Stone Life

Consultation Kicks Off for Westbridge Park Facilities

Next week a consultation will begin into the provision of new leisure facilities for Stone.

A multi-use games area, skate-park and new play equipment have previously been earmarked as part of a multi-million-pound leisure offer for the town.

For the consultation, Stafford Borough Council has engaged the services of Shropshire based Red Kite Network. Red Kite is a specialist landscape, ecology, green space and environmental consultancy who have developed a number of park schemes, including Victoria Park in Stafford.
For Westbridge Park, the company will be carrying out a feasibility study followed by a masterplan for the development of play, sports and outdoor event facilities.
Phase 1 of the public consultation will involve meeting with key users of such facilities as well as carry out visitor and online surveys, details will be shared as soon as we have specifics. The consultation is looking to gather the opinions of Stone residents, schools, community groups and local councillors.
The leisure facilities are the final part of Westbridge Park which is undergoing a significant change, the latest of which is the creation of the new Stone Leisure Centre which begins next week.
Despite strong local objections, the tennis courts and adjacent land were sold to Marks and Spencer for a new food hall store. The new store is due to open late Spring 2018 and will house the food store, on site bakery and a 60 seater cafe, all of which will create 70 new jobs for the town.
The M&S development has displaced the Girl Guides who have had a new HQ built on the other side of the gym, at the expense of the old skate park.
Stafford Borough Council received feedback in the summer from a number of youngsters about their expectations for a play park which will help as part of the wider consultation programme.

Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure, at the council, said:

“The first part of our plan is to provide a new leisure centre that can bring swimming, a gym and fitness studios under one roof.

“But it is also important to provide the other facilities that will make Stone more attractive to families, young people and our residents. And we want those people who will be using the facilities, young and old, to help us shape the future of facilities in the town.”

Concept proposals will be drawn up based on feedback from the first phase of consultation – with residents and organisations having the opportunity to comment on them before plans are put forward.

The first phase of the consultation will run for six weeks and will start at 12 noon on Monday 5 February. More details will be available next week and we’ll be sharing them when we receive them.

What would you like to see in terms of leisure and event space in the town?

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