Residents fight homes proposal
FAMILIES and residents are objecting to plans for 37 houses on the site of a boarded-up council care home.
Developer Taylor Wimpey has asked for planning permission to demolish the former Thistleberry House residential home in Newcastle and build new properties in its place.
Residents say they broadly welcome the Keele Road site being brought back into use, but many have lodged formal objections over concerns it will cause traffic problems in the area.
Others say the developer is attempting to squeeze too many properties on to the site – exceeding the boundaries of the former home.
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Officers at Newcastle Borough Council have advised the planning committee to approve plans.
But they are insisting Taylor Wimpey pays more than £161,000 to fund improvements in the area, including almost £109,000 for developing public open spaces and £88,000 to fund at least eight extra primary school places.
Resident Ewart Oakes, of neighbouring Greenock Close, is concerned that six of the properties would be accessed from his road and not the main Keele Road.
He said: "It should have been made clear from the outset that the area would be solely within the well-defined boundaries of the former care home.
"In no way should Greenock Close have been affected.
"The present site-creep plan is the result of increasing the area required to add six dwellings, purely to increase Taylor Wimpey profit, at the expense of the peace of mind of the residents."
Families in Greenock Close also fear their road will be used by trespassers taking a shortcut to Keele Road when a steel anti-vandal fence is replaced by a smaller wooden fence as part of the plans.
Cliff Tomlinson, of Greenock Close, said: "If the big steel fence is to be pulled down it will cause endless problems for people.
"I can well remember the trouble that happened before the fence was erected.
"The litter and damaged caused were endless.
"It took months of long negotiation to get Staffordshire County Council to install the very expensive fence."
Christopher Moss, also of Greenock Close, added: "During the time access was available, our quality of life was very poor with constant abuse from children to adults who accessed the path for school or the local off-licence, anti-social behaviour, revelry and foul language late into the evening and early morning, vandalism to property and vehicles, attempted theft, litter and broken alcoholic drinks bottles smashed on the roadway or discarded into gardens."
Taylor Wimpey will buy the land from Staffordshire County Council, which closed the home in 2007, if it secures planning permission.
Developers plan to build detached, semi-detached and terrace homes on the site, with about nine of the properties sold as affordable housing.