Proposals for a £500 million pound development in Stafford have been unveiled.
The ‘Stafford Gateway Masterplan’ would develop land near to the railway station and has been planned on the back of HS2 which will see journey times to London slashed to under an hour from the county town.
A report on the scheme is expected to go before members of the Borough Council’s cabinet for the first time next Thursday (6 July).
Developers have shown interest in the site which could see 650 apartments, 150 houses, and a new multi storey car park with 1400 spaces. And leading leisure chains have already expressed an interest in building a hotel with conferencing facilities.
The Council would work with other local authorities, who form the ‘Constellation Partnership,’ and Government to progress the plans on the back of the opportunities which HS2 will bring. Stafford is a hub station for HS2 which will see the high speed trains stopping at the town.
The 28-hectare site is next to the Stafford railway station and was home to manufacturing, industrial and rail-related use – with much of it now ceased.
Improvements would see another entrance to open up the railway station on both sides and enhanced walking and cycle routes through to the town centre.
Councillor Patrick Farrington, Leader of the Borough Council, said: “Our borough is growing and we have big ambitions for it.
“HS2 has presented an opportunity to deliver substantial economic growth and regeneration across the town. We want to ensure we have a vibrant town centre for the future - knowing that more residents and office workers in town will provide a boost to the High Street - and we will be studying these exciting plans very closely to ensure we are creating the right environment for businesses to flourish, for people to live, work and enjoy the area, and for communities to prosper.”
Stafford Borough has seen considerable growth over recent years including the £100m Riverside retail scheme in town, huge expansion of the army barracks, and hundreds of new homes. And work is underway on a new cinema in Stafford and an 83-acre business park at Meaford in the North of the Borough. Work will get underway this year on a nearly £10 million leisure scheme in Stone and there are advanced plans for a £2.5 million restoration of the county town’s award winning Victoria Park.
Councillor Farrington continued: “Our Borough is rightly seen as a great place to invest because of our position at the centre of the UK, with fantastic transport links. Recent figures show more than £1.5 billion has been invested in, or planned for, the area but we will not forget to protect what we already have - a safe, clean and green borough with an excellent quality of life.”
The cabinet will be asked to back the Station Gateway Masterplan and allow it to form part of the local plan review. The local plan governs development across the borough.