BATTLE lines are being drawn over the future of a park which councillors say they can’t afford to lose.
Stafford Borough Council’s latest draft of its local plan earmarks Westbridge Park for mixed use development.
In the past talk of putting a supermarket on the open space has caused outrage among Stone residents.
In a bid to preserve the park as open space Stone Town Council is in the process of developing its own local plan which it will put to residents in the new year.
In the meantime the borough council’s local plan goes out to consultation in December and January before going to the government for scrutiny. It will then be ratified by the full council.
Walton ward Councillor Jill Hood said: “Where on earth are things like the food and drink festival and summer festival going to go. It’s a large green area we can’t afford to lose in Stone.
“It really does concern me – we are slowly but surely losing all our green areas in Stone. The only way I would support a development in Westbridge Park is if they make sure there’s a multi games complex there for the children.”
Councillor Philip Jones said there was a lack of detail about the borough council’s plans for the park.
“There’s no point in putting out a plan if it’s vague. We need to know what we are talking about. Stone Town Council will expect to see full particulars. We are not buying a pig in a poke.”
The plan outlines a need for 500 new houses a year for the next 20 years – a total of Elsewhere the borough council plans to build 11,523 homes by 2031.
Of those 2,200 will be built in the west of Stafford including Doxey where a new link road is planned from Martin Drive spine road to Doxey Road.
Neil Thomas of Doxey Community Association said: “We are resigned to the reality that it’s going to happen but as long as they realise the infrastructure must be there. Everything we have heard from the borough council so fare is that they understand that. Without the infrastructure there will be riots in Doxey.”