A decision on controversial plans to build affordable flats on a former social club site has been put on hold.
More than 40 people have objected to the proposals for the Weston Road land previously occupied by Meir Sports and Social Club.
They fear that the new homes planned for the site will attract ‘undesirables’ and ‘people with social issues’.
There are also concerns about extra traffic, noise disturbance and loss of privacy and light.
The club closed in 2015 and the derelict building was later pulled down after being torched in a series of arson attacks.
Pineways Development Ltd wants to build 49 apartments and eight houses on the land, as well as upgrading an access off Weston Road.
All the properties are intended to be affordable and available through shared ownership.
Planning officers at Stoke on Trent City Council have recommended the application for approval.
A report said: “The principle of residential development on this site is accepted and the delivery of 100% affordable housing scheme carries substantial weight in favour of the proposal. Suitable contributions to local education infrastructure will also be secured.
“The scheme design has drawn criticism from the local community but it is considered that the weakest elements of the design have either been addressed by way of amendment during the process or can be addressed by way of condition. On balance the scheme can be supported in design terms.”
But planning committee members, who were due to make a decision at their meeting today, agreed to defer the application so they could visit the site first. Councillor Faisal Hussain called for the site visit.
Committee vice-chairman Councillor Andy Platt spoke against the site visit. He said the council already had sufficient means to consider the development’s impact on the area.
Committee chairman Councillor Ross Irving said: “I normally take a dim view of site visits unless they’re absolutely essential, but I know there have been concerns expressed in the area regarding the introduction of a four-storey building in an area where there is mainly two-storey buildings and bungalows.
“It may well be there is some use going on a site visit to ascertain the site layout and proximity of other properties.”
Councillor Janine Bridges said: “To me a site visit would be very important to allow me to make a decision.”