Former police station in Eccleshall could become 'business hub'

A former police station could become a business hub and provide much-needed car parking as part of ambitious plans to help a Stafford Borough town thrive in the coming two decades.

More town centre car parking and better access to Wi-Fi have already been put forward as suggestions to make Eccleshall a more attractive place to visit. And a social enterprise could be set up to acquire the town’s former police station – which has been put up for sale – for the benefit of the community.

Eccleshall residents and visitors are now being urged to have their say on how they would like the town to develop over the next two decades.

A consultation has been launched and hard copies have been delivered to more than 1,000 households. The survey is also available to complete online.

The plan put forward as part of the consultation sets out a vision for Eccleshall to “be a place to live, work and thrive in the 21st century”.

Alongside making use of the town’s existing assets, such as historic buildings, its range of shops and events such as the Eccleshall Festival and Show, more ambitious proposals have been put forward. These include:

Re-developing the town’s former police station, which has been put up for sale, into an “innovation hub” for businesses to develop.

Identifying a site where a new GP surgery could be built to meet the needs of the town’s growing population

A “car parking strategy” which would allow space for 100 vehicles within easy access of the High Street, alongside maintaining existing provision – including the area at the former police station.

Identifying small areas of infill land or under-utilised land within the boundary of the town for use as self-build housing plots.

Creating a Wi-Fi enabled area across the whole of the town

Developing accommodation to allow visitors to spend more time in the town

Entering the Great British High Street Awards in 2020 in the “Rising Stars” category

County and borough councillor Jeremy Pert, who has been working on the project, said: “This is a critical consultation to determine how Eccleshall will look over the next 10 to 20 years and if it is successful can be the springboard to delivering some of these aspirations, through a variety of new and different delivery partnerships for the benefit of residents of Eccleshall. So getting everyone’s views heard is really important.

“The plan looks at new ways of delivering residents’ aspirations through things like not for profit organisations and creating a co-ordinated plan for sustaining the things that residents cherish, like growing the already highly successful High Street.

“The plan has been delivered to all 1,400 households in Eccleshall and we are already seeing a strong response rate – such is the interest that this has ignited – but I would urge residents to respond rather than leaving their input until it is too late.”

The consultation is open until Sunday, September 29. Hard copies can be found and handed in at Eccleshall Library and the online survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Eccyconsults

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