RUGELEY SCHOOL: 58 new homes approved for site
More than 50 new homes are set to be built on the site of a former Rugeley school – and half will be affordable properties.
Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the outline proposals for up to 58 homes on the land off Church Street. The authority is set to retain 50% – 29 properties – for affordable housing, with the remaining homes developed for private sale.
The site was previously occupied by Aelfgar School, which closed in 2011 and has since been demolished. There is currently a council-run car park on the eastern end of the site, which is accessed from Taylors Lane.
Detailed plans for the design and layout of the new homes will be considered by the council at a later date, but a report to Wednesday’s planning committee meeting (April 14) stated that a mix of two, three and four bedroom properties was proposed.
An indicative layout presented to the committee suggested that 33 homes could be accessed from Church Street, which is a one-way road, and the access for the remaining 25 would be off Taylor’s Lane.
Rugeley Town Council welcomed the plans but highlighted traffic flow on Church Street as an issue. The committee meeting report said; “The road has a 30mph limit and is one way but users are often unaware of these two restrictions. What additional signage could be suggested to reinforce this one way system?
“This is especially important as parents dropping off/picking up children at the Chancel School do park along this road during the week causing congestion.”
Cannock Chase Council received 12 objections from residents. Concerns included loss of parking for residents of Taylors Lane, removal of some trees and highway safety.
Agent Steve Faizey, speaking in support of the application, said: “The grounds of the former school are owned by Staffordshire County Council and the site has been assembled by Cannock Chase Council for residential development.
“The site shouldn’t add any strain to the road system with regards to on-street parking. We have included car parking spaces for residents of the adjacent almshouses.
“We had a tree survey carried out and the majority of mature trees will be retained.”
Committee members welcomed the proposals, which were described as a “brilliant plan” by Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald.
Councillor Frank Allen said: “It is an excellent standard that has been put before us. I have no hesitation in moving the officers’ recommendation (to approve the plans)”.
Councillor Alan Pearson said: “It’s something we need – I couldn’t understand if anyone voted against it.”
Councillor Paul Witton said: “I’m pleased to see affordable homes. We desperately need far more affordable homes.”
Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter
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