Lightwood residents fight luxury homes plan for open countryside

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Residents fighting plans for luxury homes in Stoke-on-Trent claim it will destroy picturesque land and price locals out of the market.

They have sent more than 1,300 objection letters to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, objecting to the plans to build 100 houses of Lightwood Road.

They say it will ruin their view of 50 acres of open countryside they currently have from their homes, and increase the flow of traffic.

Residents also fear it will destroy the habitats of endangered starlings and song thrush birds, among other species.

Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration Ltd – a joint venture of St Modwen Properties and Stoke-on-Trent City Council – is behind the development.

Plans show the new homes,  next to Lightwood Road and Woodpark Lane, could sell for more than £500,000 each. Developers say it will boost the local economy.

But Ivan Dale, of Lightwood Community Group, said: “Our children and grandchildren, unless they become very wealthy, are highly unlikely to buy one of the proposed houses, regardless of location.

“These will be for the richer, generally less-caring few in our society.”

He said they will continue to campaign and run protests with the full support of the local residents.

Dave Evans, chairman, of the Lightwood Community Group, said: “There are over 100 hectares of brownfield sites which could be regenerated, but the council has been unable to specify where these are.”

They are rallying residents to attend the city council planning committee meeting on May 11 when the proposals will be discussed.

Brownfield sites are areas of land which have previously been built on, then the buildings there have since been demolished, or left derelict.

Mike Herbert, regional director of St Modwen, said: “It is widely understood there is a significant lack of high-quality executive homes in Stoke-on-Trent.

“The proposals at Lightwood are aimed at the very top end of the market.

“Inner city brownfield sites are not appropriate for the executive housing proposed at Lightwood.”

Cllr Lloyd Brown, for Blurton West and Newstead, who has previously represented MP Robert Flello at protests, said: “We are not convinced at all by the demand.

“There will be a bad effect on local traffic.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council was unable to comment before the proposals are discussed at a planning committee on May 11.

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