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Road closure concerns raised at planning meeting

By Jordan Reynolds | Stafford | Transport | Published:

Villagers have continued to raise concerns about the proposed closure of a road four years after a new housing development was given the green light in Great Haywood.

A Google Street View image of little Tixall Lane in Great Haywood looking towards the section set to be closed and the land earmarked for the housing development

Stafford Borough Council gave approval for 77 new homes to be built on land off Little Tixall Lane in 2015.

A later change to a planning permission condition – and a traffic regulation order agreed by Staffordshire County Council – means that a section of Little Tixall Lane is set to be permanently closed.

But several residents have raised concerns about the closure – and its impact on other local roads including Coley Lane. There are also fears it will mean the new housing development is cut off from the rest of the village.

Borough councillor Alexander Brown raised the road closure issue when he called in the latest application to vary three conditions of the housing development planning permission.

Andy Dunn, vice chairman of Colwich Parish Council, spoke out against the application at Wednesday’s planning committee meeting.

He said: “The original development was approved by the planning committee with vehicular access being retained along Little Tixall Lane.

“The proposal to permanently close part of Little Tixall Lane, in both directions, will mean the development is isolated from Great Haywood as residents will have no direct vehicular access to the village, including the doctors surgery, pharmacy and shops.

“To gain vehicular access to the village amenities would mean either an increase in traffic on the narrow Coley Lane or vehicles using the A51 bypass as a village road.

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“The new access road will provide an opportunity for residents and businesses including farms on and adjacent to the top of Coley Lane to gain direct access to the A51 which could turn Little Tixall Lane and Coley Lane into a rat-run.

“Both these narrow country lanes are regularly used by dog walkers, joggers, cyclists with large sections of the lanes not provided with a footpath.

“Therefore, any increase in both the traffic density and the size of the vehicles using these narrow lanes will increase the potential for conflict between the pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. The provision of the proposed bus stop on the ‘live’ A51 carriageway may also obscure vehicles entering the A51 from the new access road to oncoming traffic on the A51.”

But agent John Heath, speaking in support of the application, said the latest condition changes were unrelated to the road closure.

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He added: “We are simply asking members to approve the access road details off the A51 and provision of a bus stop – nothing else. The matter of closure of Little Tixall Lane is already approved by the highways authority and this planning authority.

“Although the A51 is not a trunk road the highways authority considered it important [the access] be designed to motorway and trunk road standard, which we have brought for members to consider.

“The site is allocated residential development and it is in both the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan. We propose members approve the details so the applicant can complete the access and build the private and affordable homes homes society so desperately needs, in accordance with planning permission.”

The latest application was recommended for approval by council planning officers and councillors voted in favour.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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