13:00 Thursday 13 February 2014

Developers are labelled as 'supremely arrogant'

Written byRICHARD CASTLE

07/10/13 protest group pic - Uttoxeter, UttoxeterPicknalls Valley Action Group - Fred Hopwood, Jennie and Graham Paskett, Peter Coffin, Alan Gibson, Alan Noyes 07/10/13 protest group pic - Uttoxeter, UttoxeterPicknalls Valley Action Group - Fred Hopwood, Jennie and Graham Paskett, Peter Coffin, Alan Gibson, Alan Noyes

PROTESTERS trying to block houses being built on the Picknall Valley have branded developers’ comments ‘supremely arrogant and misguided’.

The Picknall Valley Protest Group (PVPG) has now compiled 3,000 signatures on a petition against developments including a 140-home proposal at Roycroft Farm put forward by developer Gleeson.

The company’s managing director, Scott Chamberlin, last week dismissed petitions like the PVPG document as ‘a poor judge of public opinion’.

He also said town residents claiming the reasons for a similar plan’s rejection in 1989 still stand as ‘naive’.

PVPG member Graham Paskett said: “That is nonsense. Mr Chamberlin says that his representatives have spoken to Uttoxeter officials to convince them of the value of his plan but fails to mention the rather fundamental fact that the town council unanimously rejected it.

“Does he, therefore, dismiss the town council along with the local signatories and the town’s MP, who all back the protest, as ‘naïve’ and ‘poor judges of local opinion’?

“It has been clearly demonstrated that, despite his claims to the contrary, this land and housing is not needed by East Staffordshire Borough Council to meet a shortage of supply.

“There are ample developments in the pipeline supported by significant amounts of brown-field sites throughout the borough. Roycroft Farm is purely speculative housing opportunism.”

Mr Paskett has also rubbished Mr Chamberlin’s statement that nearly half of those attending a public consultation on his plans were in favour of them.

He said: “I should like to examine the figures on which he has based this claim. I was there as were many of our supporters throughout the day and objections were almost unanimous.

“Similarly, on what evidence does he base his contention that many owners of the proposed houses will walk or cycle into town?”

Mr Chamberlin said there were no highways objections to the Roycroft Farm accesses or concerns about the volume of traffic.

Mr Paskett said: “That beggars belief. We’re all fully aware the regulations in force in 1989, when the application to develop some of the same fields was turned down on road safety grounds, have changed.

“The regulations may well have changed but so has the volume of traffic using Bramshall Road, the main feeder to six of the town’s schools, a care home and a nursery. It has increased substantially.”

“There’s strong objection to cars from 140 new homes pouring onto the already-busy road.”

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