Stafford link road approved to free up housing sites

Plans have been approved for a major new road which is intended to ease congestion and enable new housing development on the western side of Stafford.

Stafford: road intended to ease congestion in town centre
Stafford: road intended to ease congestion in town centre

The Stafford Western Access Route, which would connect the A518 Newport Road with the A34 Foregate Street via a new 1.2 km stretch of road, was approved by Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee.

According to a planning report, which recommended approval, the project had been "identified as key infrastructure in the Plan for Stafford that was adopted in June 2014."

It said that the route "is planned to accommodate future development traffic in Stafford and, in particular, it is proposed to provide the access arrangements to proposed development sites in the West of Stafford at Burleyfields and Castlefields."

The project would include a new bridge over the River Sow, a viaduct over the River Sow flood plain and new roundabouts and changes to existing roads.

The project would also include newly created habit to link up with Doxey and Tillington Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and flood compensatory works within Doxey and Tillington Marshes SSSI.

The report said that, with mitigation measures in place, the scheme "would not give rise to any unacceptable adverse impacts on ecology and nature conservation" nor would it have any "unacceptable adverse impact in terms of the risk of flooding."

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economy, environment and transport, said: "This is a big step forward and means we can get on with the job. We all know how congested the town centre can be at certain times and with more development planned we need to act now.

"The western access route will enable new homes to be built on the western side of Stafford which are vital for the growth of the town. It will support the town’s future prosperity and mean it will remain attractive to investors in the long-term."

The council said it hopes work can begin on the project in autumn 2016. 

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