Housing estate could be built as part of Wedgwood's redevelopment plans
UP to 270 new homes could be built as part of pottery giant Wedgwood's £25 million redevelopment plans.
Parent company WWRD revealed more details of the scheme at a consultation event at the Wedgwood Museum, in Barlaston, yesterday.
The housing development would help fund the overall scheme, which includes new factory facilities to more than double the site's current manufacturing capacity.
The Sentinel revealed in June that WWRD was planning a major overhaul of the 281-acre Wedgwood Estate, including new manufacturing facilities, new offices and an expanded and upgraded Wedgwood 'visitor experience' to safeguard 500 existing jobs and create more than 100 new ones.
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And on Thursday the Government revealed the scheme had been awarded £5.1 million from its Regional Growth Fund.
WWRD has identified three potential sites for housing behind and to the side of the current factory.
The sites are divided into:
Site A which would feature 25 to 30 five-plus bedroom detached homes, worth £500,000 to £800,000;
Site B which would feature 70 to 90 detached and semi-detached four to five-bedroom homes, worth £350,000 to £500,000;
Site C which would be home to 110 to 150 mews, semi-detached and detached houses, with two to four bedrooms, worth £160,000 to £300,000.
WWRD chief financial officer Anthony Jones said: "We know from the first consultation that people think there is a need for high-quality housing not only because it befits the estate but because the region needs it."
The factory currently makes 1.2 million top-end pieces a year but the new facilities will enable it to make up to three million pieces of fine bone china tableware and prestige Jasperware. Mr Jones added: "Once the development is complete we would increase production immediately to 1.5 million because the demand is there, which will help create 35 to 40 new manufacturing jobs. But this is something that is going to last us for many years to come and we have very ambitious growth plans for the Wedgwood brand, so I hope we will be able to move up to that three million mark."
Residents were invited to view WWRD's latest plans yesterday.
Keith Gracie, aged 74, of Trentham, said: "I think housing does need to be part of the overall plan, I'm just concerned about the effect on the surrounding nature."
Linda Horton, of Barlaston, said: "I've lived here 42 years and I worked for Wedgwood many years ago, so I applaud their efforts to keep it here. "My concerns are probably the same as everyone else's – the traffic, the housing situation and the trees."