Plans have been submitted to rebuild a visitor centre at a popular tourist attraction.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has put forward a planning application for the development at Park Hall Country Park, to replace a previous facility which was destroyed in an arson attack.
The application, which has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, follows on from a public consultation on the design of the new building in September 2017 where the plans were received positively by park users.
If approved, building work is expected to start in the autumn with the facility ready to be opened to the public in early 2019. The new centre will have space for the community to use, a base for the parks team and a kiosk for serving refreshments. CCTV cameras will also be installed to improve security.
Cllr Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “I’m delighted we are now in a position where a planning application for this important facility has been submitted. There’s been a lot of work taking place behind the scenes and getting a visitor centre back in place at the park has been a priority for the administration. I’m very impressed with the plans that have been drawn up.
“Park Hall is a fantastic facility that is visited by people of all ages and the visitor centre was always popular and well-used for a range of educational and leisure activities. We want to bring this back when the centre is up and running. The building will have a room that community groups will be able to use and I think that’s really important. Once it’s built, it’s going to make a big difference to the park and really enhance the overall experience of the destination for visitors.”
The country park covers 360 acres and is the city’s only national nature reserve. Its major sandstone ridge is 250 million years old and is a site of special scientific interest for its geology. The ridge includes what is believed to be the highest point in Stoke-on-Trent – at 813 feet.
The district council is expected to make a decision on the application by June 8.
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