Green light for affordable homes
PLANNERS have given the go-ahead for 15 affordable homes on a greenfield site.
Despite more than 70 letters, many of objection, Forest of Dean District Council's planning committee granted permission for the scheme at Staunton.
Even though the site is currently a pasture and outside the village's boundary settlement, the houses can be built because a local need for affordable homes has been identified.
On Tuesday afternoon the committee went along with its officer's recommendation to grant permission for seven two-bedroom, five three-bedroom and one four-bedroom houses, with two one-bedroom flats.
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Robert Hitchins Ltd had applied for permission to build in another part of the same field, while Tufnell Town and Country Planning made a bid for outline permission for 15 affordable homes at Millennium Place. Both were turned down, and a duplicate application for the successful application was also approved.
"The committee thought it was the best one," said committee chairman Terry Glastonbury (Conservative, Alvington, Aylburton and West Lydney), after the meeting.
"There were concerns over traffic on the other site, and it was refused."
About two years ago a survey identified a need for 16 affordable homes in the village.
That means normal planning rules around village boundaries and greenfields can be relaxed.
The homes will go next to some of the historic Chartist houses, which were built as part of an agrarian social project to re-locate factory workers from the cities to the countryside in the 1830s and 1840s.
The movement built homes with land for workers to be self sufficient at Snigs End in Staunton and neighbouring Corse, and at Lowbands in Redmarley. At that time both were in Worcestershire, where other similar communities were started.
Many of the homes have been extended since, and in 1976 much of it was designated as a Conservation Area which has since been enlarged.
Although Robert Hitchins made the application, Bayhill Property Developments is running the scheme on behalf of social housing provider Cottsway.
"We hope to start building before the end of the year," said Guy Wooddisse of Bayhill Property Developments.
His firm has helped get permission for around 300 affordable homes on exception sites but he said less Government subsidy for such sites was making it harder for schemes like these to succeed.
SPP Pumps in Coleford got the green light for a major development at the same meeting.
Its new £9million test centre at Mushet Industrial Park will this safeguard the existing workforce of 170, and create 50 more jobs.