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“We openly hope the council re-engage with us”

Times Echo and Life / All News / “We openly hope the council re-engage with us”
4 months, 22 days agoNo Comments.
17 MAR

“We openly hope the council re-engage with us”

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

Two companies which own a shopping precinct in an East Staffordshire town have responded to news that a council is set to make a compulsory purchase order on the site. Last week, we reported that East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) had announced that they are to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for The Maltings in Uttoxeter.

Two companies which own a shopping precinct in an East Staffordshire town have responded to news that a council is set to make a compulsory purchase order on the site.

Last week, we reported that East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) had announced that they are to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for The Maltings in Uttoxeter.

The Uttoxeter Echo contacted both MJ Barrett Group and Central England Co-operative for responses to last week’s news from ESBC.

In a joint statement sent to us yesterday, (Tuesday, March 15), a spokesman for the two companies said: “The statement, reference the Local Authority’s intentions for the Maltings came as a surprise and with a large degree of disappointment to M J Barrett’s and to Central England Co-op.

We have actively engaged with the local authority to pursue development proposals for several years on the combined site, therefore, to publicly announce their desire to pursue a compulsory purchase goes wholly against the collaborative approach we all thought we were pursuing.

Collectively we have continuously pushed forward development and letting proposals at the Maltings, all of which have failed to get the support of East Staffs Borough Council.

Central England Co-op were initially in discussions with a national retailer however the retailer required a small part of the council pay and display car park to be made free of charge in order to compete on equal terms with the out of town retailers on the retail park.

Unfortunately, the council refused to help although finally they did make parking free of charge but only post 3pm which proved unacceptable to the retailer.”

The spokesman continued: “Jointly MJ Barrett’s and Central England Co-op’s proposed siting an Aldi food store on the Maltings and plans were prepared accordingly. This proposal would have brought new life into the town centre and help support other retailers as well as cementing a sustainable and viable future for the town centre. This proposal was also rejected by the council who then granted planning for the out of town Aldi.

The latest proposal we all jointly engaged in, was for a mixed-use development including a residential village, local support services and a retained high street retail frontage. Discussions were inexplicably stopped, and efforts made to reignite the interest of the provider and local authority failed.”

The spokesman added: “The combined aim of MJ Barrett’s and Central England Co-op has been to collaborate with the council, to provide a viable comprehensive scheme for the whole site and supporting the local authority in delivering a scheme whether that be to dispose of our respective interests or retain an interest.

With the local authority having expressed their intent to take complete control of the entire site, we’re concerned their approach to pursue a Compulsory Purchase will take a great many years to come to fruition and in the meantime the fear is that it will blight the town centre with uncertainty and detract from inward investment.

Our joint position is that we openly hope the council re-engage with us to bring forward a development that will benefit the town for the long term.”

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