EyeSpy Oh how the mighty are fallen!

Eye Spy Eye of HorusDavid Conway was not the only one with a big smile on his face Friday morning as Labour awoke to the short sharp judgement of the residents of Springfields and Trent Vale. Whilst it might not stop the move, the backlash against the move to the CBD was apparent, which raised the spirits of many council officers on Friday morning. Parking in Stoke may not be perfect, but the thought of a daily game of ‘musical parking spaces’ followed by a forced tutorial on how you should cycle to work rather than moan about paying £25 a year to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot before abandoning hope and parking in Tesco, is a step too far for some.

Continue reading

Is the Civic Centre to move to the Central Business District in Hanley?

Plans are set to go before the Cabinet next week that will see the Stoke-on-Trent City Council become the anchor tenant for the new Central Business District in Hanley.

The move away from the Civic Centre in Stoke could be the beginning of the end for this struggling town. It is widely thought that it is only council staff doing their shopping and buying lunches in Stoke that keeps the remaining shops open. Continue reading

Work to start on Central Business District

line drawing of Stoke-on-Trent proposed Central business DistrictWork is set to start on Stoke-on-Trent’s Central Business District in May when demolition work starts on the Andromeda building. The building was formerly home to Regimes nightclub and Rileys snooker club.

The Andromeda building along with 9 Broad Street, the former Job Centre building on Cannon Street and Crown Street Garage on Orb Street, was acquired by the former Advantage West Midlands and transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency as part of the Central Business District project. Continue reading

Business district takes shape as planning permission approved

A thriving new business quarter is to be developed in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent as planning approval is granted for the first phase of the scheme.

The initial 50,000 sq m of mixed use space for the new Central Business District has today been granted outline planning permission. The move is a step closer for the development which will bring a variety of office, retail, leisure and public space to the city centre.

Genr8 Developments, the city council’s development partner behind the new mixed use project, is now working towards a detailed planning application for phase 1 of the project which will focus on 10,000 sq m of development space.

“The Central Business District will create a vibrant mix of commercial business opportunities in the city centre. This planning approval grants outline consent for the initial phases of an even larger scheme and it is fantastic news for the city.”
“The Central Business District is designed to create a vibrant day and night time economy which will complement other city centre schemes such as the East West Shopping Centre redevelopment, Mitchell Memorial Theatre, new bus station and city centre living. It is one piece of the jigsaw for creating a 21st century city. This planning approval means that the project is one step closer to starting work on site.”

Now that outline planning permission has been granted work is underway to prepare a detailed application for Phase 1 of the development. It is expected that this will be submitted later in 2011 in order to allow a start on site early in 2012.

The business district, which is expected to eventually provide up to 100,000sqm of business space in the city centre, will be delivered in phases over the next 10 to 15 years. Phase 1 is expected to focus on up to 10,000sqm of development space. The site lies behind the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and near to the new Tesco store off Broad Street and the regional shopping centre being developed at the former East West site.

Plans To Rejuvenate City Centre Streets Go On Display

Early proposals for a revitalised city centre design are going on display for the first time in a bid to gauge public opinion.

Ideas for improvements to city centre streets and public spaces will be on display from Thursday 17 March with a series of roadshows in Tontine Square on 22 and 23 March.

The designs, which have been drawn up by the city council’s in-house design team, show how areas such as Tontine Square, Crown Bank and can be revitalised to create an improved, functional and attractive space for visitors and residents to enjoy.

“The city centre is currently undergoing major regeneration with schemes such as the new bus station, Central Business District, Mitchell Memorial Theatre and East West Centre redevelopment all moving forward. The public realm improvements will help to complement the major schemes by creating a mixture of new public spaces which create an inviting atmosphere for shoppers and visitors.”

Key priorities have been identified for the project to complement work on the city’s major regeneration schemes such as the new bus station, East West Centre redevelopment and Central Business District.

Areas that have been identified for investment include Tontine Street, Percy Street, Fountain Square, Upper Market Square, Crown Bank, Market Lane and Albion Square.

The first phase of work, which is due to take place in the next financial year, will focus on Tontine Street and Percy Street.

The consultation will give local people the chance to comment on initial designs for the area. Plans will be online at www.stoke.gov.uk/citycentreconsultation , on public display in The Indoor Market, The Potteries Museum and The Regent Theatre and at the roadshows in Tontine Square on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 March between 10am and 4pm. Comments can be received up until 31 March.

Once the comments have been received a final design is expected to be drawn up for the first phase of works by the end of July.

Residents To Have Their Say On Designs For Key City Living Site

Designs for the three shortlisted housing schemes which could be built on a key city centre site have gone on display.

Around 100 homes are proposed for the Canal Quarter, off Lichfield Street, on the edge of the city centre. Local people are now being asked to review the designs being put forward for how the 5 acre site will be developed.

Images and proposals from the three shortlisted developers, Barratt, Keepmoat and Westbury Partnerships, will be on display in the City Waterside Community Centre, Dresden Street, until Friday, 18 March. Residents will be able to review the proposals and comment on the three submitted designs which will be taken in to consideration along with the design merits, provision of affordable homes, ground conditions and quality of the development when a decision is made on the final scheme.

“The Canal Quarter is a significant part of the Renew project and is designed to provide quality, affordable living in the heart of the city centre. As complementing city centre schemes are developed such as the Central Business District, East West shopping redevelopment, bus station and Mitchell Memorial Theatre, it is more important than ever that quality homes are provided for people wanting to move to the area or relocating closer to the city for new employment opportunities. It is important that people take the opportunity to look at the plans and see how they would like the area to be regenerated.”

The short-listed proposals will be evaluated at the end of March with a decision on the lead developer expected in the Summer.

The Canal Quarter forms part of the City Waterside project on the edge of the city centre it is designed to create a mixture of properties for city living. The scheme will have complementing public space features and focus on the unique waterfront location next to the Caldon Canal.

Lying at the South of the city centre the new homes will provide family and professional properties which will complement other city centre developments such as the Central Business District which will create a vibrant mix of business space, the landmark new bus station, Mitchell Memorial Theatre with community space and the £350million regional shopping centre being developed on the former East West site.

Plans can be viewed online at www.stoke.gov.uk and any comments should be received by Friday 28 March.

Business District Takes A Step Closer As Planning Application Submitted

Plans for a new city centre business district have been submitted to Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Genr8 Developments, the city council’s development partner behind the new mixed use regeneration project in Stoke-on-Trent, has submitted an outline planning application for the initial 50,000 sq m of development.

The scheme, although office led, will create a thriving mixed use business quarter in the city centre with a variety of office, retail, leisure and public space.

The application, which provides outline details for the first phases of the scheme, follows a consultation event in November where residents were given the chance to see initial design proposals.

Mike Smith, of Genr8, said the planning application is a significant step forward in the delivery of a much needed new business quarter for the city centre.

“The Central Business District will create a vibrant quarter in the heart of the city centre where offices, retail and leisure sit side by side. The planning application is a significant step in the delivery of the scheme and outlines a business district which offers a thriving day and night time economy with complementing businesses, shops, bars, restaurants and public open spaces of the highest quality. We believe that it will be the catalyst for further regeneration throughout the city centre.”

The business district, which is expected to eventually include up to 100,000sqm of business space in the city centre, will be delivered in phases over the next 10 to 15 years. Phase 1 is expected to focus on up to 10,000sqm of development space. The site lies behind the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and near to the new Tesco store off Broad Street and the regional shopping centre being developed at the former East West site.

“The Business District is designed to complement other regeneration schemes across the city. In the heart of the city centre it will offer a mixture of business and will complement retail and leisure facilities. The new Tesco store is nearby with the refurbished Mitchell Memorial Theatre due to open next year and work starting on the first phase of the East West redevelopment – the bus station – starting on site in March.”

A decision on the outline planning application is due early next year. Detailed designs are then due to be submitted later in the year as part of a detailed planning application. Further consultation events to review plans for the scheme will be arranged appropriately.

Boost To Business As Development Takes A Step Closer

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has confirmed its commitment to deliver a business district in the city centre.

At a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday, 29th July, councillors approved to sign a development agreement for the 1.2million square foot proposed Central Business District.

Mohammed Pervez, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said the move was an important milestone in the progress of the project.

He said:

“Today’s decision is a significant step in the creation of a new Central Business District in Stoke-on-Trent.

“The proposed development is of the highest quality and one the city council is firmly committed to delivering with its partners. It will help to transform not only Stoke-on-Trent city centre but also the wider North Staffordshire region into a more prosperous and successful place.

“It will create more than 4,000 jobs for local people and provide career opportunities for students from our new University Quarter.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is currently under going a strategic property review which will help to determine whether it may be financially viable to house some council staff from a variety of locations across the city to a central location. Other options for an anchor tenant for the first phase are also being reviewed with an agreement in place between developer Genr8 and the city council to aim for progress by July 2011.

Councillor Mervin Smith, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for city development (regeneration), said:

“It is important that we carry on exploring all options for the Central Business District. We are in challenging economical times and it is important that we make the right decisions for the residents of our city. The Central Business District will attract investment and businesses to the city centre. This in turn will help to boost other projects such as the East West Centre helping to create a thriving city centre with extra opportunities and footfall.”

John Early, Genr8 chairman, said:

“We are working with the NSRP and its partners to create a Central Business District that will put Stoke-on-Trent firmly on the national map as a location to do business.

“To do this we are focussing on quality, design excellence and integrating the Central Business District with the city’s other regeneration plans. This will ensure that Stoke-on-Trent is well placed to take advantage of the economic recovery.

“We are now working extremely hard with our partners to identify and realise pre-lettings for the scheme that will underpin the first phase of development and be the catalyst for further expansion and growth”

The agreement means that a planning application is now expected to be submitted by the end of the year with the aim of securing an anchor tenant in the next 12 months.

Proposals for the Central Business District include:

* 750,000 square feet of “grade A” office space
* 60,000 square feet of leisure and retail space
* 250 hotel beds
* 80 apartments
* 230,000 square feet of high quality public space

The design will integrate with the rest of Stoke-on-Trent city centre and the wider North Staffordshire conurbation helping to create a city centre that is strong and able to compete nationally.

Public open space will be designed to provide strong connections to the rest of the city centre, including the main shopping area, the planned new Realis Estates £285 million East West Centre, the Cultural Quarter and University Quarter.

Diggers move in as work gets underway preparing for an extended ring road and new supermarket

Preparatory work for an extension of Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre ring road and a new supermarket will move up a gear on Thursday as diggers move in to clear the land.

Since January 4 workers have been carrying out initial preparation works securing the site, off Clough Street.

On Thursday, contractors will start to clear the land for the new Tesco store and 540 metre extension of Potteries Way.

Councillor Brian Ward, Stoke said: “This is a major step forward in getting the extension to Potteries Way completed. The new Tesco store will redevelop land that is currently unused and help to kick start regeneration in the city centre. The ring road will improve connectivity to future developments like the East West Centre and Central Business District, helping motorists to access city facilities. It is an exciting time and it is fantastic to see things taking shape in the city.”

Tony Fletcher, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, said: “We are delighted to see this important step taking place in such a major scheme.”

The 100,000 sq ft store is due to open by the end of the year. The city’s Job, enterprise and Training (Jet) scheme and Job Centre Plus will be working with Tesco to help local people benefit from the extra jobs created.

When completed the extended Potteries Way ring road will help traffic flow into and out of Stoke-on-Trent city centre. It will also help make the city centre more attractive for occupiers and investors into the major redevelopment projects of the East West shopping centre and the Central Business District.

The dual carriageway will be extended between Broad Street and Etruria Road. Tesco will fund improved landscaping along the route to tie in with the City Council’s existing Potteries Way tree planting and lighting scheme.

Tesco was given planning permission for a new store and link road in May 2005. A public enquiry in to a compulsory purchase order was resolved this Autumn.

Work to start on new road and supermarket

Work on an extension to Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre ring road and a major new supermarket is due to start next month.

Tesco has today announced preparatory work will begin on its 100,000 sq ft store in Clough Street and the 540 metre extension of the Potteries Way dual carriageway in January.

The scheme will help to ease traffic flow and bring new job opportunities to the city centre. The supermarket will also create 674 car parking spaces with new pedestrian links from the site to Broad Street and the Mitchell Memorial Youth Theatre.

The 29.3 acre site, off Clough Street, will be cordoned off from January 4 so that work can start on preparing the land. Building works are then expected to start in February.

Brian Ward, cabinet member for regeneration at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “The scheme will redevelop land that is currently unused and help to kick start regeneration in the city centre. The ring road will help to connect future developments like the East West Centre and Central Business District, helping motorists to access city facilities. It is an exciting time and it is fantastic to see things taking shape in the city.”

The city council is working with businesses and residents to make sure that the works, which are due to take 11 months, cause minimal disruption to motorists and visitors.

Motorists are being asked to use alternative car parks in Clementsons Mill and Broad Street when Clough Street car park closes on January 4.

Morley Street will also be closed for through traffic from early January, with traffic diverted along Potteries Way.

Tony Fletcher, Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager, said: “The Tesco store relocation will bring 300 additional jobs to the city centre and help to create a fantastic modern shopping facility for residents. It is great news that this exciting project can now get under way”

The store is due to open by the end of 2010. The city’s Job, enterprise and Training (Jet) scheme and Job Centre Plus will be working with Tesco to help local people benefit from the extra jobs created.

When completed the extended Potteries Way ring road will help traffic flow into and out of Stoke-on-Trent city centre. It will also help make the city centre more attractive for occupiers and investors into the major redevelopment projects of the East West shopping centre and the Central Business District.

The dual carriageway will be extended between Broad Street and Etruria Road. Tesco will fund improved landscaping along the route to tie in with the City Council’s existing Potteries Way tree planting scheme.

Tesco was given planning permission for a new store and link road in May 2005. A public enquiry in to a compulsory purchase order was resolved this Autumn.