THE LONG-AWAITED development of Stratford’s former Cattle Market site is set start in April.
Planning was granted last year for the ‘Arden Quarter’ including 189 homes – a mix of shared ownership, affordable rent, independent living for the over 55s, and 58 for sale on the open market.
Orbit’s £40million plans will also include new parking places, paths to the neighbouring train station and nearby hospital as well as a play area, café, and shop.
Work on the development off Alcester Road is expected to be completed by 2019.
The site has been subject to various planned developments over the course of the past 15 years with developers Redrow buying the land for £9.1million. They secured permission to build nearly 200 homes in 2007 but the recession left the scheme economically unviable, and a revised application was rejected by Stratford District Council.
Stratford mayor Juliet Short remembered the Cattle Market in its heyday, when she and friends would go to look at the livestock farmers took to sell.
She told The Observer “I think we’ve got a young generation that go away to university and then they want to come back to the town but can’t afford to. I feel this is an opportunity to offer living which would appeal to that age group.
“You’ve then also got the older generation who will benefit from the independent living units. It’s ideally situated with the medical centre and the hospital nearby. I think it will be a vibrant development.
“There’s going to be a large investment in Leamington train station and with HS2’s links to London it should create good links to Stratford too. We could see a lot more people commuting from Stratford.
“It’s been proven that we do need housing. We’ve had a lot of development in Stratford but this is a sustainable location because it’s so close to the town centre, it is so close to the railway station.
“It’s inevitable that we’re going to have development and this looks like a high quality mixed development which is what the town needs.”
And head of Midlands development for Orbit, Anthony Holt said he was keen for work to start.
“It’s been a long journey for us and now we’re looking forward to seeing some work on site.
“It’s part of the journey to combat any housing shortages in Stratford and we’re really keen to help and provide a range of tenures and products.
“Some small works to the roads will be going ahead later in February and then in April we’ll be kicking off work with the contractor. We’re hoping to finish in 2019.
“The site has been stood empty for so long and I’m keen to see something we can all be proud of.”