly.”
Among the objectors were Cheddleton resident Michael Wootton, who said: “This is a Green Belt zone which, according to our Prime Minister, we should be maintaining not destroying.
“Ninety houses equates to more than 150 cars trying to join the A520. Both proposed junctions are barely fit for purpose. Folly Lane is very narrow and used by agricultural vehicles, and pedestrian facilities at Rock End are virtually non existent.
“The infrastructure in the area is currently stretched to the limit. (There is) no doctors surgery, local schools are filled to pupil capacity and have considerable parking problems (and there is) minimal retail facilities in the area.”