A report has been produced surrounding a town centre project in the Moorlands. The report, which was prepared for the latest Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) Service Delivery Overview & Scrutiny Panel meeting, outlines what progress has been made surrounding the district council’s aims of revitalising Cheadle town centre.
A report has been produced surrounding a town centre project in the Moorlands.
The report, which was prepared for the latest Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) Service Delivery Overview & Scrutiny Panel meeting, outlines what progress has been made surrounding the district council’s aims of revitalising Cheadle town centre.
Here are the key points which were made within the report:
Within the Executive Summary paragraph of the report it states: Meetings of the Cheadle Stakeholder Panel have been held at the end of January and February this year. The meetings have mapped a route to identifying any further options for Cheadle town centre and for ensuring a full public engagement with all issues and options for the town.
A Stakeholder Workshop, facilitated by the Consultation Institute, will be held on March 17. Outcomes from the workshop will help to identify any alternatives to those options for Cheadle town centre set out in the Cushman & Wakefield study of May 2020.
A public consultation exercise and survey, overseen by the Stakeholder Panel, is being commissioned to seek the views of local people, businesses and organisations of Cheadle on all the regeneration issues and opportunities for the town centre. The contract is expected to be awarded at the start of April.
Following analysis of options, consultation responses and other public feedback in relation to car parking and the leisure centre, a report will be taken to Cabinet proposing a way forward, including the recommendation of a preferred option.
The council has secured funding under the One Public Estate programme to help deliver the preferred option once agreed.
Under a ‘How this report links to Corporate Priorities’ heading the report states: Delivery of Cheadle town centre projects will have implications for the following aims of the Corporate Plan: Aim One – To help create a safer and healthier environment for our communities to live and work; Aim Three – To help create a strong economy by supporting further regeneration of towns and villages.
Cheadle Stakeholder Panel
Due to the scope and complexity of potential project proposals relating to Cheadle town centre, the Council has established a Stakeholder Panel to support a Cheadle Town Centre Delivery Board. These two bodies will oversee the development and delivery of town centre projects in Cheadle, including consultation on options for the emerging Cheadle town centre Masterplan and the High Streets Task Force programme of activity.
Membership of the Stakeholder Panel is drawn from elected members of theCounty, District and Town Councils, the Chamber of Commerce, the CCG and the voluntary sector. The Panel is chaired by the Mayor of Cheadle. The Stakeholder Panel will ensure that the Town Centre Delivery Board has access to the views and resources of stakeholder groups.
The first meeting of the Stakeholder Panel was held in January 2021. A short follow up meeting was held in February to report on progress. A number of sub-groups have been established by members of the Panel. The purpose of the sub-groups is to support the work of Panel members in networking with local organisations and the wider community.
Facilitated Stakeholder Workshop
It was agreed that the Council would appoint an independent facilitator to manage a workshop for the Stakeholder Panel to help identify further options for the regeneration of Cheadle town centre.
In February, three organisations were invited to submit a quote to act as facilitator for a Stakeholder Workshop. These organisations were: Urban Vision Enterprise, The Consultation Institute, and Commonplace. One fee proposal was received – from the Consultation Institute. The Institute promotes best practice in public engagement and consultation, specialising in support for programmes of change. The body works in particular with the public sector and around issues of planning and infrastructure.
The Consultation Institute has been appointed to set up, facilitate and report on the Stakeholder Workshop. The Stakeholder Workshop is due to be held on Wednesday, March 17. It will be delivered as a virtual event. A report of the outcomes of the workshop will be prepared by The Consultation Institute. Any alternative options emerging from the workshop can be appraised by consultants Cushman & Wakefield in a manner consistent with the appraisal of options undertaken in their May 2020 study.
Programme of community engagement
The council has resolved to commission a public consultation exercise and survey, overseen by the Stakeholder Panel, to seek the views of local people, businesses and organisations of Cheadle on all the regeneration issues and opportunities for the town centre. A brief for the procurement of consultants to deliver this was agreed at the January Stakeholder Panel meeting.
An invitation to tender for delivering the public consultation exercise is being advertised between 1st March and 24thMarch. It is intended that award of contract and commencement of the commission will be from early April.
Town centre car parking
The current infrastructure of the council’s car parks is ageing and decisions are required around future capital investment to improve resident and visitor experience in our town centres. To inform these decisions, the council has commissioned a refreshed car parking strategy for the district.
The work will help to identify the areas we should be focusing on to address any issues and ensure we are making best use of our car parks.
The district council owns car parks at Tape Street and Well Street in Cheadle. Both car parks are well located for access into the town centre. Well Street carpark is adjacent to a vacant site (former Lightwood care home) which has developer interest for the delivery of new homes. Tape Street is a large site offering good access to the High Street and has opportunities to contribute to the Council’s ambitions for revitalising the town centre.
Residents and businesses were asked to share their views on how parking could be improved across the Staffordshire Moorlands with an online survey that was available for completion between 8th and 28th February. The responses to the survey will be considered by the council and any proposed revisions to the car parking strategy will be made available later this year.
The district council owns South Moorlands Leisure Centre. The centre was built in 1967 and extended in 1984. Further investment is now required to deliver modern facilities appropriate for the town. The option to just refurbish the leisure centre has been discounted, on the basis that the building is considered to be old, over-specified for its catchment population, and with a poor layout and facility mix, that are not well aligned with Cheadle’s population profile.
The council’s current physical activity and sport strategy was approved in 2017/18. The document is being refreshed currently to ensure that the council’s approach remains fit for purpose, includes new priorities, and enables the council and its partners to achieve better health and well-being outcomes. This work is supported by the preparation of a Leisure Transformation Plan that will include a capital investment and future management appraisal for the Council’s Leisure Centres. The work is due to be completed in summer 2021. FMG Consulting provided a progress briefing on these issues at the January Stakeholder Panel meeting.
The work of FMG Consulting includes undertaking stakeholder consultations in order to ensure that the views of leisure centre users, and those who are currently less active, are taken into account. It is anticipated that the work of a leisure subgroup of the Stakeholder Panel will feed into this process.
High Streets Task Force
In December 2019 Cheadle town centre was named as one of the first pilot towns to receive expert advice and support from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) High Streets Task Force. The support is designed to help build local capacity with a view to reviving Cheadle High Street.
The original one-day Task Force visit to Cheadle was proposed last spring and was to include a presentation on the challenges facing the town, a site visit to the high street and a presentation from the Task Force on support on offer. This would be based on the Institute of Place Management’s 4Rs of Regeneration: Repositioning; Reinventing; Rebranding and Restructuring.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, this meeting/visit was postponed and subsequently held as a two-hour virtual meeting on 17th February. A follow up discussion was held as part of the Stakeholder Panel progress update on 26th February.
The council will receive a formal report of the meeting with recommendations for a strategy considered to be effective for “unlocking your place potential.” Recommendations of the report are also expected to assist the council submit an expression of interest for any later rounds of the Future High Street Fund.
Support for taking forward a preferred option
The council has secured funding under the One Public Estate programme to assist with taking forward the preferred option. Funding will enable the appointment of consultants from June 2021 to work up proposals and develop a Business Case.
The webcast of the meeting where this report was debated by the SMDC Service Delivery Overview & Scrutiny Panel can be viewed at: https://democracy.highpeak.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=1831&x=1.
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