MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been unveiled to build 200 homes and expand a business park creating dozens of jobs.
Residents have been asked to have their say on a scheme to extend Blythe Business Park in Cresswell and develop a housing estate next to the site off the A50.
Full details have not yet been revealed but families have raised concerns over tripling the size of the village.
The cost and timescale has not been confirmed but a planning application is expected to be submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council next month with work starting in early 2015.
Angela Reeve, assistant director at Deloitte Real Estate, which is working with Blythe Park-based Scentarea on the plans, said: “It’s still a long way off and there’s obviously plenty of time for residents to get in touch before the formal consultation. From our viewpoint, anything to keep jobs in North Staffordshire has to be a good thing.”
Previous proposals to build a £400 million gas-fired 1,000 megawatt power plant at the site were withdrawn in 2011 after mass local opposition.
But campaigners who successfully fought off those plans fear there could be an increase in toxic waste, traffic jams and flooding is the latest scheme went ahead.
Jacquie Leach, vice chairman of Villagers Voice Staffordshire Moorlands, which led the protests against the power station, said: “We were quite shocked about the size of it all more than anything. "We didn’t expect there to be 200 houses and it looks like some of the homes would be almost touching the toxic dump site.
“The road infrastructure also is not suitable for that amount of extra traffic – it’s bad enough as it is.
“I think there were quite a few things the company didn’t know and for me it didn’t come over as very professional.”
Terry Parkes, aged 57, of Sandon Road, Cresswell, said: “I’ve very mixed feelings about this. We all know we already have a problem with traffic here, especially if there’s an accident.
“I don’t think they’ve looked at the environmental impact enough, and we don’t know if they’ll stop at this development if they get permission or if they would want to do even more.”
Neighbour Chris Day, aged 39, also of Sandon Road, said: “People choose to live here because it’s a quiet location.
“Tripling the number of houses and doubling the estate would definitely change the feel of the place.
“The roads are bad enough now, especially when there’s an accident, so adding more cars will make it harder to get on Uttoxeter Road or the A50.”
Ian Marshall, aged 53, of Sandon Close, said: “I’m worried by the development because not only will it ruin my view, but I’m really concerned we would lose the whole village. We’ve only got 80 houses here as it is and putting in another 200 would destroy the character of the community.
“I just don’t understand why they want to develop fields instead of going for sites in the city.
“I’ve lived here for 30 years and don’t want to move, but if this came in I would.”