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Controversial plans unveiled for historic site

Times Echo and Life / All News / Controversial plans unveiled for historic site
9 months, 12 days ago3 Comments.
12 AUG

Controversial plans unveiled for historic site

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

Plans have been unveiled for a new care home and a housing development for a historic site in Uttoxeter. The Uttoxeter Echo reported earlier this year that the former Parks Restaurant in Uttoxeter had been purchased by Mercian Developments Ltd, and that a petition had been set up due to the developer’s plans to knock down the historic building to make way for a new care home.

Plans have been unveiled for a new care home and a housing development for a historic site in Uttoxeter.

The Uttoxeter Echo reported earlier this year that the former Parks Restaurant in Uttoxeter had been purchased by Mercian Developments Ltd, and that a petition had been set up due to the developer’s plans to knock down the historic building to make way for a new care home.

The petition, which was set up by Uttoxeter resident Sam Forrester, to save The Parks has, so far, reached 680 signatures online.

Mercian Developments have now announced details of their plans for the site of the former pub/restaurant at The Parks in Uttoxeter and are providing the opportunity for local residents to review and comment on their proposals.

A spokesman for the development company said: “The current dilapidated site will be transformed, creating local skilled jobs, visitor income for the town and much needed affordable homes.

Subject to planning consent, Mercian are looking to deliver a brand-new, state-of-the-art care home which is to be operated by a not-for-profit organisation.

Also planned are 14 three-bedroom residential homes, to be made available via a shared ownership scheme, which will offer opportunity to local young families. This will be a 100 per cent affordable housing development.”

For detailed information about the proposals and the opportunity to comment, people are encouraged to visitwww.theparksdevelopment.co.uk.

Also, Mercian have stated that they are dropping leaflets to 7,000 homes across Uttoxeter to “ensure residents are informed of their plans.”

Luke Brittain, Land Director at Mercian Group, said: “We have been working with both Borough Care, and East Staffordshire Borough Council for several months to evolve our plans which will now see us contribute towards the current under delivery of new care home spaces and local affordable housing.

The residential development will be 100 per cent affordable, in that the homes will be offered under the Shared Ownership scheme by a locally based housing association, which we hope will provide opportunities for young families in the surrounding area to take the first step on the property ladder.

The care home will be state of the art, providing much needed new facilities and it will be operated by Borough Care, who are a Community Benefit Society.

Borough Care operates as a not-for-profit organisation and reinvest any surplus money back into the services they offer, to serve the best interests of their residents and their families.

As they have no shareholders to pay, they do not need to charge more than is necessary to provide outstanding care to their residents.”

Mr Brittain added: “With all this in mind, we really feel our proposed developed is a very strong proposition.”

Mercian Developments agreed to purchase the site, subject to achieving planning, from Staffordshire County Council in Spring 2021.

The Mercian Group spokesman said: “The site has been extensively marketed by Staffordshire County Council since 2019, originally to sell as a pub/restaurant but due to no serious offers being made, it was re-marketed as a development opportunity.

David Williams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said: “This site was bought to support the A50 improvement scheme, carried out by the county council on behalf of Highways England.

After completion, it was put on the market for use in the hospitality sector for longer than the required period set out by the borough council.

No suitable bids were received and consequently a sale to Mercian Developments was agreed.

This is now going through the planning application process for the future use of the site. Money from this sale is being returned to Highways England.”

The new care home, if passed, is set to provide around 75 en-suite bedrooms, a café/restaurant, cinema room, hairdresser, activity room, six lounge/dining rooms, a sun terrace, and a private courtyard all surrounded by landscaped gardens.

Mr Brittain added: “Care home operators are now preferring to invest in brand new, purpose-built facilities, not conversions.

The main reasons being that they do not provide the operational environment required to meet the growing and complex needs of the residents as well as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), as well as ensuring that they can future-proof their businesses.”

The Mercian Group spokesman added: “According to research by Historic England (HE) there have been numerous buildings on the site since the 19th century, each one demolished and then another built on the land. They also confirmed that the founder of JCB, Joey Bamford was born on the site, but not in the current building.

Historic England were asked to consider ‘listing’ the building as a site of historic interest in 2014 but this was declined based upon the current building ‘displaying little originality’ and development using ‘mass-produced materials rather than demonstrating a high degree of individual craftmanship’. Also, the internal layout of the current building had been altered when it became a pub.

Significantly, its historic interest had been diminished as the current building was built in the 1930s or 1940s whereas Joey Bamford was born in 1916. Their rejection letter said ‘The building that currently occupies the site is stated by the Planning Inspectorate to have been built in the 1930s or 1940s.

In the late 1980s, it was extended and altered as a public house and restaurant. Given that Joseph Cyril Bamford was born in 1916, he would have been born in the earlier house that stood on the site.”

WHAT do you think to these proposals for The Parks site? Email us at news@timesandecho.co.uk

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3 Comments

  • The parks pub should stay exactly the way it is its our towns historical pub. We need to get it back open to its forma glory and stop destroying uttoxeters history
    Written by RACHEL BLURTON, January 13, 2022 - Reply
  • Uttoxeter will be bursting at the seams of many more houses are built there. And no new schools, doctors or infrastructure to cope with all the new influx of residents. It’s all about developers earning money and they preach about “providing jobs for locals”, yes for maybe 2 years until the development is completed and they pack up and move on to their next cash cow. I’ve worked in construction for nearly 20 years and it makes me sick the way these developers operate and literally build terrible quality houses and bulldoze any historical buildings to make way.
    Written by Roger Bailey, January 13, 2022 - Reply
  • The developers are just destroying all our history, we’ll have nothing to show our children, just Houses.
    Written by Carole Jones, February 16, 2022 - Reply

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