Stafford Borough Council have revealed plans for a new garden village on former MOD land with the prospect of new homes, school and a doctor’s surgery.
The idea for a new garden village could be considered as part of Stafford Borough Council’s local plan process should the Government go ahead with the plans to build a new HS2 railhead near Yarnfield/Stone.
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.
Now the local authority is looking for benefits that can be achieved if the railhead comes to Stone with a new permanent junction off the M6 being built to support it. And the council say proposals to create a new garden village could relieve the pressure of building more homes in other towns and villages across the borough – helping retain the area’s ‘shire identity.’
The area which has been mooted is brownfield land around Cold Meece near Stone but it is too early to say how many houses or what facilities will form part of any possible development.
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.”