There is still time for people to give their views on proposals for a multi-million pound development to create a new community in Stafford.
The six-week consultation on the Stafford Station Gateway masterplan, which will see new homes, businesses, hotel, and leisure facilities in the town, will close on Thursday (29 September).
And Stafford Borough Council has bid for £20 million from the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ fund to help with the ‘Gateway’ transformation - with a decision on the cash expected later in the autumn.
More than 100 people have already given feedback - and around one hundred residents attended a public drop-in session to see the plans, ask questions, and share their views with the Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and partners LCR - the government’s placemaking and regeneration expert.
The proposals are focused 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.
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.
The major transformation includes 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.
The new framework is being delivered by the council, LCR and Staffordshire County Council.
Along with delivering a variety of housing and commercial space, the scheme will see walkable neighbourhoods created that are well-connected to the town centre and designed to encourage more active lifestyles.
The consultation is due to end on Thursday 29 September and people can still have their say online at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/stafford-station-gateway-consultation which includes a summary of the draft plan. Once all community feedback has been factored in, the masterplan will be submitted to the council for final approval. The search for development partners to deliver the proposals will get underway when the plans are agreed.
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 £28 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: “There have been many comments and responses to the consultation, and I would encourage anyone who wants to have their say to do it soon before it closes.
“Growth and prosperity are key priorities for the council. We have attracted huge investment to our area working closely with our partners - and 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 and I hope people will not miss out being part of this consultation.”
Press Release No 5951