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Stone campaigners call on Stafford Borough Council to clarify plans for Westbridge Park

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

By Robin Scott

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CAMPAIGNERS in Stone have called on Stafford Borough Council to clarify plans for Westbridge Park after a planning inspector branded current proposals‘unsound’.

Independent Stone Councillor Rob Kenney, speaking on behalf of the Keep Westbridge Park Green group, welcomed the comments of the inspector and said he hoped the borough council would now focus on making improvements to the landscape and leisure facilities on the park so residents could enjoy the area for recreation ‘as was intended when it was gifted to Stone Urban District Council in the early 1950s.’

In a report to Stafford Borough Council in December, a planning inspector said: “The proposed mixed use/retail development at Westbridge Park is locally very controversial.

“Stafford Borough Council now proposes to remove most of the references to this proposal in the Plan, which is questionable in terms of retail need, has not properly been subject to sequential tests relating to town centre/retail policy or flood risk, and could have an impact on the character and appearance of this important gateway to the town.

“At present there is insufficient evidence to show that the site could be developed in the manner intended, but if it is decided that this retail/leisure scheme is needed, it could be revisited at Site Allocations/Neighbourhood Plan stage.

“In the meantime this is an unsound proposal, and there is also insufficient justification to include this site within the amended town centre policy boundary.‘’

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