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Residents hold public meeting over plans for new pub and restaurant in Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 27, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A PUBLIC meeting has rallied against plans to build a new pub and restaurant on a main gateway into Leek.

It came amid claims the scheme could cost every other pub in the town £35,000.

Wolverhampton-based brewery and pub company Marston's Inns and Taverns has submitted plans to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to build the premises on Sainsbury's Churnet Works site in Macclesfield Road.

Residents last week packed into The Dyers Arms pub in the town for a second public meeting to outline proposals to fight the application.

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Councillor Darren Price said: "There have got to be planning reasons to object to this application.

"Competition does not count as a planning reason, although we do not need any more pubs in Leek.

"The site proposed was intended for apartments. The whole site was for a mixed development with housing being a vital part.

"There has to be solid reasons to oppose the application when it comes before the district council's planning applications committee, and also if it went to an appeal."

Leek resident Brian Thacker said: "Everything that is promised does not take place. This will take all the trade from the town centre's dining and drinking establishments

"It will kill many pubs off and jobs will be lost."

Joint tenant of The Dyers Arms, Janet Burgess, said: "When we took over the pub we were told we would attract business from Sainsbury's and the new affordable houses. We have already suffered a massive effect on our trade when the building work was ongoing.

"This latest plan will now take business from pubs in the town."

Ward councillor John Povey said the Churnet Works site was promised as a mixed development.

He said: "There is an agreement for affordable houses to be built.

"There are only 43 car parking spaces for the pub, which is a bit light. There will also be a blind access because of the bridge out of the site.

"There has been no evaluations of any other sites being looked at. If Marston's aimed for a £1.5 million turnover then each town centre pub could lose £35,000, which would mean jobs are lost."

Retired farmer and Leek resident Harold Critchlow said the site concerned had been approved for housing and should not be changed.

He said: "What is the point in giving approval for the site if it's all being thrown out of the window. This plan will affect businesses."

Leek district and county councillor Charlotte Atkins said affordable homes were needed in the town.

She said: "We have a district council that when it is confronted by a big company it just lies down.

"We need affordable homes for families to stay and live in the town, but the district council can now just tear it up. There are 150 covers planned, but only 43 car parking spaces.

"It will be difficult for many pubs as Sainsbury's also sells alcohol."

Residents agree to write letters of objection to the district council and also have speakers opposing the plan when it comes before the planning applications committee."

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