Stoke City's former Victoria Ground to be built on (at long last)
NEW plans have been unveiled to build houses on Stoke City's former Victoria Ground – 15 years after the club moved to their new stadium.
More than 150 construction jobs are set to be created during the building of the 113 houses planned for the Boothen site.
• GALLERY: Stoke City's former Victoria Ground
It is also estimated that residents moving into the new properties will provide a £1.5 million-boost to the Stoke economy.
Developers St Modwen and Persimmon Homes have submitted the proposals for the mini-estate, which include landscaping and a children's play area.
The land has been awaiting development since the Potters played their last game at the Victoria Ground in 1997.
The latest plan – which seeks to build two, three and four-bedroom properties – promises to breathe fresh life into Stoke town centre.
In their planning application, the developers state: "The delivery of 113 residential units has the potential to create a strong and vibrant community, which has the ability to integrate with the existing residential areas surrounding the site ensuring wider community benefits can be secured, thereby meeting the needs of both present and future generations."
Plans for the houses have been welcomed by Boothen residents and workers who have seen the former Victoria Ground become overgrown.
The site is near Stoke Minster Primary School which has just been extended and now has the capacity for more children.
Headteacher Carol Barber said: "We are really pleased about the plans for the houses.
"The site has been a piece of wasteland for such a long time and it will improve the environment for the school."
St Modwen took ownership of the land in 1997 under a land-swap deal with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
A handful of plans have since been submitted for the site which can be seen from the A500.
Separate proposals have included plans for shops and houses in 2003, proposals for offices and 150 shops in 2004 and then plans to build 220 houses in 2007. The 2007 planning approval was extended three years ago.
But the schemes have failed to happen because of the redevelopment of the A500 and the economic downturn.
Families living near the site hope the latest housing plan will actually come to fruition.
Roy Buckley, who has lived in Lime Street, opposite the site for 10 years, said: "This is a good idea.
"Building houses will create jobs and people coming to the area will help businesses."
Neighbour David Hilditch, aged 62, who has lived in the area for more than 35 years, added: "I would like to see more playing fields set up for youngsters."
Businessman Tarsem Lal, who runs Lal's Booze, News and Confectionery in nearby Lonsdale Street, hopes the housing development will boost his trade.
He said: "I have another shop on the corner of Cornwallis Street which I will reopen if the houses are built. This is what we have been waiting for."