DTZ – MMU Exhibition
ARAG officers attended the DTZ – MMU exhibition today at the Leisure Centre, together with a large number of interested residents. DTZ are proposing 3 options for re-development of the MMU site. The exhibition itself was disappointing, showing little vision with an uninspired presentation. The quality and content of the exhibition was illustrative of a failure to understand the community interest in this site
All of these options involve building 500 houses, ( as opposed to the 300 in the Town Plan ) loss of some of the sports fields and destruction of the MMU buildings. To compensate for this loss of facility and deviation from previous proposals, it is suggested that there should be improvements to the Leisure Centre and the school’s All Weather pitches.
When development of the MMU has been previously considered, and in particular at the public enquiry, it has always been in the context of developing a sports and leisure hub, together with excellent community facilities for the whole of Alsager. Building has to be within the footprint of the current buildings and sports fields have to be retained. There are high quality top class buildings on the MMU site that have cost millions of pounds of tax payers money and ARAG considers it to be a profligate waste of public funds to demolish them and remove them from community use.
Similarly, the sports fields were recently upgraded at a significant public expense to become some of the best in Cheshire. ARAG considers that these fields should not be destroyed and that any building should be within the footprint of the current buildings.
Our Town Plan stated that there should be 300 houses on the MMU site, ARAG believes that this number is appropriate providing that the building is within the footprint of the current buildings.
At the exhibition, visitors were asked to vote on one of 3 options. In ARAG’s view, none of these options is acceptable and this was our response to DTZ. What is offered is the lowest common denominator minimalist PR ‘offer’ to the community and a divisive strategy on the sports facilities involving School, leisure centre and the community. ARAG will seek to support common ground between all three in developing an alternative approach.
You can have a second opportunity to view DTZ’s proposals in the Civic on Wednesday between 1 and 7 pm. We will be attending again and voting for ‘none of the above‘.
White Moss Quarry
Tomorrow evening, there will be a Town Planning Committee Meeting at the Alsager Institute, Green Drive, starting at 7 pm. The Town Council will receive a report from the Town Council representatives of the White Moss Liaison Committee meeting held 13/1/2013. This is where the building proposal for 700 houses on the White Moss Quarry site was discussed.
The Town Council’s response to the Cheshire East Draft Development Strategy has not currently taken this proposal into account.