TOWN councillors have suggested they have been 'misled' by the county council over a new housing development proposed for land which they were assured was being saved for educational purposes.
Land off the Stone Road, which will now be put forward for a housing development, was originally allocated for educational purposes by Staffordshire County Council.
Town councillors are now raising their concerns with county councillor Geoff Morrison who told Uttoxeter Town Council at their Annual General Meeting earlier this year that there were no housing plans for the site and that the site was being held for school expansion.
Councillor Alan Noyes said: “We originally raised the question of the Stone Road site at the Annual General Meeting with county councillor Geoff Morrison.
“He suggested that there were no such plans for housing developments on that site.
“This is contrary to the plans that have now been put forward.
“Were we misled?
“Now we have had a letter through from Staffordshire County Council suggesting that there will be a residential development on the site.
“We want to know where all the schools will be going.
“This site was earmarked for educational use originally.”
Councillor Geoff Morrison said in response to concerns that the information given at the Annual General Meeting was correct to the best of his knowledge at the time, and that it was changing policy that had meant that the land had been put forward into the Local Plan.
He said: “When approached by Oldfields Sports Club seeking to expand their number of pitches, because of increasing membership and number of junior teams approximately two years ago, I suggested the club investigate possibility of expanding their playing area by means of renting a county council-owned field currently used by a local farmer for grazing cattle.
“Correspondence from the county council received shortly afterwards indicated that the land in question was being retained for the foreseeable future as potential extension space for the education department.
"This took place about two years ago and therefore the answer given by me to the Town Council was correct to the best of my knowledge at that time.
“Subsequent changes in county policy now mean that this site has been put forward into the East Staffordshire Borough Council Local Plan as a potential site for residential development.
"Given the topography of the land, low density levels are proposed with no more than 100 houses being considered for this site.
"It is intended that consultation with the community will start shortly with a view to identifying other community benefits.”