NEIGHBOURS of a major new retail development set to open in Uttoxeter next year have hit out at the nature of the plans which they believe will make their lives hell.
Householders in the new estates surrounding the old cattle market in Drovers Close, Auction Place and New Street say they have been virtually ‘ignored’ during the planning process for the Carters Square development.
The scheme, which will see a new Asda supermarket, cafè, doctor’s surgery and other retail units, was unanimously given planning permission by East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee last month.
Concerned residents attended that meeting and said they were ‘disgusted’ the estate wasn’t referenced at all, including in photographs used as part of the planning officer’s report.
Stephen Byrne, a director of the Drovers Close residents group, told the Advertiser: “It was surprising (that the estate wasn’t referenced) when you consider that the planned access for the HGV’s will be from Drovers Close and will pass within a matter of feet of a number of houses.
“Add to this the fact that permission has been granted for 24 hour opening of the stores and deliveries will be able to take place between 6am and midnight every day of the week and you may begin to get a sense of the frustration the residents are feeling.
“Drovers Close already has a significant parking issue as the council have so far refused to implement any access restrictions to the road and people choose to completely ignore the residents’ only parking signs while they go shopping or to work for the day.
“A member of Staffordshire Police described Drovers Close as an ‘accident waiting to happen’ and this is only likely to get worse as people use us as a cut-through to the development.” Another concern raised by the residents is noise likely to come from generators used by the retail units and the lack of provision to wall the development or plant trees to limit the noise levels.
Mr Byrne said he and the residents were not against a development as they knew it was likely when they bought their homes which were given permission as part of the original plans for the old Cattle Market.
However he said it was the nature of the designs and the lack of consultation which had left them ‘disappointed’.
He said: “When the residents of the estate bought their houses, they were told there would be a small retail development which would largely be made up of cafes, restaurants and a few small shops.
“The residents are all in favour of the site being developed but wished to at the very least be spoken to by the planners in order to minimise the proposed development’s impact upon the surrounding residential areas.
“The design is, by the admission of the council members themselves, ‘sub-standard’ and ‘not ideal’.
“This surely must be an opportunity to create something unique and attractive and not just another Maltings.”