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Plans submitted to turn Stafford Rugby Club into assisted living apartments

By Jack Averty | Stafford | News | Published:

This latest image shows how proposed new apartments will look on the site of a rugby club.

How McCarthy and Stone's assisted living apartment block could look

The new image has been released as plans for the assisted elderly living complex have been submitted to planning chiefs for the first time.

Developer McCarthy and Stone wants to build the complex, comprising of 63 apartments, on Stafford Rugby Club's current home of Newport Road.

These new apartments will complement 75 homes which could be built on the rugby club's pitches by a second developer.

Stafford Borough Council planners are currently pouring over the plans and are expected to make a decision on both the elderly apartments and the homes later this year.

Stafford Rugby Club is currently based on Newport Road but will move from Castlefields to Blackberry Lane, near Doxey Marshes, after a long planning battle in 2016. It supports both applications and says they will help the club financially as it moves sites.

As well as the 63 assisted living apartments, McCarthy and Stone says it will also build 52 parking spaces and landscaped garden areas on its proposed site.

Ian Wilkins, the regional managing director at the house building firm, said: “We have striven to design a high-quality development which is in-keeping with the distinctive local character whilst introducing new Extra Care accommodation for older home-owners who may require additional care and support to make life that little bit easier.

"It is important that a community meets the housing needs of all its residents, and our development would help meet a local, and growing, housing need in Stafford, which has been identified by Stafford Borough Council. Increasing the housing choice for home-owners in later life also helps to release family-sized housing back into local markets, which stimulates the housing chain and enables young families and first time buyers to have a better opportunity within the housing market.”

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Prior to submitting the plans earlier this month, McCarthy and Stone consulted extensively with the Stafford community, including holding individual meetings with neighbours and councillors.

A public exhibition for the wider community was also held in April 2017, which was attended by 37 people.

Lovell Partnerships and Touch Developments are behind the plans for 75 homes on the same site. If their plans are approved, the two firms hope to have the first hopes completed in Spring 2018.

Managing director Stuart Penn said: "We're delighted to be working in Stafford once again and extremely pleased to be helping the Rugby Club with its relocation plans.

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"The proposed development will create 75 high-quality open market sale and affordable homes in an excellent location, within walking distance of the town centre and close to local transport links.

"Subject to planning consent, we hope to start construction towards the end of this year, with the first homes expected to be complete in spring 2018."

Speaking to the Express & Star back in April, the chairman of Stafford Rugby Club Martin Lennon said the club supported the plans.

He said: "As the club is concerned, we are fully focused on moving forward. This is good news for us because it will help us financially with our move.

"We are excited for the future and it is good news for Stafford that this land will not go to waste if the proposals are accepted.

"These proposals cover the first phase of the development and discussions are ongoing for plans of the main club site.

"We've been waiting a long time for work to move forward. We're hoping to get work started on the new base in the next month or so.

"If every thing goes to plan, we hope we can start the 2018/19 season next summer in the new place."

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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