HOPES are high that plans for a controversial housing development in Rolleston could now be thrown out, after the council agreed to seek further advice on highways issues.
The College Fields Action Group have been battling for months to highlight problems which would be caused by a development of 100 homes on the fields of the former Forest of Needwood Secondary School, and have employed experts to back the views held by members.
Officers have now sought an independent review to look at the issues – on top of the information already provided by highways chiefs at Staffordshire County Council – following a meeting with the protest group and Burton MP Andrew Griffiths.
A spokesman for the authority said: “The council decided to gain an independent view on the evidence submitted by both the action group’s transport consultants and the statutory response from the highway authority.
“The purpose of undertaking an independent view is to ensure that our planning application committee members have confidence at committee when considering the highways evidence in determining the application.”
Residents living near the site are worried about the impact of extra cars on the narrow and already heavily parked roads which lead to the proposed site. Concerns have also been raised about the unsuitability of access to the site, owned by Burton and South Derbyshire College, along Needwood Avenue and through the Westbury development.
Rolleston Parish Council has also spoken out against the plans.
Simon Anderson, chairman of the College Fields Action Group, said: “We are pleased that East Staffordshire Borough Council is listening to the concerns raised by our professional advisors, the parish council and many local residents about the use of these roads as access for such a large development.
“We are confident they will recognise that safe and secure access cannot be achieved now and in the future and will refuse the application.”
The application is now due to go before the planning board next month.