Plans to deliver new homes, business, hotel, and leisure facilities in Stafford have progressed following approval of a new masterplan.
The endorsement by Stafford Borough Council’s Cabinet follows extensive engagement with the town’s residents and businesses. The masterplan – known as the Strategic Regeneration Framework – for the Stafford Station Gateway was approved at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday (January 19).
The plan sets out the guiding principles for future regeneration around the town’s railway station, which provides an important transport link for the area to London, Manchester and Liverpool and comes ahead of a new HS2 connection.
The Stafford Station Gateway is being delivered through a partnership between Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, and placemaking and regeneration expert LCR.
This milestone follows six weeks of community consultations, which saw more than 250 local residents, business, and stakeholders have their say on plans across drop-in engagement events, emails, letters and online surveys.
The endorsed masterplan includes proposals to create up to 20,000 sq ft of commercial space, alongside around 900 hundred new high-quality homes, a hotel and multi-storey car park. The offer also provides opportunities for brand new leisure, retail and food and beverage concepts to create a fresh and vibrant centre for the community.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning at the borough council, said: “Growth and prosperity are key priorities for the council. Working closely with partners we have attracted huge investment to our borough and that is testament to the confidence investors have in us to deliver major developments such as the Stafford Station Gateway project.
“It is great to see this exciting project progress another stage forward, with a transformational blueprint to breathe life into this underutilised area of our county town. The Gateway will bring about the birth of a new community, quality homes, waterscapes and trees, wildlife corridors, alongside a business-friendly environment, quality leisure facilities, sitting on the doorstep of our station. What an enormous attraction to potential investors.”
Nick Smithson, senior development manager at LCR, said: “Endorsement of the masterplan marks the beginning of an exciting journey to breathe new life into Stafford. The masterplan for the development aims to emphasise the vibrant and thriving community that Stafford has been cultivating.
“Crucially, the plans are centred around the town’s residents and businesses, and we’re so grateful to everyone who came to have their say on the plans and help shape them into something truly bespoke to the community. We’re excited to work with Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council to embark on the next phase and help realise the transformation of the town.”
Councillor Philip White, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills at Staffordshire County Council, said: ““The Stafford Gateway proposals provide an exciting vision for the town, developing land around the railway station and capitalising on improved connections which will support future growth.
“The masterplan approval by the Borough Council is another milestone in the project progression and it is pleasing to see the strength of community involvement in the planning stages.
“Together with the Borough Council and other partners, we are working hard to improve and revitalise the county town with a range of interconnected projects which will attract significant investment in years to come. They include our Eastgate regeneration plans, refurbishment of the Shire Hall as a business enterprise centre, completion of the Stafford western access route, Stafford History Centre, high street and Market Square regeneration and Victoria Park improvements. These are exciting times for Stafford and we look forward to continued successful delivery of the combined proposals.”
With HS2 expected to cut travel time to London to 53 minutes, Stafford will become a major new transport hub and the masterplan sets in place the amenities needed to maximise the opportunity on the town’s doorstep.
Along with delivering a variety of housing and commercial space, the scheme will also reimagine the public realm in the area. This will include creating walkable neighbourhoods that are well-connected to the town centre, designed to encourage more active lifestyles and bring community wellbeing to the fore.
The partnership between the Councils and LCR will now work towards appointing design and development partners to create detailed plans to regenerate the area around Stafford station.
Press Release No 5996