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New pub and restaurant planned for Leek is recommended for approval

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 17, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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Controversial plans for a new pub and restaurant in Leek look set to be given the green light.

Marston's Inns and Taverns wants to build the venue on land at the former Churnet Works, off Macclesfield Road, which is home to the town's Sainsbury's supermarket.

A final decision on the planning application is set to be made by members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning applications committee tomorrow, Thursday, with officers recommending it be approved.

Despite public meetings being staged against the proposals, just four letters of objections have been received.

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However, officers have put 22 conditions on the application including an updated contamination site risk assessment.

This comes after a housing scheme was withdrawn for another part of the Churnet Works site after traces of asbestos were found.

The site would be accessed from a new fourth road leading off the existing internal roundabout on Churnet Way.

The building, which it is stated would be a food-led premises, would provide 150 covers internally and 40 externally. All internal seating would be on the ground floor.

The two-storey element to the building would also provide accommodation for the manager as well as an ancillary office.

It is anticipated that 50 full and part-time jobs would be created at the business.

Leek Town Council has recommended that the plans be refused on the grounds of highway safety and vehicle access off Churnet Way as drivers cannot see over the bridge.

The council also consider that 43 parking spaces is inadequate and that this is an appropriate use of the land as it results in the loss of 52 mixed category houses.

Four letters of objections have been received which raise concern that a further pub in Leek is not required; the development will result in an increase in traffic; loss of affordable housing; that it offers nothing to young people; and that Leek needs a bowling alley and cinema rather than another pub.

In a report to councillors, planning officer Jane Curley, said: "The letters refer to the fact that there are already many pubs in the area and that the proposal will adversely harm these and other businesses.

"However, business competition is not a material planning consideration, and this not an issue to be addressed.

"A contamination statement was submitted in support of the application and subsequently a desk study and ground investigation report provided.

"The environmental health officer has considered these documents. He raises no objection to the application but advises that a condition is imposed requiring an updated contamination risk assessment. No development shall commence until an updated contamination site risk assessment has been undertaken, has been submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority.

"If the updated risk assessment conforms that potential risks exist, development shall not commence until a detailed remediation strategy to bring the site to a condition suitable for the intended use has been prepared."

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