It’s back to the drawing board after Borough Council planning officers rejected McCarthy and Stone’s application for a four-storey retirement complex on Crown Wharf. The builder’s option to purchase the site from the Canal and River Trust is subject to their being granted planning permission.
In a decision letter dated August 10th, officials slated the proposed 31-flat complex for its
“overbearing and overdominant appearance…harming the established small-scale character of the canal frontage and disrupting the townscape of this part of the Stone Conservation Area.”
Officials judged that the complex would prevent opportunities for
“more appropriate enhancement of the canal corridor in a way that would enable the town to …benefit from its canal side function, character and setting.”
They also ruled that the complex would conflict with the Stafford Borough Plan.
“I am thrilled to bits about this,”
said Town Councillor Rob Kenney,
who helped spearhead Stone Town Council’s opposition to the proposal last February.
“The application was dealt with using delegated powers, meaning SBC planning officers, not the planning committee made the decision because it was so clear cut. The grounds for refusal make it nearly impossible for developments of this type to be considered on Crown Wharf ever again.”
“This does now mean that Stone Town Council can start to make enquiries with regards to the original Crown Wharf project that they raised and set aside £100,000 for in 2009. “
“The original plan for the Wharf consisted of one or two shops and maybe a cafe with affordable accommodation above them. Car parking and the Wharfingers cottages and possibly the old fire station turned into a heritage centre”
But perhaps a developer will now come forward to build retirement apartments on the site of the Crown Bowling Club that used to have planning permission,”
Cllr Kenney added.
“Maybe they could link it with the existing Joules Court building not only to provide extra apartments but also to provide assisted living which so many so many retirees want nowadays. I know that some residents of Joules Court would welcome this.”