Details of how £750,000 of Government money will be spent on a project for a potential new garden community in Stafford Borough will be discussed at a meeting this week.
The Borough Council were one of only five local authorities – out of 150 submissions – to be successful in their bid for funds to explore the possibility of a garden settlement in the north of the borough.
The new community would have around 10,000 homes, schools, health provision, transport links, employment areas and excellent digital connectivity. The money is earmarked to develop detailed plans for the key infrastructure required – such as highway improvements, water and energy provision – to support a sustainable development.
In a report to the council’s cabinet, Councillor Frances Beatty, portfolio holder for Economic Development and Planning, will ask that spending of the grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is approved for initial feasibility studies and programme management. The councillors will hear the concept for a new garden community, with a working name of ‘Meecebrook’ at Cold Meece near Stone, is to be considered as part of the council’s new local plan process 2020-2040.
In the longer term, the creation of the settlement could relieve the pressure of building more homes in other towns and villages across the borough – helping retain the area’s ‘shire identity.’
Council Leader, Patrick Farrington, said: “We have ambitious projects and have set out our vision to ensure Stafford Borough is leading the way in attracting investment and boosting the area’s prosperity. This money takes us a step further towards creating a new garden community in the north of the borough. This idea is still at the concept stage and the council is embarking on a new local plan which will guide development in the future. As the proposal progresses it would be part of the local plan process and subject to detailed consultation with residents. We need more homes and the potential numbers which this new settlement could accommodate can reduce the need to look for other sites to build on in our existing towns and village, in the longer term.”
The report will go before the cabinet on Thursday 5 September.