Major town centre regeneration project progresses to next phase

A major regeneration scheme in Stafford town centre is progressing this month with building demolition set to take place to make way for new development.

Staffordshire County Council bought the former magistrates court in early 2021, adding to the former probation service buildings which were already in the council’s ownership, to support future development of the town centre site as part of the Eastgate regeneration programme. The magistrates court closed five years ago following a Government decision.

It will mean potential developers and future occupiers will be able to take advantage of securing a significant area of land in a prime central location. The buildings are next to each other between South Walls and Eastgate Street.

The Eastgate regeneration programme also includes the county council-owned Wedgwood and St Chad’s buildings, which could be developed for a potential mix of residential, commercial or hospitality use. Regenerating this area will also provide improvements to the link between the town centre and Riverside retail units. Images of how the new development could look have been released today.

The programme is one of a number of interlinked regeneration projects to vastly improve the vitality of the county town particularly after the pandemic, attracting investment, new jobs, visitors and residents. These include the Future High Street programme, Shire Hall regeneration, Stafford Gateway project and Stafford Western Access Route and will follow the borough council’s improvement programme at Victoria Park.

So that the demolition work can take place safely, South Walls will need to be closed in both directions from Tuesday September 14. The road closure will be in place for up to four weeks, though access to all businesses, the registrar, local car parks and loading areas will be maintained by a signed diversion route via Bridge Street. During this period, the bus lane will be suspended with new signed temporary bus stops provided.

After the demolition has been completed, the land will be temporarily used as a private car park while plans are developed for the permanent use of the site.

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:

“The Eastgate programme is an important part of Stafford town centre’s wider regeneration and working with Stafford Borough Council we look forward to attracting new businesses, investment, residents and visitors.

“This is part of our recovery programme from the pandemic. One of our main priorities as a county council is revitalising our towns in partnership with borough and district councils.

“We will unfortunately need to close South Walls for four weeks while the magistrates court and probation building demolition is carried out and we have contacted businesses and residents in the area to let them know about the works. We’d like to thank to thank people for their patience while this essential work is carried out.”

Stafford Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development and planning Frances Beatty said:

“This is further demonstration of the significant investment that is taking place in and around our town centre and how all the projects that are coming to fruition, getting underway or in the pipeline are linked as part of an overall plan to make our county town a destination of choice for those who want to live, work, visit, spend their leisure or retail time or even set up a business.

“One of our top priorities is growth and prosperity. These ambitious plans will not happen overnight but with this demolition work starting soon, the Stafford Western Access Road entering its final phase and the Market Square plans expected to start next year then I hope our community will see that Stafford is heading in the right direction.”

 

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