The St. Modwen Walk

The area of greenland in the centre left of this image is known as Trentham Lakes, and is one of 7 sites of land owned by and waiting for purchase and development by St. Modwen, self-styled as the UK's Leading Regeneration Specialist. The land which adjoins the site of Stoke City's new football ground, The Britannia Stadium, is empty, largely brownfield, but some which has been turned in to car parking, used whenever Stoke City play a match - usually between once a week and once a fortnight.

Walking around the site, it was hard not to get a sense of waiting.

The site had been a colliery - Hem Heath - dating back to the 1920's, but had ceased production in 1992. The site, at its height, was inhabited by over 2,000 workers.

St. Modwen started buying the land in 1996, and by 1999 owned the whole land,  in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council,
(shareholding 81%/19%).
Much of the site is currently home to distribution centres, and warehouses, and car showrooms - Pets at Home, Littlewoods, Screwfix Direct and Glen Dimplex, SEAT, Lexus, Ford, VW Toyota and Audi.

St. Modwen has submitted plans to Stoke-on-Trent City Council to develop 300 new high quality homes at Trentham Lakes at an extension to the existing popular residential area. The outline
proposals include a mix of house types to provide a range of housing choice. Fronting onto Stanley Matthews Way, the 30 acre site will also include public open spaces, children’s play areas and new
pedestrian and cycle links.

Approximately 60 acres remains waiting for development.

I was particularly drawn to a huge piece of empty land, adjacent to Sir Stanley Matthews Way. On one side of the road, land was now occupied by a series of businesses, as outlined above - but opposite the land was empty - brownfield land, quite marshy.

The St.Modwen Walk was a brief examination of the land, once thriving and at the heart of the city's industry, manufacturing and production, now standing empty, and waiting.

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