CHANGES could be made to part of an approved planning application which forms part of the Sainsbury’s development in Leek.
The store was given approval to redevelop the former Churnet Works off Macclesfield Road, along with major changes to the town's road network.
Most of the changes have now been completed, except for work at the St Edward Street and Church Street junction.
As part of the planning approval, the right turn from Mill Street into St Edward Street would be blocked off to traffic, which would then have to proceed down Stockwell Street into Ball Haye Street, through the centre of the town and then along Haywood Street and Brook Street.
However, following public concerns about planned changes to the junction, a leading councillor has confirmed this week that further thought will be given to the proposals.
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, confirmed discussions have been held between Sainsbury’s, Staffordshire County Council and the district council about the planned changes to the St Edward Street junction.
The planning application for the development of the new store in Leek was approved on condition that Sainsbury’s paid for road improvements including changes to the St Edward Street junction.
These changes were included on the advice of highways officers from the county council and approved as a condition of planning approval by the planning committee at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
Councillor Ralphs said this week: “Having listened carefully and shared the concerns being expressed by local people about the proposed change to the road layout at the top of St Edward Street, I asked officers at the district council and colleagues at the county council to think again about the proposals.
“The rules are such that we would expect all the conditions of the planning application to be fulfilled.
"However, Sainsbury’s can ask for changes to be made to those conditions. Planning officers and the planning committee would have to consider whether amendments should be made.
"Discussions have been positive and I’m very pleased with and grateful to Sainsbury’s for their willingness to reconsider this aspect of the planning application.”
County councillor for Leek South, Neal Podmore, said when he was elected more than 12 months ago, residents in the West End of the town raised issues regarding “rat runs” being made around the area if the right turn into St Edward Street was stopped.
Mr Podmore said: “I am pleased that the county council, the Moorlands council and Sainsbury's are working together to review possible alternatives for this junction.
“I have worked with officers at the county to review possible alternates.
“I think people of the town will be delighted if an alternative outcome can be found.”