New homes on Bibby factory site

Tilling Drive Location Map © Google
Tilling Drive Location Map © Google

Taylor Wimpey unveiled its plans to build 215 homes on land between the A34 and Tilling Drive at a well-attended exhibition at Walton Community Centre on Jan 27th.

The housebuilder has acquired the site from Bibby Scientific, who have concentrated their operations on adjoining land. Wrapped around three sides of Aldi Supermarket, the 16-acre plot comprises a former Bibby factory currently under demolition, its car park and playing fields. Outline planning permission has already been granted for up to 244 houses. The 215 which Taylor Wimpey propose to build would form just under 25% of Stone’s allocation of 1,000 new homes by 2031 according to the Borough Local Plan.

At the exhibition and via an online survey, Taylor Wimpey invited residents’ comments on the estate’s proposed layout, its mix of property types, property designs and access by car and on foot. Consisting of detatched, semi-detached and terraced properties, the estate would have 13 2-bed homes, 67 3-bed, 71 4-bed and 6 5-bed homes, each with two car-parking spaces. The estate’s main vehicular access would be via a T-junction with the northbound A34. 9 properties would front onto Tilling Drive.

Tilling Drive Proposed Site Layout
Tilling Drive Proposed Site Layout

Two pedestrian access points onto Tilling Drive and Brooms Road would allow movement to and from local schools, businesses and formal play areas. The community benefits which form part of such developments have been already agreed with Stafford Borough Council. These are: 58 affordable homes on site; £400,000 for the creation of a sports pitch elsewhere in Stone, £425,000 towards creating extra places at local schools, the implementation of a sustainable Travel Plan and £370,000 for public open spaces elsewhere in the town.

There would be no play areas on the estate itself, although the site would be landscaped and retain most of its existing trees to form a visual buffer from the adjoining main road and industrial estate.

The Gazette quizzed exhibition visitor Mick Carter from Stafford Road on his reactions.

“I have nothing against the estate itself, but its vehicle access onto the A34 is a real concern,” he considered. “Vehicles leaving the estate can turn northbound only, so would have to drive up to the Walton Roundabout to turn south.” “This would put extra pressure on the Walton roundabout where traffic is already solid in both directions on weekday rush hours. That’s without the additional traffic from the proposed 500-home development on Eccleshall Road. Walton would be gridlocked.” “You can imagine what southbound drivers trying to leave the Bibby estate will then resort to – turn onto Aldi’s already crowded car park, use it as a roundabout then go right at the Aldi lights.” “The Bibby estate needs a second vehicle access onto Brooms Road for cars to use A34/A51 roundabout for Stafford and points south,”  Mike suggested.

So is it back to the drawing board, then? Taylor Wimpey’s consultation period officially closed on Feb 9th but the company can be contacted online at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/tilling-drive

Comments can also be emailed to tillingdrive@webbpr.net