Stafford Borough Council considers plans for new 'garden village'

A former Ministry Of Defence site near Stafford could be transformed into a new garden village - if HS2 plans go ahead.

The Cold Meece site near Stone has been flagged for a number of new homes, a school and a doctor's surgery by the borough council. 

The local authority says the idea could help keep hold of Stafford's 'shire' identity as the high speed rail hub arrives and the area is developed.

The council has previously opposed HS2 proposals – but the local authority is working to ensure the area would not miss out on any economic boost if the high speed line goes ahead.

Recently the council announced a £500 million Stafford Station Gateway masterplan to transform the area near the existing railway station which is to be a hub stop for HS2 and will see journey times to London from the county town slashed to under an hour.

Council Leader, Patrick Farrington, said: “I have always been clear that if what is proposed as part of the HS2 project goes ahead, then as a borough we should capitalise on any economic gains that this brings.”

The council works with other local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, who form the ‘Constellation Partnership,’ and are looking to engage Government to progress opportunities that HS2 will bring. 

The council is embarking on a review of its local plan which will guide development in the future. Part of the exercise is asking landowners to suggest land they would like to have considered for development in the review.

Councillor Farrington continued: “The idea of a new garden settlement is only at the concept stage and entirely dependent on HS2 and the Government confirming their plans before we could develop ours in any detail. 

“If and when they progress they would be part of the local plan and subject to detailed consultation with local residents.” 

The Government sets targets for councils to deliver new homes in their districts and Councillor Farrington added: “If there were to be new sites put forward as part of the local plan process then it would obviously reduce the need to look for other sites to build on in our existing towns and villages.”

“And a permanent junction would allow better access to businesses and communities and would provide a boost for the economy of Stone.”

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