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 centre 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.
Conservative Councillors for Park Hall, Cllr Ross Irving and Cllr Craig Beardmore, welcomed the latest step in the rebuilding of the visitor centre.
“We have been working on this since 2015, securing the budget and the ensuring that suitable plans have been drawn up and submitted for planning approval,” commented Cllr Irving.
“I know how much residents used the centre before it was burned down a number of years ago, and it has been a priority to get the new centre delivered for local residents. This is a big step in the right direction,” said Cllr Beardmore.
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.