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Road works decision rests with Sainsbury’s

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 23, 2013

The St Edward Street and Church Street junction

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A DECISION on whether to complete the unfinished part of the new Leek road network rests with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

The firm was given planning permission to redevelop the Churnet Works off Macclesfield Road, a scheme which included major changes to the town’s road system.

These were to remove the town centre roundabout at the end of Derby Street and replace it with traffic lights, and to reconstruct the area at the top of St Edward Street at the Church Street junction.

This would stop the right turn from Mill Street and send all vehicles down Stockwell Street into Ball Haye Street and through the centre of the town via Haywood and Brook Street.

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All the work must be completed as part of the planning requirement.

But if Sainsbury’s chooses not to table fresh plans, this could lead to enforcement action being taken against Staffordshire County Council, which has undertaken the work, by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, to get the job completed.

New county councillor for Leek South, Charlotte Atkins, said she was now in discussions with highway officers to try and sort the problem out.

She said: “The ball is now in Sainsbury's court because if the work at St Edward Street is to be revoked it has to be done by them, as a new planning application would be required.

“I have been told that the Moorlands council is chasing Sainsbury’s, but there does not seem to be any urgency on behalf of the council.

“With no work taking place it is in contravention of planning permission. This has to be resolved.

“I am also looking at introducing a new pedestrian crossing near the Foxlowe following the recent sad death of a gentleman.”

Ms Atkins also said that discussions were taking place regarding proposed further highways works in Derby Street.

She added: “No-one wants the town dug up again.

“I feel it would be better to delay it over the summer and complete it over two smaller phases in the Autumn.

“I want people’s views as we have got to get to the bottom of this.”

The leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has confirmed to the Post & Times that she is in discussions with Sainsbury’s on the roads issue.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said it was not able to provide a comment on the road works.

However, the road controversy could go before the Local Government Ombudsman after retired engineer and town resident Roger Cannon claimed there were still many thing wrong with the work.

Mr Cannon said: “I will be registering four complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman with regards to Staffordshire County Council (SCC), and will be hoping that these will form the backbone of a full public inquiry into the whole sordid affair of the Leek public realm and associated works.

“Three of the complaints concern SCC staff members so I do not feel I can divulge the contents.

“However, one other complaint concerns the road traffic audits on the new Leek public realm works.

“It is rapidly approaching six months since the first audit was undertaken and still SCC has not released the contents into the public domain.

“I understand that three, if not four, independent road traffic audits have now been done.

“The works are finished, Balfour Beatty has left the site, so why, still, is there nothing in the public domain?”

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