This post introduces a new innovative approach to developing the MMU site. It first of all covers the recent DTZ_MMU exhibition and then announces the new approach.
The DTZ – MMU Exhibition
ARAG officers attended the DTZ exhibitions on Monday and Wednesday of this week. The MMU development is probably the most important Alsager development in the next 20 years and it should/must have a positive influence on our environment for the future.
The clear expectation of Alsager Residents is that in any acceptable proposal:
- all the sports fields will be retained
- a Sports Hub will be developed to serve the catchment of Area of Alsager as a Key Service Centre
- the expensive buildings which were constructed at great public expense will be retained wherever possible
- employment opportunities will be generated
- the housing constraints and the aspirations identified in the Town Plan will also be addressed
- and the Alsager community will have top class facilities which take advantage of the unique nature of the site.
The DTZ exhibition seriously underestimated the level of interest from Alsager residents and this was apparent by the inadequate size of the rooms and the quality of the displays. It also displayed a disappointing lack of awareness of the aspirations of the community.
DTZ presented three proposals or “options”, which share the same characteristics:
- 500 houses and not the 300 in the accepted Town Plan.
- Building on and destruction of some of the best playing fields in Cheshire.
- Building not limited to the footprint of the current buildings.
- Buildings erected using public funds and lottery funding will all be demolished.
- No attempt to generate a Key Service Centre Sports Hub.
- No recognition of the Building Inspector’s comments on the inadequate Alsager infrastructure.
- No benefit to the Alsager community.
The MMU site is a huge opportunity for Alsager residents to improve the quality of life for current and future generations and the DTZ proposals miss that opportunity totally.
However there is an ARAG Alternative.
ARAG is committed to positive action and working collaboratively with councils and organisations where it is clear that this is in the best interests of Alsager.
To that end, Councillor David Brown ( Deputy Leader of the Council; Strategic Communities Portfolio Holder ) met with ARAG officers at the Wednesday exhibition to discuss the DTZ proposal and also to receive a document from ARAG, produced by Professor Derek Longhurst, defining a consortium approach which will deliver on all the stated Alsager Resident aspirations for the MMU site and more.
After Councillor Brown has considered this proposal with Councillor Michael Jones(Leader of the Council) , ARAG will meet with them both to determine if Cheshire East is prepared to support these plans, which ARAG regards as an innovative and attractive proposal.
Further details will be published following that meeting.
ARAG hopes for general Alsager support in developing a proposal that will meet all the aspirations of our community, as stated in the Town Plan and deliver something everyone can be proud of.