STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has approved a hybrid planning application that asked for full permission to build 125 dwellings and access to a proposed primary school as well as outline permission to erect up to 135 dwellings and primary school. Applicants Persimmon Homes (North West) Limited had submitted these proposals which are in regards to land to the East of Froghall Road and North of Ayr Road, and Cheltenham Avenue, Cheadle. A hybrid planning application is one that seeks outline planning permission for one part and full planning permission for another part of the same site.
The plans, which an SMDC planning officer had previously recommended for approval, outlined that 33 per cent of the homes would be classed as affordable housing.
At an SMDC planning committee meeting on Thursday (November 14), planning officer Rachael Simpkin said: “Moving forward I think we have to very much recognise that this scheme would deliver potentially 260 homes.
“It would also deliver 1.13 hectares for the school and that would be secured by a section 106 agreement so the development would bring forward substantial social and economic benefits.
“This is a very positive aspect to the scheme which outweighs the minor harm in terms of development on open countryside.”
At the meeting, Sean McBride of Applicants Persimmon Homes stated: “The development will provide a number of social and economic benefits to Cheadle and make a significant contribution to the delivery of new homes, providing a mix and range of homes to suit a variety of purchases from first time buyers to expanding families and down-sizers with 33 per cent of all homes proposed to be affordable.
“The scheme will make significant financial contributions towards public open space, highways and education and will secure the provision of land for the delivery of the new primary school.”
Among concerns about the proposals raised at the meeting were the presence of two disused mining shafts within the site, climate change and the impact the development may have on the infrastructure of Cheadle.
Speaking in opposition to the plans, Cheadle Town Councillor Richard Alcock said: “I’m against all these houses.
“The roads can’t take them especially at peak times – the road systems can’t take it.
“I’m not against the school but they were on about a school when I was at school and that isn’t yesterday.
“We’ve had more facilities 50 years ago when the town was smaller.
“I can’t understand it, we keep building houses with this road system we’ve got.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
SMDC Councillor Jim Davies commented: “I certainly agree in principle to this site.
“I think a school in this part of Cheadle would be a very welcome addition to the town but I do have one or two concerns.
“First of all there are going to be 33 per cent of affordable homes – I would like to see this somehow secured because we have seen in the past that developers have come back… and that these affordable houses have no longer been affordable by the developer.
“It seems like a golden opportunity to put together a pot of money which could be used for a Cheadle bypass which is the one real thing that would sort out the traffic problems in Cheadle.
“We can alter junctions and alter roundabouts and bits and pieces like that, but I don’t think, at the end of the day, that is really going to solve the problem.”
Councillor Mike Gledhill said: “I can see the logic behind the application and I think its broadly speaking a good one, but it will put pressure on the infrastructure around Cheadle and I can’t see any way around that other than what Councillor Davies has proposed.
“In addition, earlier this year we passed a motion unanimously at the council for climate change and I’m disappointed to see that there’s no reference to climate change aspects in this report beyond the usual bio-diversity.”
Councillor Keith Flunder added: “We should be looking at ways to improving the environment and not to stick to what we have done in the past.
“We should be looking at other things and all the developments that are going on at this scale should be looking at that in the future.
“I do agree that it is an opportunity where we can look at alleviating the infrastructure of Cheadle and I do think its important that the members do represent people like Richard (Alcock) and others with these kinds of things.”
Councillor Peter Wilkinson made reference to the two mines within the site, stating: “I’ve got quite a big concern about the mining shafts because I’ve read in the mining report that the coal authority can’t give any archives about mine abandonment and no plans are available.
“Maybe that’s one of the reasons why this piece of land has never been developed.”
After a lengthy discussion about the risk of flooding, the building of the primary school and playing pitch contributions among several other topics, the committee voted in favour of approving the plans.
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