Stone Life

Group look to challenge Aston Lodge development plan

blackies laneA group will be meeting at the Frank Jordan Centre (Christchurch Room) at 7:30pm on Monday 12th June to discuss the recently passed “affordable homes” application for land on Aston Lodge

The planning application was put forward by landowners Fradley Estates. The planning application was passed at the end of May by Stafford Borough Council following the initial rejection of a more commercially lucrative development that was refused due to no requirement for any more “open market” properties.

Stone Town Councillor Andy Osgathorpe is taking up the campaign with local residents to review the implications of the decision and to provide more insight and information on how the Borough council has come to this decision. Stone Town Council, as well as almost 100 local residents, lodged objections against the planning application (you can see the original plan details here)

The meeting will discuss possible options available to overturn the decision and halt the greenfield development.

Andy Osgathorpe can be contacted via email at





  1. Lets suppose Fradleys plan is to sell the homes to a Housing Association who provide affordable homes. These could then be used to house tenants who have social problems. The original planning approval given using the Rural Exception work around will then disappear into the convenience background.

    This scenario couldn’t happen some will claim. Perhaps, but lets remember history of planning approval for the large estate built by Fradley some 40 years ago ; possible 2 access roads , shops, play areas, . Let also remember what happened .

    People should be extremely suspicious of the sudden change of the planning application using the rural exception rule. Was evidence of this need presented and will this need be controlled to prevent the houses being used for social needs which have no connection with the rural community apparently queuing up for these properties.

  2. This approval is probably the thin end of the wedge. The new planning rules, guidelines, and policy which have allowed this development approval can possible now be used to secure access to open farmland hitherto protected by rules of a few years ago historically used to protect open land.

    The Aston Lodge community and the houses on Uttoxetor Rd are particularly vulnerable to piggybacking developments further up the almost country lane to build on farmland.

    It might not matter too much if this was viewed philosophically as progress. I guess that many people objecting would be appeased if there was a second access to the large estate as was proposed in the original site plans or Railtrack built a new road with a bridge over their rail line to circumvent the barrier which maroons the road users from access to the main road. But this is not going to happen so any further traffic on rout to the main road will exacerbate their daily fight against the rail barrier.

    Our green fields and Farmlands are now under attack from the new national policy. Our Council must fight back to protect our town boundaries against any attempt to expand these by tagging on affordable homes using a regulation designed for local rural communities.

    Clarification is needed from the Stafford Chief Planning Officer on the interpretation and local implication of the national policy on expansion of town boundaries into open countryside and on control of affordable homes and the circumvention of local plan agreed limits on building.

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