Residents and businesses across Stafford are being asked for their views on plans to deliver new homes, businesses, hotel, and leisure facilities in the town.
The Stafford Station Gateway masterplan will focus on revitalising underutilised brownfield land around the railway station. The project would see the ‘Station Gateway’ become a thriving active community, boosted by the town’s location at the heart of the proposed HS2 route.
The new framework is being delivered through a partnership between Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and LCR, the government’s placemaking and regeneration expert.
And now local people and businesses have a chance to share their views on the major transformation which include proposals to create up to 20,000 sq ft of commercial space, alongside hundreds of 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.
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 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.
Consultation with the community will begin on Thursday 18 August lasting for six weeks, with residents and local stakeholders invited to have their say via in person pop-up events and online. Once all community feedback has been factored into the plans, the masterplan will be submitted to the council for final approval. The search for development partners to deliver the proposals will follow council approval of the plans.
Nick Smithson, senior development manager at LCR, said: “As a town with a proud and rich history, Stafford has witnessed its fair share of transformations over the years. The exciting masterplan for the Station Gateway represents another positive evolution as the town cements its place as a key hub in the Midlands.
“Delivering high-quality housing and the amenities to match is one of the core mandates of levelling-up, and the masterplan highlights the untapped opportunity that exists on land around our railway stations, which is typically unloved, under-developed and perceived as too difficult to transform.
“The crucial next step will be ensuring that the masterplan is ultimately adopted and owned by the community. This summer is all about collaboration with local people and working with them to ensure that Stafford Station Gateway reaches its full potential and becomes a much-loved destination.”
There has already been a huge amount of investment in the town in recent times - with the opening of the £63m Western Access Road, work underway on the £23 million state of the art skills and engineering facility at Stafford College as well as the new Shire Hall enterprise hub, and £2.5m restoration of Victoria Park.
Money has been secured by the Borough Council for the £21m Future High Street Fund transformation of the town centre including work to improve the landscape outside the front of Stafford Railway Station. The County Council have also secured £7.1m for the Staffordshire History Centre, off Eastgate Street.
Councillor Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning, said: “Growth and prosperity for our borough is a key priority for the council and we have attracted huge investment to our area working closely with our partners. The financial backing we have received is testament to the confidence that government has in us to deliver major developments such as the Stafford Station Gateway project.
“This underutilised area will see the birth of a new community, with quality homes where people will want to live, alongside a business-friendly environment and leisure facilities, sitting on the doorstep of our station which will be an enormous attraction to potential investors. The ‘Station Gateway’ scheme is yet another piece in the jigsaw of transforming the heart of Stafford.
“We are now asking our residents, businesses, community groups and organisations to get involved in the consultation and give us your views to feed into this project and help draw up a masterplan for a development we can all be proud of.”
Councillor Philip White, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills at Staffordshire County Council, said: “The Stafford Gateway project is hugely significant in the ongoing regeneration of the town centre, capitalising on the enhanced connectivity at the station that HS2 will bring. New commercial and housing development will make the county town an even better place to live work and visit, in addition to bringing more employment opportunities.
“It will complement the work we have been doing, together with Stafford Borough Council, which include the Stafford Western Access Route, the Shire Hall Business Centre and the Eastgate area regeneration plans.
“We look forward to seeing the project progress and would urge people to have their say on the masterplan during this consultation period.”
The community is invited to view the masterplan and have their say here: www.staffordbc.gov.uk/stafford-regeneration-stafford-station-gateway.
Press Release No 5939