PLANNING officers have recommended that a former textile mill can be demolished and replaced with 32 affordable homes despite a flood of objections from nearby residents.
The application to demolish the Slimma factory in Leek, which is surrounded by four streets, goes before members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning applications committee for a final decision this Thursday, August 22.
The factory borders Barngate Street, James Street, Langford Street and Waterloo Street.
The application submitted by Renew Land Developments Ltd proposes to build a three-storey apartment block and two-storey dwellings.
The properties would be divided into 10 three-bedroom homes and 10 two-bedroom homes. The apartment block would consist of 11 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom apartment.
Car parking would be made available for 27 vehicles.
However, 60 letters of representation have been made to the planning department by residents. Objections include:
* Loss of heritage features, such as the chimney and facade;
* Impact on a listed building;
* Existing parking problems in the area
* Design concerns and not in keeping with the area;
* Density of the development;
* Impact on residential amenity;
* Pressure on existing schools, doctor's surgery and other local services;
* Loss of a commercial site;
* Anti-social behaviour resulting;
* General disturbance and noise.
* Impact on protected species (bats);
* Impact on property prices.
In recommending approval planning officer Wayne Johnson said: “The application lies within the settlement boundary of Leek and constitutes a brownfield site.
“The site is no longer occupied and has now fallen into a state of disrepair.
“There are aspects on the site that are of architectural interest, such as the facade opposite Waterloo Street and the chimney.
“However, while it is considered desirable for these features to be included, it is understood from the applicant that it is not possible in this instance to incorporate such features, especially as the end user will be a Registered Social Landlord and also due to practicalities raised.
“In terms of highway safety, a total of 27 car parking spaces would be provided for the 32 dwellings, which is less than one space per unit.
“However it is understood that the accommodation in the apartment block will be for assisted living, where residents are less likely to have access to a motor car.
"On this basis the houses will each have one space each and the remainder will be used for visitors parking and the apartment block."
The planning meeting will start at 2pm in the council chamber at Moorlands House in Leek.