A council cabinet has approved proposals for the establishment of a 'Town Centre Delivery Board' and a 'Stakeholder Panel' which are set to work to improve a Moorlands town centre. The formation of the new organisations within Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Cabinet (SMDC) are set to see some possible major changes to Cheadle town centre – including the possibility of a community hub in Tape Street car park, and residential development at Royal Walk and at the site of the existing South Moorlands Leisure Centre, to name but a few possibilities which have been set out in a report to SMDC.
A council cabinet has approved proposals for the establishment of a ‘Town Centre Delivery Board’ and a ‘Stakeholder Panel’ which are set to work to improve a Moorlands town centre.
The formation of the new organisations within Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Cabinet (SMDC) are set to see some possible major changes to Cheadle town centre – including the possibility of a community hub in Tape Street car park, and residential development at Royal Walk and at the site of the existing South Moorlands Leisure Centre, to name but a few possibilities which have been set out in a report to SMDC.
SMDC met virtually yesterday (Tuesday, October 6) for their latest meeting, which included an agenda item to hear the “outline proposals for the establishment of a Cheadle Town Centre Delivery Board, supported by a Stakeholder Panel, to oversee development and delivery of town centre projects including options appraisal for the emerging Cheadle town centre Masterplan and the High Streets Task Force programme of activity, as well as to hear of an “update on progress with regards to the Cheadle Town Centre Options Appraisal Report and the High Streets Task Force and to agree next steps.”
It was recommended by SMDC Leader councillor Sybil Ralphs to “approve the proposals for the establishment of a Cheadle Town Centre Delivery Board and Stakeholder Panel, as set out in the report” as well as to “note the progress on current Cheadle town centre projects.”
Within the report presented to councillors, an ‘executive summary’ stated that: “A number of externally funded projects are proposed for Cheadle town centre during the next financial year.”
It was set out that projects to be overseen by any Project Delivery Board and Panel would include, but not be limited to: “consideration of the options set out in the Cheadle town centre report; oversight of any wider engagement proposed with appropriate stakeholders as part of the ongoing options appraisal; recommending preferred options for key sites in Cheadle town centre; coordinating delivery of agreed proposals for key sites in Cheadle town centre; directing the activities of the Future High Street Fund Task Force and any follow up work.”
Membership of the Project Delivery Board is set to include the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Staffordshire County Council, the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chair of the Stakeholder Panel; while membership of the Stakeholder Panel would be drawn from local elected members of the District Council, Cheadle Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce, a business representative and the voluntary sector.
The report further explained that consultants Cushman and Wakefield have prepared an Options Appraisal report to “support a masterplan and investment strategy for Cheadle town centre. The report sets out opportunities to increase the vibrancy of Cheadle by delivering new homes as well as community facilities that will help to attract and retain additional residents and visitors to the town centre.”
The report author continued: “The Options Appraisal report proposes a number of options for key sites in the town, including Well Street and Tape Street car parks, the Community Hospital and Newlands Care Home on Royal Walk and South Moorlands Leisure Centre.
“The report makes recommendations on using the key sites, all in public sector ownership, as a basis for the re-configuration of Cheadle town centre to help the town become an even more attractive and compelling place to live, work and visit.
“The report includes recommendations for the location of a new community hub building in the town centre. Decisions on the future of Cheadle Hospital and the South Moorlands Leisure Centre may provide opportunities to offer replacement health, well-being, leisure and other community facilities from a single location. The report recommends that the preferred location for any community hub should be at Tape Street car park, bringing additional footfall directly into the town centre.
“In the medium and long term it may be possible to bring forward residential development at Royal Walk and the site of the existing Leisure Centre, subject to decisions on the future of the existing buildings on these sites. In the short term, residential development may be brought forward at Well Street car park, potentially in conjunction with proposals from Your Housing Group for the site of the former Lightwood care home.
“Should all or parts of both Tape Street and Well Street car parks be redeveloped, it will be important to ensure that a review of parking in Cheadle is undertaken to ensure that adequate parking provision remains for the town.”
The report then went on to further explain about the previously publicised High Street Task Force for Cheadle; as well as different options for developments at the above sites.
Following cllr Ralphs reading out some of the report at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, councillors made comments with councillor Mark Deaville stating: “I welcome this report. I am massively enthusiastic about it. It’s all about delivering great outcomes and great benefits. Not only for the people of Cheadle but also for the people of surrounding villages who will also enjoy the benefits of this project.”
He added: “We can work closely with the county council, work closely with Cheadle Town Council and those parish councils on the periphery, work with local businesses and work with local residents to deliver these massive benefits for the people of Cheadle. Benefits to health and healthy living, their lifestyle, benefits to the local economy and benefits to the all important tourism economy within Cheadle.”
Cllr Ralphs added: “A lot of time, effort and money has been spent by our authority in the compilation of all those things I have just mentioned.
“I want the people to feel ownership of this. Obviously the work will be done by the members of the board that I have just mentioned and the town council and their repetitiveness.
Cllr Ralphs added: “I think for too long maybe we’ve been saying: we should do this and we should do that – well now we’re doing it.
“It’s an opportunity for everyone to come together. It will be led by the Mayor of Cheadle and his deputy. Opportunities, once in a lifetime to do what they have been wanting to do for a long long time and it’s up to us as a cabinet to listen and we will be in that listening mode.
“We will be asking them what they want us to do, not telling them what we intend to do. That’s the difference.
“And again, back to that old word of partnership, partnership working, we’re working in partnership for the benefit of the people of Cheadle. Not only the people who are there now but those in generations to come and I look forward to be involved in this.
“I think it’s very timely. We’re in a rather depressing stage in life at the moment because of Covid-19 and by starting to work on this, it starts to bring hope back, doesn’t it? Hope for the future and hope for the town of Cheadle
“I welcome it and look forward very much to all of us working together as a team and the results will be good and can only benefit.
“It’s down to us, having been given this opportunity to make it work.”
The SMDC cabinet members then all voted in favour of the recommendation to “approve the proposals for establishment of a Cheadle Town Centre Delivery Board and Stakeholder Panel.
Anyone wishing to read the full report which was presented to the SMDC Cabinet, can do so by going online tohttps://democracy.highpeak.gov.uk/documents/s18986/Cheadle%20Town%20Centre%20Projects.pdf
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