Developer hosts final exhibition

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A developer has held a third and final public exhibition on plans to build more than 100 homes, despite long-running opposition from residents.

Members of the Liston Residents’ Association have voiced their opposition against the redevelopment of Stafford Park in Liston since plans were first proposed in 2012.

Yesterday, Redding Park Developments held a final public exhibition on its regeneration plans to encourage feedback from villagers.

Members of the residents’ association, led by chairman Allan Binks, are not backing down over their opposition to the scheme, which would see 122 houses and flats built on the site.

Currently, the site in Glemsford Road is home to a number of industrial buildings. It was previously used as a flavourings plant by Bush Boake Allen Ltd, which closed in 2003.

There are concerns about the site due to its lack of access and its location on a flood plain of the River Stour.

Mr Binks accused Redding Park of concealing the true reason behind the plans, claiming the company was using the need to clean up the old factory site as a reason for pushing ahead with the development.

“Redding Park Developments is keen to advance the argument that the only way to clear the site of contamination is to build houses and use that money to pay for cleaning the site of any industrial waste,” he said.

“It is not the case. Redding Park Developments bought the site knowing full well what it was buying.

“This development should seriously worry people because this is not just a plan for a few houses, but a plan for a new village.”

Residents’ association secretary Jill Williams agreed the site needed cleaning, but said it was not a suitable location for housing.

“The people of Liston can’t really see why we have to have a village, which is probably five times bigger than we are, on this side of the river,” she said.

A planning application has not yet been submitted but Redding Park director Gordon Macpherson said that would be the next step.

He said the company has always been open to discussion with the community, and was acting responsibly.

“I’m a little mystified about why there should be such a vehement reaction to what we want to do,” he said.