Work starts on homes at former Stafford Rugby Club site
Work has kicked off on a controversial £17million housing development on the former Stafford Rugby Club site.
Diggers are paving the way for 70 homes to be built as part of the new Kings Crest development, off Mansell Close – due to launch later this summer.
Residents and councillors had objected to the plans due to concerns over increased traffic, a lack of green space and dangerous access.
And plans for the development fell at the first hurdle when they were knocked back by Stafford Borough Council last August with councillors asking developers Lovell Partnerships and Touch Developments to take another look.
But the multi-million pound plans have since been passed after the number of homes was cut by four.
Now there will be 49 homes for open market sale and 21 homes for Walsall Housing Group, including 15 affordable rented homes and six shared ownership properties.
The homes will be three to four bedroom.
Councillor Geoffrey Collier previously condemned the plans for the lack of green space for children to play in.
He said: “It had not got enough green space so we opposed the plans and when they came back, they had cut down a few houses.
“I do think playing areas are very important for children especially if they are on the estate because it means they do not have to go too far away from their homes.
“Plus it means they get outside to play away from their computers. I think it is turning into a nice developed area.”
The Newport Road Area Residents’ Association tried to prevent the homes being built by attempting to register the historic land as a community asset because of how much it was used but failed.
Sport England also raised initial concerns about the loss of the playing fields but did not lodge a formal objection because the rugby club, based nearby in Castlefields, has secured a new site in Blackberry Lane.
Lovell will be contributing over £439,000 towards education and more than £218,000 towards recreation in order to support the local community of Stafford.
Tony Evans, regional operations director for partnership homes developer Lovell, said: “We are very pleased to have recently started construction of 70 new homes locally at the former Stafford Rugby Club site where we are creating a mix of high-quality open market sale and affordable homes within walking distance of the town centre.”
The scheme is set to be all completed by autumn next year.
Stafford Rugby Club play in the Midlands 2 West (North) division.
They play at Castlefields, opposite the old ground, while the site at Blackberry Lane is developed.
It is hoped the new site could be ready by September 2019.
Rugby Union legend Bill Beaumont was on hand to mark the start of work at Stafford Rugby Club’s new home in October.
The ex-England and British Lion lock – who famously captained England to Grand Slam victory in the 1980 Five Nations – was invited by club bosses to put the first spade in the ground.