A public consultation exercise has begun, the results of which will drive major improvements in housing, highways and sports provision for residents in Knutton.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is asking residents, businesses and partner organisations across the whole of the borough to get involved and make their voices heard on the plans.

The consultation runs until Sunday, 28 February and because of the pandemic, and the restrictions that are in place to prevent public gatherings, the Council has developed an interactive website for the process.

The webpages allow those who take part to look at other issues in the Knutton area that they may want to comment on and to suggest improvements on the proposals.

Please follow this link https://vpc.tetratecheurope.com/wyg/knutton/

Cllr Paul Northcott, Cabinet member for planning and growth, said: “This is a great opportunity for everyone to feed into the masterplan and let us know about the particular things that they support – or not. We know that there are some strong feelings out there in our communities. This is such a positive opportunity to take advantage of the funding available such as the Town Deal to improve and breathe much needed new life into the area.

“We’re listening and residents can be assured that the masterplan in its current form is not the final document, it is still a work in progress and we will be looking very carefully at the outcomes of the public consultation in order to fine-tune it. This is your neighbourhood, your community. Please help us to shape it now and for the future.”

The Council is raising awareness of the consultation through local media, a series of posters around the Knutton and Cross Heath area and its own social media channels. The results will be reported to the Council’s Cabinet later in 2021.

The masterplan document, which is the basis for the consultation, includes a market review on land values, the specific characteristics of the Knutton area and outlines in detail the key proposals.

These include: A new sports pavilion with changing and showering facilities at The Wammy, the development of more than a hundred “aspirational” new homes to attract higher income families, Re-modelling and improvement of part of Knutton Enterprise Centre’s business accommodation including improvements to the centre’s frontage on to High Street, Traffic calming measures introduced to High Street and Blackbank Road with improvements to the Church Lane and Milehouse Lane junction, the exploration of exciting redevelopment and regeneration options through Aspire Housing, with potential to create high-quality, modern homes that will benefit communities for generations to come.

Staffordshire County Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, Philip White, said: “Regenerating the centres of our communities is vital to residents and businesses – ensuring they remain vibrant places to live and work. The proposals put forward for Knutton provide a positive vision for its future with a good mix of modern housing, business space, sport and leisure facilities and safer roads.

“It’s important people have their say on these plans so that these improvements work for them. We look forward to playing our part by modernising our enterprise centre and making roads safer.”

Sinéad Butters, Group Chief Executive at Aspire Housing, added: “This masterplan has the potential to bring significant investment into Knutton and put the heart back into the centre of the village, continuing the long-term regeneration of the wider area. There are a number of sites that have potential for redevelopment, but at this early stage the most important thing is to gather the views of the people who live in this community. We value the opportunity to engage with local residents to help shape the future of this area.”

The proposals and the associated funding allocated to each one is expected to be supported by successful submissions to the Town Deals programme. Newcastle-under-Lyme was among 101 towns to be selected for a Town Deal, which could see the Borough Council receive up to £25 million for schemes in Newcastle, Kidsgrove and Knutton.

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