REFUSED PERMISSION: Plans to build on green space rejected
A bid to build two new homes on open space in Stafford has been rejected by a planning inspector.
Stafford Borough Council refused permission for the two storey properties on land between Crab Lane and Dell Close, Trinity Fields, at the end of last year on the grounds the development would result in the loss of an important area of green space, as well as causing significant harm to a number of protected trees.
The authority received 14 objections to the plans, with concerns raised including loss of light, privacy and public open space and limited parking and access, as well as disturbance to local wildlife.
An appeal against the decision was lodged earlier this year. But the planning inspector sided with the borough council, planning committee members heard at their latest meeting.
The inspector’s report stated: “I consider the proposed dwellings and associated gardens would erode an open space that currently makes a significant, positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.
“The proposal would divide up the green space and partially fill the existing spacious gap between the properties either side of the land on Crab Lane and Dell Close. At present, people visually enjoy an uninterrupted, open, grassed area with high quality mature trees set within it.
“The appellant points out that the site is not listed, has never been nominated as an asset of community value and use of the space for sports is prohibited. Although I appreciate these points, neither of them means that the space cannot be appreciated, enjoyed, and valued for other reasons, or that the space does not contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area.
“The benefits of green, open spaces and trees to health and well-being are well documented.”
Planning committee chairman Councillor Bryan Cross welcomed the inspector’s decision. He said: “This is one of our green spaces snapped up by people wishing to develop it.
“The view of the inspector is that we should retain these green spaces, which will give us ammunition if we’re going to get any more applications. As a ward member I’m delighted to see that.”
The appeal decision follows another refusal by Stafford Borough Council to grant consent for residential development on an area of open space in Stone.
Land at Heath Gardens in Walton was sold earlier this year and an application for planning permission in principle for two bungalows was submitted to the authority.
More than 90 people objected to the proposal, which was rejected because it went against policies in the new Stone Neighbourhood Plan which has recently been formally adopted.
Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter
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