RESIDENTS are gearing up for a new fight against a controversial housing development at Brookfields, Mossley, which they claim would destroy a green lung in the town centre.
Six months after celebrating victory, they have learned Essex-based developer Clements Court Properties has applied for a scaled down scheme.
Instead of the last £7.5 million scheme, which was for 21 four-and-five-bedroom houses, the new proposal is for a revised development of 18 family homes.
Councillor Tafheen Sharif represented residents at November’s Tameside Council speakers’ panel (planning) meeting when the proposal was rejected by a vote of 8-4.
She pointed to the scale of the opposition – more than 300 letters of objection and a 500-name petition.
Mossley’s three councillors, Sharif, Jack and Stephen Homer, Mossley Town Council and MP Jonathan Reynolds were all against the development.
Cllr Sharif said: “A further attempt to build houses on Brookfields comes as no surprise.
“The issues of access, added traffic and congestion to the town as well as a loss to an open community space remain the same.
“Local councillors along with residents will continue to fight this proposal based on planning grounds.”
Resident Adele Bamford, who lives on Manor Street, added: “The reasons the previous application was rejected at speakers’ panel still stand with this amended application.
“The people of Mossley, as well as local councillors, will continue to fight against the development due to access problems, flooding and safety issues.”
Councillors rejected the proposal to build 21 four-and-five-bedroom homes on the grounds of highway safety and loss of residential amenities to existing householders, even though planning officers recommended it be given the go-ahead.
Case officer Steve Kirkham explained the 2.2-hectare site is listed as ‘unallocated’ in the Unitary District Plan (UDP) and it had previously been earmarked for 84 dwellings, but this proposal would not have seen less than half of the site developed.
Cllr Sharif described it as “by far one of the most concerning developments I have come across”.
She claimed access the proposed access would ‘gridlock’ the town as Stamford Road splits Top and Bottom Mossley as is used by most residents while there would be an increase in the risk of flooding.
Cllr Sharif said this site provided the community with “one of the few green, open and accessible spaces in the immediate locality”.
And in her closing remarks to speakers’ panel, she said: “This application would cause absolute havoc to the town if approved, would be a logistical nightmare for the developer, residents, drivers and the council.
“It would cause disruption many lives in the town and be of detriment to the people of Mossley and I ask you to do the right thing and make a sensible decision and listen to the hundreds of objections.”
Philip Millson, representing the applicant, pointed out there was a lack of family homes in the town and this would help retain and attract them rather than losing them and therefore boost the local economy.
He added the development would create construction jobs locally and generate £77,000 in council tax annually and “the benefits outweigh temporary inconvenience”.
Philip pointed out only half the site, which he described as “overgrown scrubland” would be developed with the remainder improved to create play areas for children.
Philip added the developer had consulted residents and the feedback resulted in the development being scaled back from 35 to 21 homes.