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Relief road scheme comes a step closer for Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

An artist's impression of part of the development, which shows the houses, marina, railway hub, restaurant and pub. The industrial units would be built on the Barnfield Road side next to where space would be left for  Sunnyhills Road to be extended towards Cheadle Road.

An artist's impression of part of the development, which shows the houses, marina, railway hub, restaurant and pub. The industrial units would be built on the Barnfield Road side next to where space would be left for Sunnyhills Road to be extended towards Cheadle Road.

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LEEK could be in line for a relief road after a major planning application was submitted which could open up acres of land for development.

Barnfields Hughes Ltd has submitted a planning application to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to develop land at the former Hughes Concrete site at Barnfields Road and Sunnyhills Road.

The plans include the construction of 211 houses, a marina, a railway station and museum, a pub and restaurant.

The proposals also include 2,100 square metres for commercial use, including modern industrial units which would create up to 80 jobs, open green space, and a children's play area.

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Land has also been left in the application to allow a road to be built to gain access into the adjoining Cornhill area, which sits between the Co-op buildings in Cheadle Road and Barnfields Road. A relief road would then later join Newcastle Road with Cheadle Road.

For many years the Cornhill site has been one of the top priorities for develoment by the district council.

Dominic Hughes, whose family is behind the project, said: "We have been involved with Leek for many years and we want to leave something for the town.

"A consultation event we held in Leek late last year was most positive.

"People want something to be done. I am pleased that there is employment land in the scheme, which would provide around 80 jobs.

"At the height of work in our factory we employed 66 people, which was reduced to 40, so the new units would create more jobs.

"We have been working with the council for some time and we want to deliver what we say.

"There are a lot of things to pull together and we need to hold further talks with the waterways and the railway people, but all seem positive with the proposals.

"This would be a good asset for the town and land is left for a link road to be introduced in phase two."

One of the benefits of the relief road would be to improve traffic flow on highways around the mini-roundabout close to Morrisons supermarket. The roundabout links Newcastle Road and Junction Road.

The houses would back on to Ladderedge Park and Mr Hughes said it was important to find the right builder to deliver the housing side of the development.

He told the Post & Times: "We have done a lot of surveys for the project.

"The canal basin and railway, along with the pub and restaurant, will bring in tourists and will also be additional facilities for local residents.

"We could look at building some of the leisure and industrial units ourselves."

A design and access statement produced as part of the application said the proposals would provide a major opportunity to define the southern urban edge of Leek to create a positive relationship with Ladderedge Country Park. The statement added: "A high quality environment would be created through the provision of a new outward looking residential development and a new tourist destination/high quality gateway to Leek.

"This would be achieved by the inclusion of a canal basin that links with the Caldon Canal and the Churnet Valley Rail hub, as well as the wider tourist rail network within the Churnet Valley."

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