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Controversial plans for an affordable housing estate at former Lightwood Residential Care Home in Cheadle are given the go ahead

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

Controversial plans for an affordable housing estate at former Lightwood Residential Care Home in Cheadle are given the go ahead
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A WOMAN'S home will go from semi to detached after controversial plans for an affordable housing estate were given the go-ahead.

Planning permission has been given by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning applications committee for 17 units at the former Lightwood Residential Care Home in Well Street, Cheadle, which closed in 2007.

The site will be developed by Ascent Housing, which is a joint venture between Your Housing and the district council to build affordable homes across the Moorlands.

However, despite councillors voting unanimously for approval, criticism was directed at Staffordshire County Council, the district council's planning department and Ascent.

The site boundary includes a derelict semi-detached house, believed to be the former warden's home.

However, the adjoining semi is privately owned and outside of the development site's boundary. It is occupied by Janet Reed and her son.

Speaking to the planning committee, Mrs Reed raised concerns over her home. She said: "I am worried about the structure and value of my home, and it also concerns me of any cost being made to me.

"I have also questioned the drains and sewage system as Severn Trent is always asking where they go.

"I have not been notified of any planning notices, and when I have called the planning office, I could never talk to anyone and no-one ever called me back."

Cheadle councillor Ron Locker said: "In the officer's report, it said that the loss of the care home facility would not disadvantage local residents in respect of the proposal to replace it with 17 dwellings. This is a load of tosh and is ridiculous.

"It also beggars belief why Mrs Reed has not had the courtesy of a telephone call from the planning department.

"She deserves better service and she needs protection, as her house will now go from a semi to a detached.

"We must now make sure this is a pleasure for her, not a worry."

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"The county council is now walking away when they promised us new extra care facilities for the site."

Ward councillor Richard Alcock said the development should be refused.

He said: "Cheadle Town Council was against this, as it is over-development. This will bring even more extra traffic and block up Cheadle.

"We have no road system and it seems we will never get a bypass.

"All our facilities are being taken away and sites replaced with houses."

Councillor Stephen Ellis said the loss of Lightwood Residential Care Home was a body blow to the town.

He said: "People are devastated. The site had been derelict for seven years. Residents could have stayed longer. This has caused a lot of upset.

"I want the new road into the estate to feature the word Lightwood."

Councillor Mike Worthington said: "We were promised extra care facilities and the site had lain dormant for seven years."

The applicant's agent, Dave Smith, said: "This is a prime site for Ascent and it is an eyesore.

"We will work with Mrs Reed, who will not be exposed to any costs. We will also replace the drainage.

"I am disappointed that Mrs Reed has had to raise her concerns today, as Ascent has built up respect.

"I only found out about Mrs Reed's concerns the day before the meeting.

"I will now arrange a meeting with the family and we will have a very close dialogue during the work."

Planning applications manager Mike Green apologised to Mrs Reed. He said: "We are going to work with Mrs Reed on her property."

The site will consist of two one-bedroom bungalows; three two-bedroom houses and four three-bedroom homes, which will all be for shared ownership.

Eight one-bedroom apartments, which will all be for rent, will complete the development.

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