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STAFFORDSHIRE: Eleven Lane Ends

STAFFORDSHIRE: Eleven Lane Ends

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Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has thrown out a ‘crazy’ proposal which was described as a house Tarzan would build.

The triangular half-acre plot of land forms the meeting point of a number of roads, situated at Eleven Lane Ends in Heaton.

The site is mostly wooded, and is subject to a tree preservation order and also sits along the boundary of the Peak District National Park.

Councillors heard that the applicants, Martin and Patricia Edge, were seeking permission for a timber-framed house on stilts, comprising two bedrooms, a wet room, a kitchen, a dining/living room and a store room.

Cllr Raymond Payne, chair of Heaton Parish Council, spoke against the application on behalf of local residents.

He said: “Every member of the parish council was approached by many of the parishioners, and without exception every single one of those parishioners was objecting to the proposal.”

He added: “To build a dwelling of this nature would be totally inappropriate for the site.”

Cllr Payne said neighbouring Rushton Parish Council had also received numerous objections from residents.

The site is located in open countryside, although not part of the greenbelt.

It is in an isolated location, and therefore the scheme goes against the council’s policies on single dwellings in countryside locations.

Officers felt its design appeared “out of place” and would “detract from the character and general appearance” of the rural area.

They also felt the applicants did not sufficiently demonstrate that the house could be accommodated without having a negative impact on the surrounding trees and wildlife.

SMDC ward councillor for the area, Cllr Gill Heath also spoke in objection.

She said the site is an iconic landmark. “Everyone knows it, it’s where you shoot off to all the villages.”

She asked councillors to call on the land owner to remove a digger that has been sitting on the site which locals consider unsightly.

Councillors on the planning committee didn’t hold back with their criticism either, with various outlandish analogies coming forward.

Cllr Jim Davies said: “I’ve driven past this iconic and beautiful triangle of woodland ever since I’ve been able to drive.

He added: “It’s a very special piece of woodland to people who live in the area.”

Proposing a motion for refusal, he said: “I think [the applicant has] been watching too many George Clarke programmes!”

Cllr Peter Jackson added jokingly: “I absolutely love this application.

“This is the beset application I’ve seen for about four years, when somebody tried to put what was effectively a space ship on the side of a hill.”

He concluded: “I couldn’t vote for it in a month of Sundays,” and likened it to something Tarzan would’ve built.

Cllr Mike Gledhill added: “I thought there must be a new television programme that could be an antidote to Grand Designs… I thought of Not So Grand Designs.”

He added: “I’m almost speechless to be honest. What a crazy application this is!”

Councillors followed the officer’s recommendation, and voted unanimously to reject the application.

Words: Richard Price, Local Democracy Reporter


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