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Leekbrook land could see hundreds of jobs being created

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A LARGE extension to an industrial site is being planned which could see hundred of new jobs created.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's service delivery overview and scrutiny panel has approved a recommendation that officers work with relevant landowners and businesses in bringing forward an expansion of the existing industrial estate at Leekbrook.

The proposed site is situated on greenfield land immediately east of the Brookland Way industrial area.

The eight hectares (19.7 acres) site was given outline planning permission in September 2007. However this permission expired in September 2010.

In a report to councillors executive director of the district council, Dai Larner, said: "In 2013 the Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership approved an application for financial assistance to help deliver the additional land at Leekbrook.

"The applicant for the financial assistance is a from private sector developer.

"In order for the financial assistance to be accessed, the necessary statutory consents must be obtained and physical works commenced within a specific time scale.

"Given that the Core Strategy policy has been found sound by the planning inspector and that a time-limited offer of financial assistance has been grated, it is recommended that the council works with the relevant landowners and businesses in the area to seek their assistance in bringing forward an expansion of the existing industrial estate.

"It is also recommended that a review is completed by officers to identify the range of options open to the council to help the relevant parties deliver the additional employment land."

Leek councillor John Povey said he had concerns about the Leekbrook site as it had flash flooding.

He said: "The site would have to be carefully developed as more water is absorbed on a green field than on hard standing ground."

Councillor Andrew Hart said the site was important for Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands.

He said: "This is a large site. We need to make sure that we have got industrial units as there is a need in the Leek area.

"Most industrial units in the town are occupied. We want to be able to have people move into this site should it be developed."

The district council is also working towards bringing more job opportunities by developing land in the Cornhill area of the Leek.

Mr Larner added: "The Churnet Works has been largely developed, with all new high specification employment units fully let.

"Proposals are coming forward for phase one of the Cornhill regeneration area, with a planning application anticipated shortly.

"The council has played a critical role in the development of all these scheme and the resulting jobs being generated and safeguarded."

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