PLANS to build 22 houses on part of a former pub car park have been given the green light.
The development of land to the rear of the Grade II-listed former Hope and Anchor at Cellarhead crossroads were unanimously supported by members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning committee after they were recommended for approval.
The application to build 17 affordable homes and five open market dwellings on the site, part of which is in the green belt, was submitted by Ascent Housing, a joint venture between Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Your Housing.
A previous application for 28 dwellings was withdrawn earlier this year.
The latest application received two representations from local residents objecting over issues of inappropriate development in the green belt; whether the pub would be refurbished; the homes being too far away for walking distance from local shops and schools, leading to extra traffic; the amount of housing on the site and the need for more bungalows for retired residents; and the devaluation of neighbouring properties.
Conditions have been added to the plans to ensure the refurbishment of The Hope and Anchor pub and that it is made wind and water tight.
Councillor Mike Bowen said: “This is an excellent development.
It gives us a good mix of housing styles in a pleasantly set out layout and it meets the area’s housing needs, including the market’s needs.
“It will help achieve something we are always wanting to do; get local people into local houses.
“It fulfils all the green belt special circumstances, as well as being part brownfield, it tidies that site up, which is a mess at the moment, and it gets the pub back into some kind of order.
“Whether it turns back into a pub I don't know. However, this site might develop trade for the pub if it did.
“It gives hope to young families and people on the start of the housing market that they can get a foothold onto getting their own house, which is very important.” Councillor Ron Locker said that it was a “win-win situation”.
He added: “It would be my wish to see the pub brought back into use.
“It’s a brilliant development and will enhance the area a lot, and will be a welcome site as you come into the Staffordshire Moorlands from the Potteries.
“I’m glad to see it moving in the right direction. It’s going to do young people some good and there is a primary school and high school within a mile from these houses.” Councillor Frank Hopley said: “Every time I come past there, twice a day, I always think what an eyesore it is.
“But this design is brilliant and brightens the area up, and 17 affordable houses is a victory for those who want their first house and can’t afford it.” Councillor Mike Worthington said: “It will regenerate that area with a school nearby, a filling station 100 metres away and will hopefully enable the pub to reopen.” Councillor Linda Malyon said that despite disagreeing with green belt development, something needed to be done with site.
She added: “Could the developers ask local bus companies if they will go through the estate to get more vehicles off the road?’