Major developments to boost growth and opportunities in Staffordshire are set to start in the next few months after gaining planning approval.
Following Staffordshire County Council’s delivery of a road and infrastructure scheme to support business development at Meaford near Stone, the first planning consent for an industrial building on site has been given the go-ahead. In Rugeley, a flood defence scheme to protect the town for generations and unlock land for business and residential development has also won approval. Both schemes have had backing from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The £2million Rugeley flood defence scheme, which received £1.3million from the Local Growth Fund, will see a 370metre embankment being built along Western Springs Road and short section of wall to prevent flooding from the town’s Rising Brook. Sizeable areas of Rugeley town centre are currently blighted by flood risk – meaning housing developers and businesses won’t invest in the town. The Environment Agency, which is carrying out the project and backed by the county and district councils, estimates that a severe flood could cause £15million worth of damage, severe transport disruption due to closure of the A51 and put both the bus station and fire station at risk. This scheme addition will immediately remove 117 existing homes and commercial properties from flood risk.
At Meaford, the county council has completed a £6million road scheme to support a new business park which will be built by developer St Modwen. The works have included building a new roundabout and road, improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and creating a second junction to serve the business park. The site is the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the county and could create up to 2,200 jobs. Plans for a 38,000 square foot industrial unit on site have now been approved.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “We are delighted to see that these two schemes bringing jobs and growth to our region are progressing so well.
“They are great examples of the can-do attitude and partnership working across the public and private sectors in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent that is making this area so attractive for businesses to locate and grow, creating more and better jobs and thriving local communities.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “These two schemes are hugely significant for Staffordshire and we’re pleased to see them move forward. The on site development at Meaford follows our successful completion of the supporting road scheme which is another example of us delivering on time and on budget. The Rugeley flood defence scheme will see large areas of land currently blighted by flood risk become attractive to developers and investors, meaning further regeneration, new jobs and new homes. The Brexit vote has undoubtedly caused economic uncertainty across the nation, but we have built solid foundations for growth in Staffordshire and we are confident of carrying on that momentum in the years to come.”