STAFFORDSHIRE: Wigginton Road planning refused
Tamworth Borough Council Planning
Tamworth Borough Council has refused planning permission for a four-bedroom property in order to protect a “precious piece of Tamworth” for future generations.
The proposals would’ve seen a new house built in the rear garden of an existing house on Wigginton Road.
Councillors decided to reject the proposals, however, in order to preserve the town’s heritage.
Their decision comes despite council officers recommending the plans for approval, stating that the scheme provided a high quality design.
The proposed site is located immediately adjacent to the Spital Chapel of St James, and the council’s conservation officer was consulted on the issue.
The grade II* listed chantry chapel was originally built in 1274 by Sir Philip de Marmion, who owned Tamworth Castle.
It was converted to agricultural use following the Reformation, and was listed as being ‘in ruins’ on a historic map dated around 1900.
It was restored and re-consecrated as a church again in 1914, and a report into the chapel’s history concluded that such events are incredibly rare.
The council’s planning policies state that where archaeology may be lost through development, there is a requirement for archaeological recording to be undertaken.
It was noted that the chapel and the development are in different, but adjacent, character areas.
However, because information from historic mapping indicated the chapel was originally surrounded by fields, the possibility of uncovering archaeological artefacts was raised – particularly in relation to the chapel or former settlements in the area.
This was assessed as having a low likelihood, but the need for further research was not ruled out in the report.
Commenting on the issue, Cllr John Harper said: “We as a council, when we were elected in May, promised the people of Tamworth that we would look after their history.
“If we are to keep our promise to the people of Tamworth, this is where we’re at.
“These are the decisions that we have to make: sometimes difficult, but sometimes you have to stand up and be counted.
“I passionately think that to save this precious piece of Tamworth, we desperately need to refuse this unacceptable application.”
Councillors voted eight to two to reject the proposals, with one abstention.
Words: Richard Price, Local Democracy Reporter
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