Plans approved to build on Staffordshire power plant site

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Plans approved to build on Staffordshire power plant site

The plans will see the creation of a new employment development

By Sophie Madden & Local Democracy Reporting Service

BBC News, West Midlands

Plans to build on a former power station site have been approved despite concerns from some councillors.

The development on the Meaford Power Station site, near Stone, covers 47.12 hectares (0.18 sq miles) and would be used as employment space.

But some Stafford Borough councillors had concerns about increase in traffic and the effect on the local landscape.

But the planning committee went on to approve the plans with six councillors voting in favour, and three against.

The site underwent two demolitions, in 1982 and 1996, and previous planning permissions granted for the the redevelopment of the site having lapsed.

James Bonner, planning agent, told the committee: “We have worked positively and constructively with the local community, including several meetings on site with Meaford Road Residents Association and the local ward member.

“We’ve listened to the community and amended our application as a result of concerns. Principally removing development on the southern part of the site and reducing the height of the development particularly.”

However, Conservative ward councillor for Barlaston, Gareth Jones, said: “We’re talking about a site where, over the passage of time, 2,963 direct operational employees, it might be more, will be driving down Meaford Road.

“I think the impact of that will not particularly affect Meaford, it won’t particularly affect Stone because people will find their way to the A34, but it will affect Barlaston.”.

Due to the location of the site, which is in the green belt, “very special circumstances” needed to be met, but council officers recommended the plan was approved because the “benefits of the development are very substantial” and that these considerations “outweigh the harm identified”.

However, as planning officer described it as “an inappropriate development in the green belt” the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities would decide whether to call-in the application for their own determination.