A NEW pub and restaurant which would create 50 jobs has been proposed at one of the main gateways into Leek.
Marston's Inns & Taverns has submitted a planning application to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to build the premises on part of the Sainsbury's Churnet Works site.
It would be on land adjacent to Macclesfield Road and the access road to the store.
The two-storey building would serve 150 covers on the ground floor, while the first floor would provide accommodation for the manager and family, as well as an ancillary office.
An new access road would lead to 43 parking spaces.
The company also runs the Stepping Stones in Ashbourne and the Dapple Grey in Uttoxeter.
The application comes at a time Leek has seen major investment, with work currently taking place on a new Premier Inn in Ashbourne Road, Wetherspoon successfully refurbishing the former Swan pub, and Waitrose moving into the former Co-op store in Buxton Road.
A further planning application is presently waiting on a decision to build more than 200 houses, a marina, pub/restaurant, industrial units and train station on land off Sunnyhills Road at Barnfields, which could also lead to a link road being provided between Newcastle Road and Cheadle Road.
A planning statement provided by RPS Planning and Development of Cambridgeshire said: "Marston's Inns & Taverns has developed a wide range of community style public house/restaurants throughout the United Kingdom.
"These are predominantly food-led premises underpinned by the food offer which is often located in out-of-town centre locations.
"The proposals would provide approximately 50 full and part-time jobs, which would vary from management positions to part time service roles."
"As such, the jobs will provide differing skills levels and would help to meet the job demand in Leek.
"The application proposals represent a legitimate and reasonable attempt to redevelop a currently unused site and to make the best use of this land to provide a building to a high standard of design which satisfactorily addresses the street scene, having regard to the opportunities and constraints of the site in this location while providing a community facility for the local area not currently available."
Leader of the district council, Sybil Ralphs, who also has the responsibility for regeneration, said: "This development would bring in much needed 50 full and part-time jobs.
"It is more evidence that developers and investors are looking to locate in Leek and the Moorlands. However, the proposal is subject to gaining planning approval."
District and county councillor for the town, Charlotte Atkins, said: "This will be huge competition for existing businesses, but might attract more footfall into the town.
"We do need more visitors coming into the town and this could help to promote Leek even further.
"The jobs on offer, should the planning application be successful, are most welcome."
Plans have already been approved on a separate part of the Churnet Works site for 39 dwellings on land north of the proposed development.
In December 2010 Sainsbury's was given outline permission to build a superstore, industrial units, three retail units, petrol station along with 58 apartments and 34 dwellings on the Churnet Works site.