At a packed meeting in Yoxall Village Hall last night (Monday 21st May) with over 120 villagers attending, a vote was taken and by an overwhelming majority the Village rejected the proposal for a by-pass and the construction of 145 new homes, but wanted traffic calming through Yoxall. The meeting was organised by Mrs Jo Jennings who lives in Yoxall and was chaired by Michael Fabricant. Those attending included four Yoxall Parish Councillors, Borough Councillor Mrs Beryl Behague, and Tim Corbett who hopes to replace the existing County Councillor for the area who is standing down at the County elections. A Kings Bromley Parish councillor also attended. There are fears that a Yoxall by-pass would attract additional heavy traffic onto the A515 causing more misery to the people of Kings Bromley.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted around 90 minutes, Michael told the meeting that there "is a clear consensus of opinion in the village" and he told them what he would now do. Michael Fabricant will now immediately:
Inform East Staffordshire Borough Council that if the planning committee approve the by-pass, he will ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to call in the planning proposal for a public inquiry
As the A515 through Yoxall does not meet national specifications for a major trunk route and as alternative east-west routing is now available on the A50 south of Stoke, Michael will ask the County Council and Department of the Environment to declassify the route to the status of a County Road. Once this has been done, traffic calming and/or load restrictions may be introduced on the road.
Consult with the Police over their view of the safety of the road through the village which includes a 'dog leg' by the village school which often requires heavy vehicles to mount the pavement. He will ask their views on whether traffic calming, including speed cameras, would be desirable.
Contact the Environment Agency for an assessment of the environmental impact on the village of the construction of a by-pass and new homes – particularly with regard to flooding which is already a major problem in the village.
Michael Fabricant says "The meeting was very constructive and the unanimity of opinion was very clear. While a significant minority wanted the by-pass so that the misery of heavy traffic in the village could be alleviated, virtually all were agreed that if trucks could be deterred from taking the A515 through the village and use the alternative A50 route instead, this would resolve the problem.
"Villagers agreed with me that house building can destroy the nature of a village forever. Once built over, greenfields will never return. Some years back, Kings Bromley rejected a by-pass if the cost were significant extra housing and I can well understand this point of view. It is unfortunate that John Prescott who is responsible for these matters seems to have little understanding of or sympathy with countryside issues and seems determined to allow building on greenfield sites."