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Pedestrian crossing plan for Leek is still on the table

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A BID to block work on a town road junction has been deferred to enable talks on installing a pedestrian crossing to go ahead.

In December 2010 Sainsbury's was given planning permission by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to redevelop the Churnet Works in Leek.

However, the planning conditions included the removal of the town's roundabout at the end of Derby Street, work at Ball Haye Street and blocking of the right turn into St Edward Street.

Work at St Edward Street junction has not taken place despite the store being open for more than a year. Last June Sainsbury's put in an amended application to cancel the St Edward Street work, claiming the predicted amount of extra traffic using the highway had not materialised.

The plan went before the planning committee last September, but was deferred and then later withdrawn by the supermarket.

The supermarket resubmitted the plans again a few weeks ago for permission to delete 'condition 50', which involved highway work at St Edward Street junction and a pedestrian crossing in Church Street, close to the Foxlowe Arts Centre.

Councillor Linda Malyon said at a meeting last week: ""We need a pedestrian crossing near the Foxlowe. The money saved on the junction work should go on providing a crossing."

Councillor Mike Bowen said: "Can we please inform the public that this whole issue is the county council's highways fault.

"We were tied when it came before us at the original planning application. It is now their problem."

Town mayor John Fisher said that lengthy queues still existed at St Edward Street junction, which is on a hill as drivers approach from the direction of Sainsbury's.

He said: "People have to deal with these queues every day.

"We were told that the new traffic system would improve traffic movement.

"One person has died near the Foxlowe.

"People do not use the crossing in Stockwell Street. We must have a crossing at the busiest point at the top of Market Place."

However, Councillor Julie Bull said there was a crossing island near St Edward's Church which she found easy to use.

She said: "More detailed work is needed as another crossing could cause more congestion."

Planning applications manager, Mike Green informed the committee that if it approved deleting condition 50, this would also delete the pedestrian crossing. He said: "This application is to delete the work attached to condition 50. It is all or nothing."

Members of the district council's planning applications committee voted to defer the application to allow more talks to go ahead with Sainsbury's regarding a pedestrian crossing being erected.

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