BET365 and view on Smithfield

Below you can read the extract from the planning application report into BET365 plans to expand in Etruria. Of interest is that only 2 office blocks remain, now this is either excellent news and means all other units now have interested investors (if so why isn’t the Council singing from rooftops) or means Genr8 have earmarked other units for retail and leisure

Sequential Test – Central Business District

The Central Business District is a key project in delivering targeted regeneration as outlined within policy SP1 of the development plan. The applicant has tested the proposal against the approved parameters set within the CBD development and has found that the site is available and in terms of pure floorspace the offices could physically fit within the available site area. However, it is evident that the detailed parameters already set in relation to layout and pedestrian routes would make the site unsuitable for the developer.

The key reason for this is linked to operational efficiency, for example, the proposed development would either have to be disaggregated over the remaining two development blocks within CBD or delivered within a single six storey building. Neither of these options would meet the requirements of the business, who are acutely aware of their operational needs having experienced operational failures within their existing estate.

Another critical factor, which makes CBD unsuitable for this specific user is the lack of dedicated on-site parking within the development. Whilst the need to promote sustainable forms of transport are fully acknowledged by the applicant, the provision of on-site parking for their 24hr operation is critical to attracting and retaining staff and therefore key to the needs of the business.

Whilst it would not be true to state that parking would not be available within the City Centre, due to the availability of public pay and display car parks, the case put forward by the applicant is unique to their operation. An acceptance of the applicants sequential case should not be seen as an acknowledgement by the Local Planning Authority that the CBD is unsuitable for all forms of office development and it should be fully acknowledged that the proposal does represent a departure from the development plan.

geln howells - cbd_stoke_image3 glen howells cbd_stoke_image2

While the new Plan for Smithfield does appear to have shrunk thiere still appears to be more then 2 office blocks

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Cabinet members ONLY

Details behind £20m cuts to Stoke on Trent City Council Budget will not be going before councillors or out to local residents.

Cllr Crowe cabinet member for finance and procurement said in an email ” The cabinet has been previously on the assumptions behind the £20m funding gap, which includes the pressures. It is not intended that there will be any further, separate report to members or elsewhere on spending pressures.” These spending pressures include the additional £6.9miilion yearly running costs of the new Civic Centre in Hanley.

Ian Norris of Tunstall a member of the March on Stoke campaign group said ” it would appear only cabinet members are permitted a say on spending pressures and priorities for where revenue funding should be spent”

No details have been released on mechanisms to be put in place should Genr8 fail to find investors for the Smithfield development in Hanley, which the council hope will generate £4m in business rates to pay towards the running cost of the new civic.

revenue table