THE removal of a controversial housing site from the Uttoxeter’s 20-year development plan could make way for 50 extra homes on land west of the town, the borough’s planning boss has revealed.
Earlier this week, East Staffordshire Borough Council finalised its local plan - the document that will officially identify which sites in and around Uttoxeter will be built on in the next 20 years.
A site owned by Staffordshire County Council, which was initially earmarked for ‘community and educational use’, was removed from the plan before it was ratified.
Nine-thousand people had signed a petition against the site being used for housing.
Martin Blencowe, a town councillor and chairman of the borough planning committee, said that could allow 750 homes to be erected on land west of Uttoxeter.
Developer St Modwen, which was recently granted outline planning permission for its scheme, had originally applied to build 700 houses.
Councillor Blencowe said: “Our local plan will now go for public examination before being approved.
“When adopted, it will give us as a planning authority much more power to decide which sites can be built on across the borough.
“I understand the county council may still find a developer and make a housing application for the Stone Road site and I’ll be keeping an open mind about that.
“But it was understood that land would be for community use and there have been a lot of protests to that end.
“We’ve got rapidly-expanding football and rugby clubs here and they’re both squeezed into an unacceptably-tight field at Oldfields.
“That’s why it was no longer considered acceptable for the local plan.
“We’ve already given outline permission for 700 homes in Uttoxeter and now that scheme can be extended to 750.”
Borough councillor Julia Jessell warned removing the Stone Road site from the local plan could leave the door open to even more houses.
She said: “There is a grave risk that in doing that, Uttoxeter could receive a double whammy.
“If a planning application came in for that site, we’d have difficulty in defending it.”