Stone Life

Tilling Drive land goes up for sale to fund Stone play facilities

Stafford Borough Council has placed for sale land off Tilling Drive that faces the A34.

The land had been designated in the Stone Neighbourhood Plan (SNP) as Local Green Space, however, the sale of the land before the plan is adopted will see the loss of approximately a third of the land to potentially a new housing or retail development.

Stafford Borough Council has said that cash raised from selling off the land on Tilling Drive will be earmarked for play and leisure facilities in the town.  This includes improvement to the existing football pitch and changing rooms on the Tilling Drive site.

The borough council has recently consulted Stone residents, organisations and businesses on what they want to see in terms of play and leisure facilities at Westbridge Park.  The consultation is part of a proposed almost £10m investment into facilities in Stone.

Proposals put forward for the Westbridge park include multi-use games area, skate park and new play equipment. A new leisure centre which brings swimming pool, gym and fitness studios under one roof in the town is already being constructed to replace the outdated facility at Westbridge Park.

Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said:

“By selling part of the land we will be able to invest in new facilities for Westbridge Park as well as making improvements to the changing facilities and football pitch on Tilling Drive.

“We are already making a large investment from our resources to deliver a brand new leisure centre and the Cabinet were all in agreement that the money realised from the sale of this land must go to benefit the leisure offer in Stone.”

Millar Sandy is handling the sale on behalf of the borough council stating that the land is “Suitable for housing development subject to planning consent or possibly suitable for retail development”

With the former Co-op empty and a significant amount of housebuilding already underway in Stone does Stone really need this additional development?

Details of the land for sale can be found on the Millar Sandy website here – Tilling Drive Land For Sale

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. This land clearly should have been in the towns emerging Neighbourhood Plan . The sale is clearly against local wishes . To top this ,Walton has become an highly congested hot spot for traffic exacerbated on many occasions by problems on the M6, any more building in the area would be just be adding to the problem . Perhaps it time to insist that any further development bulldozed through by the short sighted Council should recognise this.

    In terms of priority between extra generated revenue and selling off green areas, many will argue that the more green areas that are lost is helping to sacrifice the character of the town for future generations.

    Would an action plan opposing the Sale open up a dialogue on this seemingly underhand move by the Council. Surely the Council have been precipitous in the public sale offer and even misrepresenting the land as a development opportunity.

  2. It appears that Stone is just a financial asset as far as Stafford is concerned and it can be dipped into whenever Stafford need a bit more cash in the same way as an asset stripper would carve off bits of a company for profit. Everything about the way that Stafford have (mis)managed the development of Stone leisure stinks. From the fact that Stone residents voted against losing part of Westbridge to commercial activities to ignoring very justified qualms about the impact on the park, flood risk and traffic disruption and now to selling off more green space without consultation with residents. Stone has little or no representation on the planning committee. Councils should now be replacing section 106 moneys with a Community Infrastructure Charge which guarantees that a proportion of money from new housing or commercial developments comes to the community affected so that it can be ploughed into much needed infrastructure rather than disappearing into a pot controlled elsewhere. That does not seem to happen in Stafford. In fact the whole financial process lacks transparency. Why do we need to sell off bits of community land in Stone for facilities that should be provided from the community charge. Does this happen in Stafford. And can we guarantee that none of the money raised in this way goes to benefit Stafford rather than Stone?

  3. This is clearly as stated a recreational space to be enjoyed by families of the Walton area. Over the seasons you can see many different spontaneous activities that families and young people engage in. During the winter having somewhere to build a snowman, kick a ball about, a green stretch where toddlers are able to run safely. I remember thinking last summer during Wimbledon how lucky those young people were who had used their imaginations to mark out a tennis pitch with the mown grass. The fact that they had the opportunity to define their own boundaries using their creativity. These spaces build communities, create a sense of belonging and well being. I sincerely hope that the residents of Walton come together to oppose this action. From what I understand the decision to sell the land has been taken without any local knowledge of the application for planning permission together with the change of use. Stafford Borough Council you we elected to work for the people to improve their lives not against them.

  4. I, also, wonder where all the 106 money is going when I see all the house building in Walton.
    We have already sacrificed green space on Westbridge Park to get the new sports centre and swimming pool – promised before the development of Marks and Spencer but not delivered as yet. Why do we need to sell more green space to get a better football pitch, changing rooms and playground?
    Have Stafford residents had to sacrifice green space to get their playgrounds and sports centre? I think not.
    The 106 money should be used for the benefit of Walton residents to improve the sports pitch, changing rooms and playground WITHOUT selling off any land for further development. Stone residents have had enough of being the poor relations of Stafford.

  5. What an absolute disgrace!! If this was April 1st I would think it was an April Fools!
    Are SB not satisfied with the amount of development going on within Walton and Stone???
    I filled in the online consultation and unless I suffer from amnesia not once did it state that would I be happy to cut our parks down in order to refurbish them; this would really not be very logical??
    The new M&S store has funded the Westbridge park facilities so where is the 106 money from all the new developments going if not back into our communities? Will that be going into Stafford so you can refurbish your leisure areas without the need to cut down the parks, after all you do make the decisions on where this money goes???
    Also not to point out the obvious, but can we really afford to have any more turnings, traffic etc. etc ( we actually get sick and tired of pointing these things out as we made as well go and bang our heads against a wall ) off the A34?
    Well I’m sure that you will have taken note on my comments and common sense will prevail over greed. I won’t hold my breath though!

    1. Sorry I forgot to state in my above rant that if you look at the red border, part of it actual cuts off the football pitch, so what football pitch will you be actually refurbishing??

  6. There has been NO consultation with the people of Friars Avenue and surrounding areas regarding the sale of this land. Not one homeowner who’s HOMES border this land had any idea this was going on until today. We are all angry at this. We are completely in the dark. Absolutely shocking behaviour by the council. We want answers

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