Families fear the new-build homes will be torn down as they have ‘no value’
Families fear several homes are in danger of being demolished because they were built on higher land than was originally planned. Persimmon Homes in Cheadle, Staffordshire, were granted permission for 125 homes on land off Froghall Road. Since the ground level was raised 2.4 metres without proper planning permission, families fear their home may have “no value”.
This came from lawyers for the council said their homes could effectively be worthless given they were sold without the required planning clearance.
Persimmon, which has preliminary plans for an additional 135 homes on neighbouring land, has now requested a retrospective application to maintain the houses as they are, according to StokeonTrentLive.
A decision has been delayed by the planners so that residents can be consulted. Eight of the 125 properties are thought to be impacted.
Legal advisor Justin Price-Jones told a meeting of the planning committee: “It does surprise me somewhat that properties of some considerable value, no doubt, have been sold without planning permission because they’d have absolutely zero value on the market, to my mind at least.”
If council members choose to deny the application, he said there could be “very serious consequences” for people living in them.
He added: “Persimmon would have known when they sold it that they didn’t have planning permission. I imagine there’s a lot of people in this equation who don’t know how dire their situation is.”
However, if permission is refused and a compromise cannot be reached, residents may have their homes flattened, according to the chairman of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning committee.
Neighbours in the Ness Grove and Froghall Road areas have complained that some of the new homes are “overbearing” and “blocking sunlight,” with councillors comparing the change to “adding an extra storey”.
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Resident Tracy Milward told the publication: “This development has been built in breach of the planning application submitted. They have built too high, and too close to the surrounding properties.
“Consequently ours, and many of our neighbours’ properties are now dwarfed and dominated by this unsightly development.”
She said that despite homeowners’ initial complaints to the council in October 2021, nothing was done to stop it. They have experienced “stress and anxiety” as a result, she added.
By submitting drawings that were never intended to comply with the laws and then adding modifications after the fact, Persimmon council appears to have twisted planning procedures to its own advantage, Ms Milward said.
Cheadle town councillor, Paulette Upton added: “The plain fact is the developers have blatantly breached the planning permission and we seem to have allowed that to happen.
“Somebody needs to take accountability for this – it sends a shocking message to other developers that they can come to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, put in a planning application and do what the hell they like.”
Councillor Stephen Ellis, who chairs the committee, said that after 20 years of being involved in planning decisions, this was the worst situation he had ever encountered. He also criticised the council’s planning department for failing to investigate complaints, calling the situation “unacceptable”.
He said: “I can’t believe we’ve placed either set of residents in this situation. I do feel angry in the way that Persimmon have done that.”
The Persimmon house tenants won’t answer the door during a site visit out of fear, according to councillor Keith Flunder.
He said: “Those people who are now living in those houses, overlooking the other houses, are in fear – knowing this is coming here today – there’s a potential at the end of it all where we knock them down.”
A Persimmon North West spokesperson said: “Planning permission for Pottery Gardens was granted by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in December 2020.
“The application discussed by the planning committee last week sought non-material amendments to some existing homes in line with this planning permission. While the application was recommended for approval, this has been deferred by the planning committee to allow for further engagement with local residents.
“We fully appreciate the issues that have been raised and have therefore already written to residents requesting time to meet and agree on solutions that address these concerns as soon as possible.”
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