CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 300 new homes on land off Froghall Road have divided the new Cheadle Town Council. At a meeting on Monday, new members pushed for a fresh vote on a hybrid application by Persimmon Homes for 300 homes and a new school. Cheadle Town Council had lodged objections to the proposals in May after a debate on the application, but the plans returned for further consideration following the inclusion of a new report on accessible housing.
The hybrid application is for land east of Froghall Road and north of Ayr Road and Cheltenham Avenue, labelled in the draft Local Plan as the Cheadle West Strategic Area.
Persimmon Homes are applying for full planning permission for 125 homes with access to a proposed primary school and outline permission for up to 175 homes with land allocates for a primary school which would have to be provided by Staffordshire County Council.
Long-standing council member, Cllr Ron Locker said: “I move that we send this back listing our previous objections.
“The road network cannot cope with the traffic increase, the infrastructure is not suitable.
“The flood risk – the council is concerned because there is already considerable flooding and this poses a substantial risk of increased flooding all the way down to Tean.
“Footpath 39 – we’re concerned that the proposed development will impact on a public right of way.
“The Coal Authority response states there’s a substantive concern that this is falling in a high risk area.
“We have strongly objected in the past. We strongly object to any application there.”
As the council had already lodged an objection, the authority can only add more comments to their original observations.
However, Cllr Paulette Upton, who was co-opted as a member last year and then elected in May, called for a fresh vote on the matter in light of a change in membership since the local elections.
She said: “Since we had that discussion, we have got new councillors and new information on the application. I think it warrants further discussion.
“I’m playing devil’s advocate, but Cheadle needs some new houses.
“We’ve got to find some space for some houses somewhere. Our children and grandchildren – where are they going to live?
“I’m for this proposal, providing that everything is in place that we’ve asked for from the planning department.
“We need to keep footpath 39, the hedgerows and trees need to be kept as is.
“I know there are flaws with the plan, but my feeling is if it gets passed we must make sure that what has been agreed is being adhered to.”
Consultation on the proposals ends on Friday, June 21 and so far 22 objections by members of the public – including Cheadle’s MP Sir Bill Cash – have been lodged with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
The district council’s planning applications committee will decide whether to grant planning permission at its meeting on Thursday, July 25.
Cllr Greg Powell joined Cheadle Town Council after being elected in May. He said: “Cheadle is reaching a point where traffic can’t get through the town without major delays. We know it happens in Tape Street and all the way up to the A522.
“What the council is putting forward to address these is minor modifications at the roundabout in Tape Street opposite the Lamplighter.
“That’s not going to make any difference. I have real issues with where we’re going to go with this.
“There’s a lot of applications coming in – 1,300 houses, that’s 3,000 people all with cars.
“We can’t approve major developments any more. Until there’s a plan that we’re convinced can work, I don’t think we can sign up to massive housing developments like this.”
The council voted to reiterate its objections to the plans, but to add observations that features such as footpath 39 and hedgerows should be retained if the plans were passed.
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