Stafford Railway Station area transformation plans are revealed

Detailed plans for the transformation of the area around Stafford Railway Station have been revealed – and a six-week consultation on the ambitious development is due to begin this month.

An image of how the Stafford Station Gateway could look. Image courtesy of Stafford Borough Council
An image of how the Stafford Station Gateway could look. Image courtesy of Stafford Borough Council

The Stafford Station Gateway Project aims to regenerate land next to the railway to create new housing, business and leisure developments. Stafford Borough Council is working with Staffordshire County Council, London and Continental Railways, Network Rail, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Homes England to make the most of economic opportunities expected to arise from the town’s link with the HS2 line through Staffordshire.

Borough council cabinet members were given an update on the project’s progress at their meeting this month. And they gave the go-ahead for a strategic regeneration framework, which provides more details of the proposal, to go out to consultation.

The document stated: ‘By 2040 Stafford Station Gateway will be a thriving, vibrant new community within Stafford Town Centre where people want to live, work and visit, conveniently connected to Stafford Railway Station, and providing access to Staffordshire, the Midlands and beyond. Stafford Station Gateway will sustainably connect existing and emerging communities to the west, with the town centre and railway station, and provide high-quality amenities, workspaces and active green and blue spaces and public realm to deliver an exemplar low-carbon development for Stafford.

“This will provide a very different, yet complementary offer, to the housing sites that have been developed in and around the town over recent years and provide a link to and from them. By providing this variation, the Gateway will draw new people into Stafford, appealing to families and young professionals, businesses and occupiers, seeking to benefit from the connectivity of the place, but also from the vibrancy and amenity on offer, which in turn will encourage innovation and creativity”

The regeneration proposals include around 900 homes, as a mix of townhouses and apartments, as well as 33,000 square ft of office space, up to 15,000 square feet of retail and leisure space, up to 106,000 square feet of workspaces and an Innovation Hub, as well as an 80 bed hotel, 350 space multi-storey car park and public open spaces

Councillor Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning, presented the plans at the cabinet meeting. She said: “We are going to extend the consultation up to six weeks and I can assure residents that we will be engaging with them in that time.

“This is going to guide the design of the development across the site. It is a matter very close to my heart that we get the design and quality of our developments right across the borough when new developments take place.

“All of this is symptomatic of our ambition several years ago to ensure that Stafford was not only a growth town, but that we recognise it is the county town. It’s important that in everything we do we raise the profile of Stafford as the county town and make sure everything is of quality, looks good and people want to come here to live and work.”

Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Stafford Station Gateway is a very exciting project and I’m glad this is coming forward with the guidance on design and quality which will show exactly what we’re looking at. I did note 15,000 square feet of new retail and leisure space – I class leisure space as green open space and sports facilities but I do appreciate leisure space can be pubs and clubs.

“I’m really looking forward to the details. The Newport Road Residents’ Association are a very active group in the area and are very keen on looking at the station gateway detail as well.”

Councillor Jonathan Price, cabinet member for climate change, described the scheme as a “multi-million pound project”. He added:  “A lot of this stuff seems to fall under the radar and the huge amount of work we as an authority and our partners do going forward is phenomenal.

“Despite how difficult things have been out there, particularly post-pandemic, the work that this authority is doing is phenomenal to not only put forward more housing, but more businesses, more development and have more people come into our communities to generate more funding for this borough as well. There are some massive projects coming up going forward and we have the Future High Streets Fund work beginning as well.”

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