DISCUSSIONS are taking place to possibly change a current high street walkway back into a road as part of plans to regenerate a town centre in the Moorlands. Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) have commissioned Consultants Cushman and Wakefield to draw up a masterplan for an “investment strategy for Cheadle town centre.” Cheadle town councillors were invited to a meeting held by the consultants recently, where they gave suggestions on improvements they could make to the town centre, one of which mooted that Greyhound Walk located off High Street, could be transformed back into a road through to the car park and public toilets.
SMDC and Cheadle town councillor Ian Whitehouse told the Times and Echo: “It was put forward at a town consultant planners meeting that Greyhound Walk was proposed to be turned back into a road.
“I think that would be ideal as visitors travelling through the high street might see a sign for a car park and toilets, stop off and then spend money in town in some shops.
“It is only a suggestion though, nothing has been set in place – I don’t know how feasible that would be.”
Fellow district and town councillor Kate Martin added she thinks the proposal is a “great idea,” concurring that it would a positive move if this was sign-posted too.
She said: “It would encourage more footfall for the lots of different local businesses within the town.
“If you are not from Cheadle, you may not know how to get onto the car park so it would make a big difference if it was sign-posted.
“I’m all for thinking outside the box and doing so much more for this lovely town.”
Although supportive, town councillor Jamie Evans questioned whether such a regeneration plan will come to fruition.
He said: “I’m quite sceptical of it.
“Some of the councillors I have spoken to have seen four previous consultations and nothing has been done.
“We need the town to thrive and we have got to explore every possibility.
“Opening Greyhound Walk is a great idea.”
Although neither body could comment specifically on Greyhound Walk, both the county council and district council confirmed plans for “growth” in Cheadle are being drafted together.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire County Council said: “Consultants Cushman and Wakefield have been asked by Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to prepare a masterplan and investment strategy for Cheadle town centre.
“The work is at an early stage.
“The consultants have been getting to know Cheadle and to understand the local property market – both residential and retail.
“The consultants met with Cheadle town councillors on Monday, August 5 to consider issues such as the ‘strengths and opportunities’ of Cheadle and the town council’s aspirations for Cheadle.
“Cushman and Wakefield were appointed in April 2019.
“The idea emerged from partnership meetings held between Cheadle Town Council, Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council with the aim of developing a comprehensive plan for the town.
“Cushman and Wakefield will draw up a set of draft development options later this summer.
“It is expected that the draft options will initially be considered by key stakeholders.
“Further communication about what is planned will be shared in due course and at the appropriate time.
“We expect to receive the final plans before Christmas.”
Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Commercial at Staffordshire County Council said: “Ensuring Staffordshire people can access more good jobs and feel the benefits of economic growth remains one of the county council’s top priorities.
“We continue to work closely with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and our partners on these incredibly important growth plans for Cheadle and the surrounding area.
“The plans for the town are moving towards an exciting phase and will not only help to support the town’s growth and the creation of jobs but will also support our wider economy.
“Cheadle is one of the three priority areas in our growth plans for the district and any plans will be communicated fully to Cheadle Town Council and local residents when agreed.”
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