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Author Topic: FEATHERSTONE MASTER PLAN  (Read 5985 times)
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Posts: 1729


« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2009, 09:14:08 pm »

Any comments?
Development Services
Major Projects
Room D5
Newton Bar
Leeds Road

Interim Service Director: Ann Pittard

7th January 2009

Dear  Mr
I am writing in response to the concerns which you raised at the Towns Team meeting on 4th December 2008 regarding the Featherstone Masterplan.

The notes of the town team meeting which took place on the 7th September 2007 record that :
•   Duncan Melville of DTZ presented their master plan proposals for Featherstone. They included the recommendation that Featherstone needs a number of “destinations” to increase its attraction and suggested the creation of a Civic plaza in the vicinity of Chesney’s in order to transform Featherstone. The proposals also included the potential for the development of housing in the vicinity of Featherstone Rovers.
•   Concerns were raised at the meeting about the possible demolition of properties in the vicinity of Chesney’s to facilitate the development of new housing close to the Rovers ground and to  create a “Civic Plaza”
•   The meeting was informed that the Civic Plaza proposal was seen a longer term proposal which, if implemented, would be likely to occur towards the end of the masterplan period, and that wide scale demolition was not envisaged though it may be necessary to investigate selective demolition in order to bring forward plans to improve the town centre.   
•   Cllr Jeffery who chaired the meeting recommended that there be further discussion as to how this specific proposal should be taken forward, but accepted that elements of the masterplan needed to be agreed by Cabinet as  this has implications for the  funding of the Girnhill Lane housing area.

At the meeting it was agreed that:

1.   The draft Masterplan for Featherstone Central Area apart from the proposed Civic Plaza area be agreed and recommended for approval to Wakefield Council’s Cabinet
2.   Further consideration be given to the proposed Civic Plaza area

Following the meeting there were conversations about how this should be taken forward. Since the masterplan was DTZ’s document and contained the consultant’s recommendations to the council, the study was reported with all the recommendations discussed at the 7th September meeting.

It is my understanding that at a meeting on 11th September that this item was discussed and that it was agreed that the original report would go to Cabinet, but that the recommendations would be approved except for the issue relating to Chesney’s and the creation of a Plaza.

The Featherstone masterplan was reported at the Cabinet meeting on 18th September 2007 as a guide for future development in Featherstone Town Centre in order that the principles encompassed in the Master Plan would act as a basis for the development of an implementation framework for Featherstone including the further development of specific project proposals contained in the plan. It was also decided that further consultation would be undertaken on the detail of individual proposals as these are worked up.

The Cabinet meeting resolved that:
•   the Featherstone Central Area Master Plan be approved as a vision for the regeneration of the town for the next twenty years, and as a starting point for further detailed work leading to the development of definitive proposals and implementation arrangements for the redevelopment of parts of the central area and the wider regeneration of the town.
•   That further reports on the details of the proposals, implementation plans and partnership arrangements required be taken to Cabinet for approval as necessary.

It was evident at the December meeting that the wording on the web site was insufficiently clear, and this was amended as a matter of urgency following the meeting.  I think it is also important to note that the masterplan has no statutory status, and while it will be used as a basis to guide the development of the area over the next 20 years, it will not be incorporated into the Council’s Local Development Framework.

As you will be aware from the Towns Team meeting of 4th December, Featherstone has been designated as a pilot Coalfield Action area, and as such a steering group has been established to guide the work to be undertaken and to determine the priorities for action.

The proposals for the creation of a Plaza are therefore unlikely to be progressed as a priority in view of all the other projects which require implementation. 

I trust that this responds to the queries raised at the meeting

Yours sincerely

Maggie Thompson

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