Plans for new Staffordshire ‘garden village’ station on track

Plans for a railway station serving a new ‘garden village’ have moved forward with government funding of £330,000. Meecebrook, in Cold Meece near Stone, will see the construction of thousands of new homes as well as schools, healthcare facilities and businesses, under the government’s Garden Communities scheme.

Now the Department for Upgrading, Housing and Communities has awarded Meecebrook additional funding of £330,000 to support the preparation of plans, with most of the money earmarked for the development of rail infrastructure proposals . The proposed site for the new community is adjacent to the West Coast Mainline.

Stafford Borough Council received an initial £750,000 for Meecebrook in 2019, with the latest allocation bringing the government’s total investment to nearly £1.5million. Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning at Stafford Borough Council, welcomed the new funding, saying it demonstrated the government’s confidence in the authority’s ability to deliver the project.

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She said, “This is a unique opportunity for this borough to create a new community that we want to model best practice in many areas such as the environment, transportation, education and housing. And it’s great news to see that we’ve been successful in securing additional funding to investigate the feasibility of a new West Coast Main Line rail station for the proposed Garden Community.

“This is one more step towards the creation of a new garden community in the north of the borough. As the proposal progresses, it would be part of the local plan process and subject to detailed consultation with residents.

Work carried out so far has included preliminary studies on key infrastructure, including roads, water and energy. The device is to be considered within the framework of the new local plan of the municipality covering the period 2020 to 2040.

Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills Philip White said: ‘We are engaging with Stafford City Council and other partners to ensure the development of Meecebrook is sustainable with careful and thoughtful planning, and so we welcome this additional funding. government to help us achieve this.

“We want to get the best deal for our communities by building new schools, improving roads with bicycle and pedestrian facilities and installing digital technology, including gigabit broadband and 5G mobile connectivity.

“And as we rebuild our economy after the pandemic, this development must have the highest architectural standards and support our net zero ambitions.”

Coldmeece is one of 43 projects across England supported by the £69m Garden Communities project, which is expected to deliver up to 16,000 homes a year from 2025.

Housing Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Building beautiful new homes where they are needed most is at the heart of the government’s leveling mission.

“Garden villages and towns are prime examples of the vibrant, green communities we want to see across the country and today’s funding will allow us to work hand-in-hand with local leaders and industry to deliver the new high quality homes that we need.”

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James H. Wright