PLANS to build a housing estate on the site of a corn merchant's business in a Staffordshire Moorlands village have been approved.
Moss Feeds Ltd of High Street, Dilhorne, has been given approval for the demolition and clearance of all existing industrial buildings, structures and open storage, remediation of the site and the erection of 10 dwellings with garaging and parking served by a new access and shared surface.
Permission has been granted a year after a similar scheme was withdrawn at the last moment after planners had recommended its refusal.
Now planners at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have given the green light to the proposals, which would consist of three two/three bedroom terraced cottages; a pair of three-bedroom semi-detached houses; and five four-bedroom detached houses.
The parish council raised no objections to the proposals. However five representations were received with four against the plans and one in support.
In a case officer assessment, planning officer Wayne Johnson, said: "The site is currently in employment use and has related planning history. The outstanding policy issues raised when the previous application, submitted in 2013, was being considered were inadequacy of the marketing exercise relating to the viability of continued employment use on the site and whether the site could be classed as 100 per cent brownfield and if very special circumstances would need to be demonstrated which outweigh harm to the green belt.
"It is considered that the marketing exercise to investigate the commercial viability of the site meets the basic requirements set out in the council's guidance notes. It is accepted that the land is 100 per cent brownfield.
"It is concluded that this proposal would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt. It is therefore considered that the principle of development is acceptable.
"The proposal raises no other issues in terms of potential visual/ residential amenity impacts and no highway safety issues. In addition, the proposal raises no issues in terms of drainage or controlled water sources.
"There is a need for housing and affordable housing in this area and while the proposal will not have a greater impact on the Green Belt, it will also compliment the surrounding area, which is predominantly residential.
"For these reasons the application is recommended for approval."
A planning statement issued on behalf of the applicant by Advance Land and Planning said: "Moss Feeds own the application site which has operated since 1975.
"The company is a family business and the owner is now well in his 70s and wishes to retire.
"He had contemplated selling the business, but this has inevitably declined over the years.
"He has also attempted to sell the site for another industrial commercial use, but has not received any offers for the property as a commercial use.
"The proposal will remove a non-conforming, potentially bad-neighbour use from a residential environment within a rural village, regenerating the site in the process by removing unsightly, poor quality industrial buildings and open storage, which current detracts from the visual amenity of the surrounding area.
"The site is also unrestricted in terms of hours of operation which can be 24 hours at various times throughout the year."