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Councillors disgusted by inspectorate’s go-ahead

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

Comments (4)

PARISH councillors have reacted with disgust after plans to convert a Grade II listed building into homes were given the go-ahead.

The decision to transform the historic Winshill coach house, on the corner of Mill Hill Lane and Newton Road, into two houses has caused anger among councillors who believe the junction the site sits on will cause a danger to any occupants or visitors to the new houses.

The building was once used to house coaches from the nearby Burton Flour Mill, but has been empty for many years.

A similar application was thrown out in 2009 on the grounds that the lack of a pathway and suitable parking space outside the building would be hazardous.

However, a pavement will now be installed outside the new dwellings and a parking area has been allocated, but to the anger of councillors, across the road.

They believe homeowners, who may own more than one car, or visitors will park at the side of the road, causing a danger at the busy junction.

Such issues regarding the plans were raised by Staffordshire County Council, but an independent planning inspectorate decided the proposals were acceptable.

During the latest meeting of Winshill Parish Council, members formally expressed their disappointment at the outcome.

Michael Key said: “I’m very disappointed with the decision; I think it’s a perverse decision. I can’t see how it’s going to make it anything other than more awkward at that junction.

“It isn’t particularly people living there parking outside; it’s tradesmen and visitors pitching up at the side of the road. I feel quite strongly about this to be honest.”

Council chairman Ian North said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to is flabbergasted with this decision. It’s a reverse of localism completely.”

Kathy Lamb, who represents Tower division on the county coucil, was in agreement, adding: “There’s the potential for accidents if someone parks there.

Pulling out of Mill Hill Lane, there’s just poor visibility.”

A report submitted by the Planning Inspectorate read: “Staffordshire County Council’s highways department now has no objections to the proposal, as long as conditions are met and imposed relating to the parking places and the footway being in place prior to any occupation of the dwellings and thereafter retained.

“I acknowledge that residents may still be concerned about the risks relating to highway safety but in situations such as this, highway considerations must be balanced against other material planning considerations.

“In this case it is my view that the highway issues are not insurmountable and that the proposals for the footpath and off-site parking are acceptable in that they mitigate the previous risks raised by the highway authority.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  January 01 2013, 8:54AM

    When has the Borough Council ever listened to the parish council?

  • Burton Mail  |  November 26 2012, 10:13PM

    The property creates a very dangerous and blind junction with Newton Rd and Mill Hill Lane. The building should have been bulldozed years ago as an eyesore. The inspectorate are living on another planet.

  • Burton Mail  |  November 25 2012, 10:51AM

    The Parish Council and the Borough Council (the Planning Authority) well know the potential problems that residential development of this property will entail. Hence the very good reason this has always been refused planning approval. How can the planning inspector not see the potential hazards that will be created by this decision. The County Council - as Highway Authority -should rapidly introduce a 24hr loading and unloading prohibition on this corner to obviate all the forseeable problems - probably the gratest of which will be the lorries and scaffolding associated with the renovation works. By far and away the best use for this building is it's demolition and incorporation into the highway to improve visibility and turning space at the junction.

  • Burton Mail  |  November 25 2012, 10:13AM

    Put double yellow lines down to stop parking.. simples !