Ambitious plans for more new homes to be built across Staffordshire

MORE homes could be built in Staffordshire as part of ambitious ideas being developed by the county council

The proposals are part of the county council’s forward-planning to ensure there is the right mix of housing in Staffordshire to meet the needs of residents and the growing economy.

Plans will also consider infrastructure needs across the county, including new roads, schools, electricity, drainage and broadband supply.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for jobs and growth, said: “It’s widely accepted the current system isn’t delivering enough houses, let alone the right mix of properties to meet the needs of residents, while supporting future economic growth.

“That means we risk prices rising faster than incomes, young people finding it harder to live where they want and a greater risk of skilled and highly-educated workers draining from the county.

“Ensuring a wide range of homes, where they’re needed, is essential for Staffordshire’s future happiness and prosperity.”

The eventual strategy could mean:

  • Working with established house builders to deliver the right type of homes where needed;
  • Ensuring job opportunities, schools, transport, green spaces and excellent digital connections are in place for developments;
  • Increasing choice by encouraging self-build and more developments from smaller construction companies;
  • The county council working with the private sector to build houses on land owned by the authority.

Mark Deaville,  cabinet member for commercial, said: “Staffordshire’s borough and districts are doing well in housing delivery, but we must find a way to support them to accelerate the rate that homes are being built where we want and to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place for those who are going to live there.

“If we don’t act there is a danger that the overspill from neighbouring urban areas, particularly Birmingham, could result in unplanned growth, affect house prices and put pressure on our existing infrastructure.”

The two cabinet members will tell the county council’s Prosperous Staffordshire all-party scrutiny committee meeting on September 20 that early research is already underway, with similar schemes in other parts of the country being assessed before firm plans are put forward next year.