Res­i­dents’ ob­jec­tions to plan for new houses

Leek Post & Times - - FRONT PAGE -

PLANS to build houses on fields owned by a Leek coun­cil­lor are set to be thrown out.

Stafford­shire Moor­lands Dis­trict Coun­cil has re­ceived 177 ob­jec­tions to a pro­posal to de­velop land off Thorn­cliffe Road in Leek.

And now plan­ners at the coun­cil have rec­om­mended the out­line plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for re­fusal.

The land is owned by Brian John­son who rep­re­sents Leek East on the dis­trict coun­cil and is also a Leek town coun­cil­lor.

Ob­jec­tors have raised a raft of con­cerns about the po­ten­tial

de­vel­op­ment of the 5.5-hectare site, in­clud­ing the loss of green­field land, the im­pact on wildlife, the dan­gers of ad­di­tional traf­fic on coun­try roads and the im­pact on the char­ac­ter of the area - and have pointed to the fact that the lo­ca­tion is not in­cluded in the coun­cil’s lo­cal plan.

Stile­house Lane res­i­dent Mar­i­lyn Cox said: “I can­not be­lieve that some­one has the temer­ity to sub­mit such a dam­ag­ing plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion. They clearly have no re­spect for our coun­try­side or the fu­ture en­joy­ment of it by many walk­ers, cy­clists and horse rid­ers who con­stantly use it.

“Should this ap­pli­ca­tion be rec­om­mended for ap­proval, which should raise se­ri­ous ques­tions, there would then be noth­ing to stop whole sec­tions of land ad­join­ing that road from suf­fer­ing the same fate.”

Louise Clay, who lives off Stile­house Lane, said: “The in­flux of a large amount of ve­hi­cles which this de­vel­op­ment would ob­vi­ously bring would make Thorn­cliffe Road quite haz­ardous.

“There would also be an in­crease in traf­fic flow along Stile­house Lane as these mo­torists head for the Ash­bourne Road. Presently this nar­row lane has light traf­fic flow and even now can be quite dan­ger­ous to drive, walk and ride along. The ad­di­tion of a sub­stan­tial amount of ex­tra ve­hi­cles could, and we are sure would, lead to ac­ci­dents oc­cur­ring and pos­si­ble loss of life. We have more than enough land avail­able on the lo­cal plan with­out de­stroy­ing beau­ti­ful open coun­try­side which can never be re­placed.”

Fel­low ob­jec­tor Paul Scragg, of Pitcher Lane, Leek, said: “The pro­posed de­vel­op­ment is to­tally in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a site such as this, which is of a ru­ral na­ture. If you ven­ture past the former Moss Rose Inn you are im­me­di­ately in the Stafford­shire Moor­lands and this de­vel­op­ment would put an end to it. It would stick out like a sore thumb.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion has been op­posed by Leek Town Coun­cil, with coun­cil­lors say­ing the de­vel­op­ment would ‘spoil the vis­ual amenity of this ex­cep­tion­ally beau­ti­ful site,’ and Tittesworth Par­ish Coun­cil. Ob­jec­tions have also been re­ceived from Stafford­shire County Coun­cil’s high­ways de­part­ment and the Peak Dis­trict Na­tional Park.

The dis­trict coun­cil’s plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions com­mit­tee will make a de­ci­sion at its meet­ing on Novem­ber 22.

A re­port pre­pared ahead of the meet­ing states: “This is a green­field site. The ap­pli­ca­tion would fun­da­men­tally change the char­ac­ter and ap­pear­ance of the site from its present ru­ral/agri­cul­tural char­ac­ter to one of a sub­stan­tial subur­ban res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment, and this in turn would af­fect the sur­round­ing land­scape char­ac­ter.

“It would be notably in­con­gru­ous and would un­doubt­edly have sub­ur­ban­is­ing ef­fects, and would clearly re­sult in an ex­pan­sion of Leek into a sen­si­tive land­scape on the fringe of the Peak Dis­trict Na­tional Park re­sult­ing in harm to views from the Park, its set­ting and spe­cial qual­i­ties.

“In­suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion has been re­ceived to demon­strate that the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment will have an ac­cept­able im­pact on the high­way net­work, that safe and suit­able ac­cess can be achieved for all users and that the ex­ist­ing drainage sys­tem will not be ad­versely com­pro­mised by the de­vel­op­ment.”

Leek coun­cil­lor and former mayor Brian John­son.

Chil­dren at Wood­croft First School in Leek have taken part in a huge spon­sored spot at­tack chal­lenge to make an enor­mous Pud­sey Bear face col­lage for Chil­dren in Need. Pupils spent the morn­ing mak­ing dif­fer­ent coloured spots out of dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing tis­sue pa­per, feath­ers and some old school uni­form. Par­ents spon­sored their chil­dren to com­plete the Spot At­tack and so far the school has raised £156.07.

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