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Councillors deny developer’s request to delay road safety works

By Kerry Ashdown | Stafford | News | Published:

A developer's request to delay installing road safety measures near new homes on the former Staffordshire Police headquarters site has been refused.

A Google Street View image of the new development site at Cannock Road Stafford where the A513 meets the A34

Bellway Homes asked Stafford Borough Council if conditions relating to off-site roadworks could be changed.

The developer was granted permission to build 141 homes at Cannock Road, Stafford, in June 2018 – on the condition that off-site roadworks to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and a traffic management scheme were completed before the first residents moved in.

The site is next to both the A34 Cannock Road and A513 Weeping Cross. The road safety improvements required by the conditions are a new signal controlled cycle and pedestrian crossing on Weeping Cross and upgrade of an existing puffin crossing on the A34 to a signal controlled cycle and pedestrian crossing.

But in November changes to the conditions were approved allowing the roadworks and traffic management plan to be delayed until the first 30 homes on the site had been occupied. And this month the borough council’s planning committee considered a further amendment, to allow 50 homes to be occupied before the works have to be completed.

A report to Tuesday’s committee meeting said: “The reason for this is that delays in agreeing the detail for the off-site highway works with Staffordshire County Council have meant that progress on site is nearing the occupation limit. Before the developer can implement any off-site highway works they need to have completed a Section 278 Agreement with Staffordshire County Council.

“Concern has been raised about public safety measures not being implemented as quickly as initially required. However, the Highways Authority (Staffordshire County Council) raise no objection to the proposed variation of the conditions on highway safety grounds.”

The committee deferred its decision at a meeting earlier this month for a highways officer from the county council to answer their questions.

At Tuesday’s meeting committee members went against the recommendation and refused the application by four votes to three.

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Ward member Councillor Ray Barron told the meeting: “I have been on a site visit and there were houses already occupied on this site, mainly the social housing part. I noticed how many children there were. These families are living on an active building site.

“There is an obvious reason for the committee to refuse this and that’s the safety of the public. This development has two A roads on either side of it and the schools are on the other side. (Residents) have got to cross the road to go to these schools.

“We watched a Mini waiting five minutes to turn right from the site onto the A34- they turned left and turned around at Wildwood to go the other way. It is absolutely terrible.”

Councillor Jack Kemp said: “I don’t think we should support this request. This is dangerous.

“It will take someone getting killed on one of these roads before something gets done. I propose we refuse this application on the grounds of safety of the inhabitants of the site.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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