PLANS to redevelop a Staffordshire County Council-owned site in north Stafford are a vital boost to the area, a councillor has said.
The facility on Co-operative Street is currently home to nine adults with learning difficulties, but the 1960s buildings are no longer fit for purpose, the county council has said.
It has unveiled plans for a multi mil- lion pound development on the land, which would not only provide the cur- rent site occupants with better housing but offer new opportunities for other members of the community.
A public consultation is currently under way for residents to have their say on what they would like on the large site, which is just off Stone Road.
Current proposals include “flexi-care” apartments for older people and those with disabilities, life-limiting condi- tions or those who require support to live independently in the community.
There could also be a GP surgery, community meeting place and special- ist care facilities.
Around 600 nearby residents were invited to find out more and have their say at a consultation event on Tuesday, held at the nearby Arthur Findley Cen- tre.
The county council has already spo- ken with the site’s current residents and their families.
If the ambitious plans are given the go-ahead the residents would be able to remain onsite in their current homes while their new accommodation was developed for them, the council has said.
County councillor Ray Barron, who was at Tuesday’s consultation, said there had been a positive response from those who had attended, along with calls to retain the facade of the for- mer Northfields School as part of the new development.
“The north end of Stafford badly needs some new development and for- tunately it is starting to see it,” he said.
“Tesco Express has already opened a new supermarket in Stone Road in recent months and residents of the new retirement village will find it on their doorsteps.
“Further plans are envisaged but this consultation exercise is to make sure we get the first phase right.
“This is a real shot in the arm for the area.” A similar scheme opened in Madeley last year, which includes a “community hub” complete with public dining area and meeting space for local groups.
The consultation for the Stafford site closes on April 22.
Anyone who would like to take part can do so online at the county council website or call 0300 111 8000 for more information.