Barratt Homes have submitted what we understand will be their final attempt to get the application granted.
They have made the minimum of concessions on various aspects but have failed to address any of the key points. Having been unable to find any sensible way to make the Meadow Lane / Longton Road junction work they’ve simply given up on the need for a signalised junction. They are proposing to add an additional short lane to allow two lanes of traffic into the junction from Meadow Lane. With no traffic signals this means that cars turning right into Meadow Lane will block the path of anyone trying to turn right out of Meadow Lane, and with the additional volume of traffic, this would make the junction significantly worse and less safe than it is right now.
Another really interesting point is that even with the amount of spin, misrepresentation and dubious data we know Barratts are famed for, they have had to admit that even with their proposed amendments the junction will be overcapacity if their proposal goes through!
Pretty much everything else other than the number of houses, which they’ve reduced, is still as wrong as it was in the original application. I’m afraid, the facts, no matter how inconvenient for Barratt Homes, are still the facts.
There is now a period of 21 days for consultation, during which time we need to put in any more objections regarding the amendments. I wouldn’t like to think that they’d deliberately timed this to co-incide with summer holidays, thereby making it difficult for everyone to properly assess their new documents!
However this means the most likely date the application will go before the planning committee is now September 16th.
Amendments can be found on the councils site here.
As the pressure mounts on Barratt Homes to conjure up a credible plan for their development proposal, it appears that they have now stooped even lower and have resorted to game playing. Having missed the deadline for the July Planning Committee, Barratt Homes should by now have submitted an updated plan in time for Council Officers, their consultants and residents to study and comment on, prior to the subsequent Planning meeting in August.
However, it seems that Barratt Homes, having had more than enough time to prepare their updated plan, have chosen not to submit it in time to be included in the August Planning meeting. The next Planning meeting is Wednesday September 16th.
“Refuse the application” I hear everyone shout to the Council. But, even though this would be the right thing to do given the history of the application and the more than ample time Barratt Homes have already had, the council still have to be seen to behave reasonably toward them. Barratt Homes have advised the Council that an updated application is on its way, so the Council can’t refuse the application just yet. Given Barratt Homes’ record of dishonesty as recorded in our blogs, I somewhat doubt that they have anything like a credible plan and so are just playing for time in the hope that they can find some legal loophole to force the application through.
So for now we have to sit tight and wait for Barratt to reveal their hand, but the end game is getting closer and if they procrastinate further in an attempt to miss the September Planning Committee, then Council Officers will have reasonable grounds to safely refuse the application.
On a very positive note, our local Councillor, Daniel Jellyman is now the city’s Heritage Champion and has submitted a letter of objection to the Development Committee.
” As Heritage Champion for the City of Stoke-on-Trent, I believe that the field in question being a conservation zone is crucial to this city’s heritage. With other suitable building sites across the city, this field is not suitable on any grounds for any development”