1. What’s happening?
South Staffordshire Council has identified the former ROF Featherstone site as a potential key employment site - a site that is well located for businesses to locate to, create jobs and invest in the local supply chain. Staffordshire County Council, as the highway authority, has offered its support for the development of the site and is prepared to part-fund the necessary highway improvements as an investment to create jobs and growth.
We want people’s views on a number of potential options for highways improvements before the final preferred option is identified and a planning application is submitted. These include improving existing routes or constructing a new road to access the development site.
2. How many jobs will be created?
Up to 2,500 jobs could be created.
3. Why is there a need for highway improvements?
There are 9 options; options 3 to 9 involve the construction of a new road with associated infrastructure and improvements.
If we do nothing or only make minimal improvements (i.e. options 1 and 2), the existing local highway network is unlikely to have the capacity to manage any increase in vehicle movements including Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs). This could cause congestion in the area. Development of the site will require highway network improvements to manage this additional traffic.
Realising the potential of the ROF Featherstone site to bring local jobs and growth is important – but is only likely to be achieved if road improvements are made.
4. What are the routes that HGVs are likely to use to access the site if no improvements are made?
HGVs will use existing routes, which are:
- From the North - A449 Stafford Road, Old Stafford Road, New Road, Paradise Lane and Cat and Kittens Lane.
- From the East - A460 Cannock Road, New Road, Paradise Lane and Cat and Kittens Lane.
- From the South: Route 1 - A449 Stafford Road, Old Stafford Road, New Road, Paradise Lane and Cat and Kittens Lane.
- From the South: Route 2 - A449 Stafford Road, Bushbury Lane, Northycote Lane and Cat and Kittens Lane.
- From the South: Route 3 - A460 Cannock Road, New Road, Paradise Lane and Cat and Kittens Lane
The Featherstone residential estate has an HGV prohibition.
5. How many more HGV trips will be created by the development of the site?
It is estimated that the following HGV trips (inbound & outbound) could occur in the following years and peak periods (08:00-0900 or 17:00-18:00):
6. What type of jobs would be created?
The jobs created on the site will depend on the end business users. The anticipated planning uses for the site and our experiences of similar developments suggest that the following types of jobs could be created in: business office uses, general industrial/manufacturing, storage and distribution. The site is also likely to be attractive to companies in the supply chain of large businesses in the manufacturing sector.
7. How will the site be accessed by employees?
The site will be accessed by employees travelling in the normal ways – by vehicle, public transport and walking/cycling.
However, as part of any Planning Application submitted for the development of the ROF Featherstone site, a Transport Assessment and Travel Plan will be submitted. Together they will assess the impact of any proposed development in relation to all modes of travel and suggest improvements to encourage travel by sustainable modes such as walking, cycling and public transport.
It is too early to say whether public transport would be improved as a result of the Transport Assessment and Travel Plan.
8. What is the existing public transport situation?
The existing bus route serving the area is the number 67 provided by Select Buses which runs from Cannock bus station to Wolverhampton bus station via the A460 Cannock Road, Hilton Road, The Avenue, Brookhouse Lane, Cat and Kittens Lane and Greenfield Lane.
9. How much is this going to cost?
A number of different options have been identified to provide access to the site.
We only have indicative construction costs at this early stage including new bridge costs (Options 7 & 8) and upgrade of the existing underpass costs (Option 6). The figures below do not include costs associated with the works carried out by other companies such as utilities (i.e. telecoms companies) or any land acquisition costs. Options 6, 7 and 8 do not take into account any other potential costs associated with crossing the West Coast Main Line.
The options taken forward for further appraisal (Stage 2) will be the subject of more detailed costing work and further information will be provided as the process progresses.
The estimated construction costs for each option are:
(Please refer to the support information for more details on each option)
Option 1 This is not a viable option.
Option 2 To be determined
Option 3 £5.37m
Option 4 This is not a viable option.
Option 5 £7.54m
Option 6 £19.29m
Option 7 £19.5m
Option 8 £21.13m
Option 9 £14.9m
At this stage we believe options 7 and 9 would allow the site to be developed to create job, manage increased traffic, including HGVs and reduce the impact on the existing road networks.
Please refer to the Supporting Information Document (PDF) for more information on each optioon.
10. How is this scheme going to be affected by the M54/M6 link?
It is in the Government’s long term strategy to create a link between the M54 and M6 but the date for implementation is yet to be confirmed.
We need to capitalise on current demand from businesses to ensure that the potential of the site to create thousands of jobs is realised. Staffordshire County Council has a history of delivering infrastructure projects quickly, within budget and on time to meet demand from businesses.
Information for the M6/M54 link is displayed on the Highways England website and can be found online
11. Is this a done deal? Have you already made up your mind which option to build?
This is not a done deal. The point of this consultation is to obtain the views of residents and key stakeholders on the options. This will be considered alongside further technical analysis of the options through the further appraisal process (Stage 2). Further events will be arranged later this year to present the results from this work. When the final preferred option is identified following the Stage 2 process and a planning application will be submitted (planned for autumn 2017).
12. What happens next?
We are currently in Stage 1 of the transport appraisal process.
The next stage of the transport appraisal process to assist us in identifying the option which will then become the subject of a planning application in autumn 2017 is known as ‘Stage 2 – Further Appraisal’. This is where the highway infrastructure options emerging from the ‘Stage 1 – Option Development’ including this consultation process go forward for further detailed assessment.
This will include:
- Further design of the options identified from the Stage 1 process.
- Comparing these options against business case guidance. This approach shows whether potential infrastructure schemes:
- are supported by a robust case for change that fits with wider public policy objectives – the ‘strategic case’;
- demonstrate value for money – the ‘economic case’ (Cost Benefit Analysis)
- are commercially viable – the ‘commercial case’
- are financially affordable – the ‘financial case’; and
- are achievable – the ‘management case’.
3.Develop detailed cost estimates of identified options
4.Environmental Assessment to include noise, air quality, greenhouse gases, landscape, townscape, historic and heritage, biodiversity, water and drainage.
5.Detailed transport modelling based on the further designs produced.
Further events will be arranged later this year to present the results from this work and to communicate details of the preferred option identified through this process. Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet will decide whether the preferred option can be supported and taken forward via a planning application.
13. How will I be kept informed?
All information will be on the Staffordshire County Council website at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/roffeatherstone
14. When will construction work start?
If planning consent is obtained, construction could commence in mid-2018.
Do you have another question? Please email ROFFeatherstone@staffordshire.gov.uk and we will respond as soon as possible.