Community members have been responding to news that a council is now set to rebuild a leisure centre on its current site – rather than build a new one in a town centre car park. Last week we reported that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had produced a report surrounding the regeneration of Cheadle.
Community members have been responding to news that a council is now set to rebuild a leisure centre on its current site – rather than build a new one in a town centre car park.
Last week we reported that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had produced a report surrounding the regeneration of Cheadle.
A public consultation had been carried out previously, with the help of a ‘Stakeholder Panel’, to gage public opinion on a number of options which had been previously set out by SMDC.
One of the most controversial aspects of the previous options had been to demolish South Moorlands Leisure Centre in Allen Street and build a new leisure facility in the middle of Tape Street Car Park. Now, SMDC has made a u-turn on that idea.
Within the report which went before SMDC’s Cabinet last week, it is stated that there will now be the creation of a new and improved leisure centre on the current Allen Street site, along with the regeneration of the town centre, including the purchase and improvement of Cheadle Market and a new car parking strategy.
The report also stated that the Stakeholder Panel, which had been made up of council officers and councillors – including from Cheadle – has now ended, and that the Cheadle Town Centre Projects will now be led by a Delivery Board, which, it is understood, has no Cheadle councillors on it.
Cheadle town and district councillor Ian Plant had been the chairman of the Stakeholder Panel.
We contacted cllr Plant for a response to the recent report surrounding the Cheadle Town Centre Projects, as well as the wrapping up of the Stakeholder Panel.
He said: “The Stakeholder Panel has done its work and brought some great ideas to the table and listened to what the public have said, they also challenged where it was needed, I would like to thank them all for what they have done and the outside groups who also helped with their own consultations and producing the great feedback.
“It is all about the delivery of major projects for the town and this is where the Delivery Board has to do its work for the next stage with a large funding project needed to deliver these ideas for the town.”
Cllr Plant added: “We all know the leisure centre is in the right place and hopefully the great ideas can be delivered and it will be a place for the community to be proud of, but people must realise there will be an inconvenience while this is being done but think of the long term benefits.”
We also asked our readers what they thought of the news, in particular that SMDC has now stated that they will be aiming to rebuild Cheadle’s leisure centre on its current site, rather than building a new one on Tape Street Car Park.
Here’s what some of you said online:
Chris Ekin said: “I would want this in writing, before they knock down the old leisure centre. Also a written guarantee it will be built immediately following demolition.”
Tracie Brindley said: “Do we know what size pool they will include?”
In response Sheetal Walklate said: “I reckon it will be 25m, they knocked down leisure centre in my home town Rugby which had 33m pool and rebuilt it but with a 25m pool.”
Tracie Brindley added: “Either a 25m or 50m would be better than the 33m. It can then be used for competitions and will help to bring income back into the town as we’ll be able to host swimming competitions. If it was a 50m pool it would be incredibly lucrative. We have a wonderful swimming club here in Cheadle and this will be incredible for them to use. Fingers crossed it goes ahead and soon without disruption to the current pool.”
Janet McCormack said: “It would be good to have a warmer little pool for lessons.”
To which Paul Hambo said: “A little pool is useless Jan. A 33mtr pool is far better for competition. Swimming galas etc. That’s what should be encouraged. Inter club competition is a good earner. 33mtr pools are few and far between these days and should be remade.”
Gary Bentley said: “Only took three years. Not spent a penny on it, just consultants. To tell them what anyone older than seven years old would told them. I am not holding my breath! But, mind it is coming up to elections. Remember look what they put three years ago.”
Ann Cadman said: “This is so obviously the best solution, I just hope it’s stuck to and done quickly.”
Matthew Spooner said: “This is obviously a good thing re the leisure centre. But it says a lot that people still don’t fully trust what’s being said by the cabinet at SMDC.
“The purchase of the market could have real potential, although I fear the views of residents and users of the market will be steamrolled such as was seen in Leek in favour of someone’s own personal pet project. Cheadle needs to come together on this and have it run by the market stall holders and town, not district council.”
Mike Haines said: “Looks like the local opposition to the draft town masterplan and the results of the Big Cheadle Questionnaire put together by members of the stakeholder group has made SMDC cabinet think again.”
Steve Nail said: “And how many years will this take?”
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