A CASH pot of more than £350,000 is in the pipeline to regenerate a Cheadle park. Churchill Road recreation ground has been named as the specific site to receive funding as part of the redevelopment of Cecilly Mill. Residents in the area have lobbied in recent years for new facilities at the recreation ground – and slammed planning conditions which allowed contributions from a development at Turner's Pasture to be spent elsewhere in the tow
At a meeting of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) planning applications committee on Thursday, members agreed Churchill Road rec should be named as the recipient of the cash as part of the planning conditions for the site.
The former textile mill and later JCB factory site was approved as a residential development of 121 homes in September last year.
But work cannot start until planning conditions – including the terms of a Section 106 legal agreement setting out contributions to be made by the developer for investment in the community – have been negotiated.
Concerns over financial contributions to public open space were put to members by Cllr Peter Wilkinson, who is not part of the planning applications committee, but was able to speak during the meeting under public participation rules.
He said: “I’m not opposed to the principle of development on this site but do have concerns about certain aspects of the proposal, in particular aspects of the Section 106.
“The open space provision LEAP (Local Equipped Area for Play) is to be provided for Churchill Rd rec ground. I would like this S106 agreement to be site-specific when drafted.
“I think the developer should fund a new access to the recreation ground as part of site works. More intense use of the recreation ground will mean additional parking will be required.
“The Turner’s Pasture development just stated open space in Cheadle instead of being site specific.
“I want this to be site specific.
“As a district councillor I need to see the draft Section 106 agreement before it’s signed off.”
Planning officer at SMDC, Ben Haywood said: “The two offsite public open space contributions of £166,000 towards offsite play and £210,000 towards playing pitches are both specified in draft Section 106 to be spent at Churchill Road.
“How they are spent will be subject to decision as and when the money is received which will be a little way down the line as yet, when the development hits the trigger for paying the contribution.
“At that stage, in line with normal procedure, we would consult with the ward member over how that is spent at the recreation ground, whether it’s on parking and access improvements, equipment or other forms of upgrade there.”
At Cheadle Town Council’s Annual Assembly on Monday, Cllr Ian Whitehouse said: “I’d like to say how pleased I was to see the Section 106 money for the former JCB site being ring-fenced for that area.
“We had the Turner’s Pasture site which everybody thought was ring-fenced for Churchill Road and suddenly the money from there was going to Thorley Drive.
“The 106 money from the Cecilly Mill development will be used in that area. If people are having a housing estate there the Section 106 money should be used in the area where the properties are built.”
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