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'Hands off Westbridge Park' say residents

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

Comments (8)

A HEATED meeting in Stone saw councillors heckled and youngsters urging “hands off Westbridge Park.”

More than 350 people packed into Alleyne’s High School hall last night to hear a presentation on Stafford Borough Council’s future plans for the town at Stone Town Council’s meeting, with some having to listen to proceedings from the corridor.

Many audience members expressed strong views against retail development on Westbridge Park after borough council officers warned that major firms had expressed interest in building on the park.

And some councillors urged residents to consider the future need for leisure facilities in the town and the funding challenges involved.

See tomorrow’s Newsletter for a full report and pictures from the meeting.

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  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 24 2012, 9:59AM

    People really need to consider the impact of another supermarket in Stone and its proposed position in Westbridge Park in addition to the loss of a green space. There is no proven need for another supermarket even taking into account future population growth. If this is true the impact of another supermarket would be to reduce the takings of existing shops. Morrisons would probably survive but the Co-op could very well close leaving a big empty shop on that site. Also access to Westbridge would need to be improved increasing the amount of traffic turning right from the A34 direction where most of the traffic would come. This would exacerbate the existing traffic problems on Christchurch Way.

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 23 2012, 4:05PM

    Re your front page article on West bridge Park (Stone Edit 22Nov). I bought the paper to read said article but it was not continued on Page 5 as indicated at the foot of the article on Page 1. Searched paper but nowhere to be seen! What happened???????Where can I get to see the rest of the story?

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 23 2012, 8:45AM

    Aldi & Morrisons do not create a Leisure need. Houses do but any new development can not be forced to provide anything that is already lacking. So you end up with a play area which the developer can provide and maintain himself if he wants. No lottery funding is or ever has been available for revenue running costs! Alleynes Pool is not owned by the Borough Council, it is not their responsibility to provide a sinking fund (excuse the pun) If anything is built on Westbridge park there will be sufficient space left for the festivals, just read the Leisure report. It will cost about £8m to build a leisure centre with a pool, the council leader said he would put in the biggest single investment the council ever has to a single project and that would be about £2m. If Stone wants the best in Leisure facilities then where do they think the other £6m is going to come from???

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 22 2012, 7:35PM

    I must confess, I only have Newsletter reports to go on, but I’m amazed at some of the conversations which have gone on with regards to Westbridge Park. Councillors are missing a very important point held by a sizable portion of the people of Stone, that they don’t want the development of park at any cost. Hands off and leave it alone. It’s fine the way it is. The park is at the heart of the community and simply is not the borough councils to sell off for anything; supermarket, High Speed Train or anything else. It really doesn’t matter. What goes where, is really irrelevant and all the conversations about funding shortages for replacing what they describe as a temporary building (Westbridge Sports Centre) begs the question of what have they been doing for the last 20 years in acquiring funds for its replacement. Nothing it would appear. The same nothing or at least very little when Alleynes Swimming Pool needed replacing. I recall a busy Mr Carey (Centre manager) eventually securing Lottery Funding because of funding “shortfalls”. I would also like to ask what has happened to any planned “sports/recreational facilities or monies for building” that was planned when new residential areas were built in Stone. All I have seen over the past 30 years is the reduction of green spaces and sports pitches and the like, and an increase in housing with little development of recreational facilities. What recreation spaces were planned for Aston Lodge and Whitebridge Estates and other pockets of prime real estate were sold off. Why hasn’t there not been monies reserved for recreational and leisure use? Was there any monies reserved from the building of Aldi or indeed Morrisons? The point I make here is that replacement of facilities should have been budgeted for long ago especially on a “temporary building” (Westbridge centre) Why hasn’t this been done and/or why is it not being done now to fund new facilities elsewhere? E.g. Stone Business Park? Our needs are clearly not being met and managed to our satisfaction neither in the past or, it would appear, in the future. So you see there is no need to consider a redevelopment on Westbridge because the majority in Stone don’t want it. Redevelop elsewhere and target funding and/or funding sources from other developments in the region. It’s a simple as that, not unless there are ulterior motives of course? No can’t be, can there?

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 22 2012, 10:03AM

    the council will not be happy until they have filled every bit of green space with a supermarket where next the common plot?

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 21 2012, 9:30PM

    Oh so the denied rumors were true then. What a shower !

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 21 2012, 7:45PM

    What are the chances the council actually listens to the public people?The same public who voted for them!

  • Staf Newsletter  |  November 21 2012, 7:34PM

    Another planning and leisure own goal for the Council. There was an opportunity to engage positively with the public but leaks, heresay and rumours mean we start off on the back foot again. On top of that we give £20,000 to consultants to tell us what the residents have so clearly communicated already. If people think their elected Councillors are in control of the authority, then this situation proves otherwise. The excellent elected representatives in Stone would not have let it come to this.