CHEADLE Town leaders have again pledged their support to a farming family looking to expand their business after their first planning application was refused.
Barry Fallows and his family, of Hilltop Farm, Hares Lane, Highshutt, Cheadle, have submitted plans to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to demolish an old stable block in the orchard of Hill Top Farm and replace it with an agricultural workers dwelling.
The family has resubmitted the plans after planning officers refused their first application, despite gaining full support of Cheadle Town Council.
The town council recommended that the plans be approved again during its monthly committees meeting earlier this month.
Councillor Peter Elkin said: "This is a resubmission for plans that, not that long ago, were put before this council and we supported fully at the time.
"The family wants to demolish an old stable block and replace it with a workers' dwelling.
"It was originally supported by us the first time, but when it went in front of the district council they refused it.
"The reasons were given that the applicant had failed to demonstrate a requirement for the dwelling, and alternative accommodation is available to fulfil this need, but that really isn't so.
"At the moment there is a four bedroom farmhouse occupied by the applicant's parents, who are both elderly, and their son, a vital worker on the farm, and his partner.
"Attached is a bungalow occupied by their daughter, another key worker in the business.
"The idea is for their son Lee and his partner to move into the bungalow, allowing them to go into the new build, which would be on a smaller footprint than the present derelict building, which is in a terrible state.
"The farm workers in this case are a family and they need to be on-hand 24 hours, seven days a week, all year round; it's not practical for someone to be living away.
"The applicants need our support and support from other sources.
"The farm is a splendid undertaking and well worth giving our support to, and we need to make sure it goes before the planning committee this time.
Councillor Richard Alcock, who is also a farmer from Freehay, added: "This is one of the largest farms around here with a good number of cattle and they are proposing to extend to get more people in as they can't manage on their own; it's ridiculous it has been refused before.
"If a cow gets into difficulty calving or 'blows up' and you aren't living on a farm to get there fast enough they can be dead within 10 minutes.
"I've lost cattle sometimes, being on my own, so no one knows that more than me. Your livestock is your livelihood."
Councillor Ian Whitehouse said: "Once again no one has listened to Cheadle Town Council.
"Why do we even get plans here for us to make recommendations, no one listens.
"I can't remember opposing anything and it being refused, and if we support something the district council oppose it."