COUNTRYSIDE will be ‘decimated’ by a ‘new homes carbuncle’ if plans for a multi-million pound development are approved, a community leader has claimed.
Tatenhill parish councillor Diane Milner said villagers were concerned about the Branston Locks plan, a 2,500-home proposal earmarked for the 400-acre Lawns Farm site, a green wedge fringed by the A38, Branston Road, Battlestead Hill and Shobnall Road.
The Rangemore resident said: “The people of Tatenhill parish are very worried about the impact of this development on our area.
“We have a very active parish council which is trying to make our parish a better place but is being badly affected by these development proposals.”
Parishioners, she explained, were concerned about the loss of a green field site, adding: “This is a beautiful part of Staffordshire that will be decimated.
“This should be a national park for the National Forest, not a new homes carbuncle.”
Councillor Milner said residents were also concerned about traffic.
“This will open up the whole parish to large articulated lorries,” she said.
“Two thousand five hundred houses and hundreds of businesses with thousands more vehicles on our roads that are not even C roads – how can we cope with this increase?”
Councillor Milner claimed the lack of plans for a new secondary school would push even more traffic through Tatenhill.
The new primary school would also trigger the closure of the primary in Rangemore, she claimed.
Councillor Milner said: “This is a part of our village which has existed for 150 years.
“We don’t have much as it is and this would be a terrible loss for our community.”
The parish councillor said the Lawns Farm site had also been ‘flooded extensively for months’.
However, Rupert Young, development director of Nurton Developments (Quintus) Ltd, which is behind the Branston Locks scheme, said he was ‘a bit disappointed that Councillor Milner had raised issues which were already the subject of discussions between the developers and the parish council.
He said: “The loss of green field land for the development is regrettable, but it’s not in the green belt and nor has it been.
“It’s visibly and physically contained by the Needwood scarp and the A38, and with the housing growth required in the borough and Burton until 2031, regrettably green field land is going to need to be developed for housing.
“Branston Locks is the most appropriate large-scale site for mixed use sustainable development.”
On traffic, Nurton was in discussions with Staffordshire County Council and had asked the parish council to provide the assessment of its own highways consultant so it could be taken into account.
Mr Young said it was ‘not the developers’ intention to affect the school in Rangemore’ and that there were ‘no flooding issues with the site’.
Nurton, he continued, had asked the parish council to confirm a note of its concerns taken by the developer at their most recent meeting but had yet to receive a reply.
Mr Young said he did not believe Councillor Milner had attended any of the meetings between the two parties.
Nurton submitted a planning application for Branston Locks to East Staffordshire Borough Council in November after ‘an extensive public consultation’.
If the plans are approved, the developers hope to begin work on the 15-year scheme in mid-2014.