Two signs on a housing development site in the Moorlands have been seen as offensive by residents. The two 'thumbs up' signs, which Keepmoat Homes have stated were put up for health and safety reasons, had been placed at the housing development off Thorley Drive in Cheadle.
Two signs on a housing development site in the Moorlands have been seen as offensive by residents.
The two ‘thumbs up’ signs, which Keepmoat Homes have stated were put up for health and safety reasons, had been placed at the housing development off Thorley Drive in Cheadle.
We reported in August that developer Keepmoat Homes may have to demolish two partially-built houses on land off Thorley Drive, after an application to alter a planning permission condition was rejected by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC).
Keepmoat Homes had applied to vary conditions on ground levels for two properties on the land which had been elevated by around a metre.
Residents of Thorley Drive, whose properties back onto the site – raised concerns the raised properties would impact on privacy, offering views into bedrooms and gardens.
At their planning committee meeting in August, SMDC councillors refused Keepmoat Homes permission to vary the conditions of the two properties.
Following the decision, two signs appeared on the housing development site, one next to one of the two partially built houses, both signs reading: “Get the ‘thumbs up’ to avoid being knocked down!’ with a large graphic of a thumbs up.
Residents have said that they found the signs offensive, presuming that they related to the two partially built houses which are set to be demolished and rebuilt.
Nearby resident Judith Peddar told the Times & Echo: “We just don’t think it’s very professional to do this, considering it’s all still up in the air.
“There’s two of these signs, one is on the house in question, the other is on the entrance to the site – right opposite our kitchen.
“As you can imagine a lot of the neighbours up here and us are not happy with Keepmoat.”
After the Times & Echo contacted Keepmoat Homes about the residents’ concerns over the ‘offending’ signs, a spokesman for the developer said: “The sign in question is an on-site construction sign designed to make people working on site aware of construction traffic, such as forklifts, before they cross.”
In response to Keepmoat Homes’ reasoning behind the signs, Mrs Peddar said: “I’ve never heard such rubbish, those signs are nothing to do with the ongoings of the construction site.
“My opinion is they were put up to inflame the residents. We are not going to stoop to those levels.
“If they had built those properties correctly in the first place they wouldn’t have been asked to take them down. Only themselves to blame.”
The Times & Echo was then informed on Monday morning (October 5) that the signs had been removed and that scaffolding was coming down from the two partially built houses.
We further asked Keepmoat Homes for additional comments about this, and also if they are set to appeal the SMDC decision on the planning permission to vary conditions, to which the spokesman said: “We don’t have any further comment.”
Greg Powell, a member of local campaign group Cheadle Unite, has been following the issue of the two houses being built too high at the housing development. He told the Times & Echo: “I have contacted some of the residents on Thorley Drive, apparently the signs are health and safety signs intended to remind workers to get the thumbs up from vehicle drivers before crossing their path.
“However that said I think residents feel they have been inappropriately placed directly next to plots 1 and 2, which were erected on ground raised by over a metre, meaning that the residents privacy was compromised.
“The ground levels inside and out of plots 1 and 2 looked directly across at the bedrooms on Thorley Drive and car headlights would shine straight into these houses.
“The council suggested minor landscape changes, rearranging some windows and fitting obscure glass on the patio windows of plots 1 and 2 and limiting the patio area would have fixed the problem.
“But the reality is that minimum distances were not met and in addition to the loss of privacy of the existing residents of Thorley Drive, residents of the new development were expected to live with obscure glass preventing them from looking at their own garden and watching over their own children as they play.
“It would have been down to residents of Thorley Drive to report if the obscure glass was replaced with clear glass or the patio area modified. Features that many wouldn’t expect to be prohibited changes and which would put existing residents in a very difficult position with their new neighbours.
“This surely isn’t what we want in Cheadle and the Moorlands.
“Cheadle faces more development in the future. It is important that SMDC properly analyse plans and engage and consult with the community to ensure what gets built in the future works in harmony with the community and is fit for our future needs.”
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