A CONTROVERSIAL Masterplan for Uttoxeter has been defended at a meeting of Uttoxeter Town Council. East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) is due to adopt the masterplan at a meeting on Monday, December 21.
However, the process came under fire at a meeting of Uttoxeter Town Council on Tuesday last week.
Former Town Mayor, Cllr Alison Trenery, questioned ESBC member Cllr George Allen, who gave a verbal update on the document to the council. Cllr Trenery said: “I’m very perplexed here. Are you saying ESBC is proposing to adopt this draft masterplan, which is confidential and hasn’t been shared with the town council? We don’t know the details of what’s in it.
“It’s brought in without any consultation with people who know the town best and who have done all the work and research into the town and what the town’s businesses need.”
Residents and Staffordshire County Council’s Uttoxeter member Cllr David Brookes have previously questioned the level of consultation over the masterplan, which was put forward for public scrutiny for 12 days in September.
Cllr Allen said: “You have been directly asked for comment on it. The process of adopting the masterplan is in the planning authority hold and responsibility to bring in. It isn’t something that a town or parish council would do normally. There have been some consultation events. “I’m aware that there’s some political personalities in the town that are suggesting there hasn’t been enough consultation.
“There have been opportunities for people in the town to comment. There was a stakeholder event and I ensured that a number of institutions and organisations throughout the town were directly contacted. JCB have got a big presence in the town, Uttoxeter Racecourse were directly contacted and asked for comment. Whether they took it up or not is entirely up to them, but I don’t believe there hasn’t been any consultation.
“On December 21 we are, as a borough council, planning to adopt the Uttoxeter Masterplan that is in its draft form. It’s a land mark moment for the Uttoxeter regeneration vision. The last masterplan was in 2003 and looking back, it should have been updated and changed since then. “They do work and are really important documents.
“Some of the questions I’ve seen online and from members – it’s not just a fancy word, it does form part of the planning hierarchy and is a long term conceptual plan to inform how growth could happen over time. It makes it easier for the borough council to prove they have a plan for regeneration in the area. It makes intervention easier.
“The draft form is still confidential and will be considered at a borough council meeting on December 21. “The four priority sites for redevelopment of whatever sort are The Maltings, Trinity car park, the quarry and the Wheatsheaf.”
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