ALMOST 500 homes and a new school are to be built on the site of a major distribution depot in Branston – despite major safety concerns about one of the access points.
People living near the site of the huge new estate, which will be on land currently occupied by B&Q, have said plans to get into the site from Heather Close are inviting danger, as the road is not suitable for the amount of traffic which will come from the development. Councillors and members of the planning board agreed.
Yet, despite their reservations, the proposal was given the green light, as it was said that refusing the application would mean nothing more than the council losing control of the development.
At the planning meeting yesterday, Mike Ackroyd, chairman of Branston Parish Council, said: “We welcome in principle this development. It’s an excellent proposal, but we are disappointed that highways has not opposed Heather Close. We do not feel this is suitable.”
The site was initially only being accessed from Burton Road, but after Staffordshire County Council highways department said a second access point was required.
Developers Bedell Corporate Trustees Limited and Atrium Trustees Limited suggested Heather Close and it was approved by highways bosses. They said there were no more viable alternatives.
However, one resident said: “Several accidents or incidents have happened on this road; I’ve had several on my doorstep. I, nor any of the other residents, want anymore of this. This will put undue pressure on that junction.”
Several members agreed with their concerns, with Councillor Jacqui Jones saying: “We can see why there is a problem with safety issues at Heather Close, and there is an acceptable alternative. It’s a shame this has not been addressed.”
However, her planning colleague Councillor Greg Hall pointed out: “If we vote against it, it will still happen, but it will cost the tax payer lot of money and it would not achieve what we wanted to achieve by refusing it.”
Parking has also been a concern, especially with the planned new school.
The proposals were passed at a meeting of the planning board this afternoon.