A PROPOSAL for a large residential development on land south of a Moorlands village has been recommended for refusal by planning chiefs. The application to build a proposed total of 85 residential units on a 3.15 hectare-site located between Folly Lane and Cheadle Road in Cheddleton is set to be debated and decided upon at the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) planning committee meeting tomorrow (Thursday, January 16). Previous plans to build on the same site were thrown out in October 2018 after the SMDC refused the application on the grounds of: “This is a greenfield site situated within the Green Belt.
“The development of the site for housing represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt.”
However, a new outline application with all matters reserved was submitted to SMDC on October 16, 2019 to build 85 dwellings on the site.
In a SMDC planning applications committee report, an SMDC planning officer stated that a letter had been received from the applicant’s agent which acknowledged that the proposals were classed as inappropriate development on a Green Belt site but gave “very special circumstances” as to why the application should be accepted.
These include reasons such as that “33 per cent of the homes could be affordable and the development would provide community benefits,” and that “there are no technical constraints to developing the site.”
The report said the letter outlined that the development sought to deliver housing “for those over 55 years-old who wish to live in smaller houses and bungalows.”
A total of 70 letters of objection have been sent to SMDC over the plans.
Dr Gordon Foulkes, of Wetley Rocks, commented: “I am astounded that the applicants have deemed it apposite to submit this application when a similar application was declined less than 12 months ago.
“Surely they must realise that the grounds on which it was refused have not changed in such a short period of time.”
Craig Viggars, of Folly Lane, said: “Yet another attempt to gain planning permission on Green Belt land, previous applications have already been rejected but again developers try.
“Why are we considering to destroy our countryside when there are many brownfield alternatives?
“No consideration given to the blurring of lines between two distinct villages, public transportation, education, doctors etc.
“Please reject this application and prevent a further revision in 12 months.”
Cheddleton Parish Council lodged a “strong objection,” citing reasons such as that the development would bring a “coalescence” of two villages, the plans are in conflict of Green Belt policy and that “the local area cannot support further housing.”
A regeneration officer said that the plans would mean each new house would “generate direct jobs within the construction industry or associated supply chain, of which 25 per cent are likely to be locally based,” adding that “the development will also generate approximately £15,615 council tax for the area per annum.”
Despite this, SMDC planning officer Jane Curley stated that she had recommended the planning application for refusal.
She wrote: “The development of the site for housing represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt.
“Inappropriate development is harmful by definition.
“The development would, in addition significantly compromise openness by replacing open fields with a housing estate.
“Openness and permanence are, the National Planning Policy Framework confirms, the essential characteristics of the Green Belt.
“The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.
“Furthermore there would be conflict with one of the main purposes of including land within the Green Belt namely that of safeguarding the countryside from encroachment.
“Local Planning Authorities are required to give substantial weight to any harm to the Green Belt.
“It is not considered that the other considerations put forward by the applicant amount to the very special circumstances to clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.”
The application will be assessed and decided upon by the SMDC planning committee at it’s monthly meeting tomorrow afternoon.
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