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211 homes plan for concrete site

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

  • Visitors and residents check out the details of the proposed development at the former Hughes Concrete site in Barnfields Road and Sunnyhills Road, Leek

  • Visitors and residents check out the details of the proposed development at the former Hughes Concrete site in Barnfields Road and Sunnyhills Road, Leek

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MORE than 200 homes are included in proposals to develop land in the Cornhill area of Leek.

The proposals relate to the former Hughes Concrete site at Barnfields Road and Sunnyhills Road.

The plans, which went on show at a public exhibition in Trinity Church last week, include the construction of 211 houses, a marina, a new station for the railway and additional land for a railway museum, along with a pub and restaurant.

The proposals also include 2,100 square metres of commercial use for modern industrial units, open green space and a children's play area.

Land has also be left aside in the proposals to allow a road to be built to gain access into the adjoining Cornhill area of land, which sits between the Co-op buildings in Cheadle Road and Barnfields Road.

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

Dominic Hughes, who family are behind the project, said: "We are looking to create a nice scheme. We have been involved with Leek for many years and he want to leave something for the town.

"After the exhibition people's views, which are proving very useful, will be taken on board and then an outline planning application will be submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in the New Year.

"We have done a lot of surveys for the project. The canal basin will bring in tourists and the floor space for the industrial unit has room for 80 jobs.

"The adjacent scrap yard will be well screened off and will have no impact on the development."

Conor Vallelly of HOW Planning said there had been much interest in the exhibition, which had attracted a large number of visitors.

He said: "Generally the views have been positive.

"People are interested in the waterways and the railways.

"The site is brownfield and is vacant."

Nigel Buxton, who had worked at the site for more than 40 years, was a visitor at the exhibition.

Mr Buxton , aged 67, of Blackshaw Moor said: "I worked at the site for 41 years. I think this is a good thing for Leek.

"The railway and the marina are both good ideas. There are also good people behind the project."

However, Peter Barratt, aged 70, of Leek said:"This would be the third industrial site to have houses built on.

"The large former industrial site at Leekbrook now has houses; homes are to be built on part of the former Churnet Works; and now they are considering Barnfields.

"Where are people going to work? This would be the first intrusion to the Barnfields site. The rest could be eventually be knocked down."

Julie Arnold, of the Cauldon and Uttoxeter Canal Trust, said she was pleased to see people had the vision to support Leek waterfront

She said: "We would be interested in talking to developers as it is an opportunity for tourism.

"There is a vision to improve the canal and railway link to the town which would then prosper. We want more people to come to the town by boat, so more new moorings are required."

After studying the exhibition, local businessman Peter Wilshaw said that some things in the proposals needed tweaking. He said: "There are still at lot of questions which need answering as people are worried about the number of cars.

"I like the idea of the canal basin and the railway, which are good transport links."

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