VILLAGERS are fighting plans to develop ‘sacred’ land into huge houses that will ‘engulf’ their homes.
Bloor’s builders have entered plans to build three five-bedroom houses on the site of Marchington’s old catholic church in Hall Road.
Catholic services ceased in the village when priest Father Vincent was moved to a parish in the Stoke-on-Trent area in 2011.
The land was then sold and the church was demolished in Autumn 2012.
Strength of feeling against the development is such that a Facebook page has been renamed from ‘Spotted: Marchington’ to ‘Stop Development of Marchington Church’.
Mum-of-two Sue Chisholm, who lives in Slaney Dove, the Allen’s Lane property neighbouring the site, said she is concerned her home will lose value if the development goes ahead.
She said: “I’m absolutely horrified by the idea of this development going ahead as planned.
“The size of this development will seriously affect how the area looks and will engulf our house in darkness.
“One of the houses will block us off to the point where we’ll completely miss the sunrise.”
Ms Chisholm told the Advertiser she knows many villagers who are likely to join her in opposing the development.
However, she also knows people who object but are ‘sick of living near a building site’ and are keen for the houses to be built to remedy that.
She said: “We’re definitely the household that will be affected most and I’ve asked the planning officer, Jim Malkin, come down and have a look at things from my point of view.
“I know several people who don’t want the development but think houses are better than a building site and they’re tired of living next to the tip it’s become.
“It’s a real shame what’s happened to the catholic church in this village. There used to be a solid catholic congregation that would go there to worship every Sunday.
“Father Vincent was a lovely man and used to come round for a cup of tea and a chat from time to time. It was sad to see him go elsewhere.”
The design and access statement for the application reads: “Early in the design stage, it was noticed that a particular feature of the village was the distance each dwelling is stepped back from its main ‘fronting’ road.
“Therefore, the proposed dwellings fronting on to Hall Road are to be set back
a minimum of seven meters.
“The initial scheme for the development proposed a higher ridge-line, but this was indicated to be undesirable so the roof pitch was reduced to a maximum of 45
degrees to bring this more in line with adjacent properties.
“Given the sites history as a church, we have elected to construct timber framed lych gates over the pedestrian accesses to breach the hedgerows in a manner both in keeping with the character of the site without detracting from the character of the hedgerow.”
The plans can be viewed online at www2.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer by entering application number P/2013/01021.
Objections can be made up until September 26.