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Beecroft Road Car Park Redevelopment

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 21 November 2013

The Petition of residents of Cannock Chase,

Declares that the Petitioners do not support Cannock Chase District Council’s proposal to redevelop Beecroft Road Car Park for shopping and leisure; further that the Petitioners believe that the existing town centre needs support and the District Council should focus on this instead with a more creative approach to existing empty units; further that any proposals which risk the demolition of Allport Road homes are unfair to residents and should not be pursued; and that the present car parking space is necessary for visitors to the town centre and Cannock Hospital, and it should not be reduced.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to intervene in Cannock Chase Council’s planning for this redevelopment.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Aidan Burley, Official Report, 11 September 2013; Vol. 567, c. 1130.]

[P001222]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware of Cannock Chase District Council’s proposals to redevelop the Beecroft Road Car Park and the Council’s recent public consultation regarding their proposals.

Good strategic asset management enables local authorities to align their limited resources with local priorities, to improve the delivery of public services, make effective use of capital investment as well as providing land for local housing needs and drive local economic growth. Planning policy and practice guidance also encourages councils to seek to improve the quality of parking in town centres.

It is for local authorities to decide how to make best use of their assets, including the relative benefits and costs of holding, selling and redeveloping assets. This is because they are best placed to know what works and is most appropriate for their local area in a way that central Government cannot. We encourage local authorities to engage with their communities when considering options for managing their assets.

In recent years, DCLG has worked with key partners, including HM Treasury, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA), and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), on raising the profile and quality of asset management in local government.

In determining a planning application, the local planning authority who will have full knowledge of the local circumstances, are required to have regard to all material considerations including the development plan, national policies and views expressed by third parties.

The Secretary of State might decide to call in the application for his own determination if he considers that it raises matters of more than local importance, but his policy is to be very selective about this. As it is possible that this proposal may, at some future date, come within his jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate to comment on the issues raised in the petition.