Eyesore Cannock car park will be subject to compulsory purchase for town centre revamp

An disused multi-storey car park will be compulsory purchased to help transform the fortunes of Cannock town centre.

Cannock’s Prince of Wales Theatre. Pic: Google
Cannock’s Prince of Wales Theatre. Pic: Google

The district council was awarded £20 million from the Levelling Up Fund money by the Government last year to develop proposals aimed to improve the town's fortunes.

Under the scheme the shopping and leisure zone near the Prince of Wales Theatre and St Luke's Church will get a revamp along efforts to attract more hospitality venues and create better pedestrian links.

At a cabinet meeting senior councillors agreed to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to help realise its ambitions by launching land acquisition of the "disused and unsightly" former multi-storey car park and other Church Street properties.

Cannock's district and high street chief Councillor Mike Sutherland said: “The clock is ticking if we are to realise our ambitions to radically change Cannock town centre. While it is less than a year since we were awarded the Levelling Up Fund money, we have seen rising costs and consumer demands changing.

"This is making it important to crack on with the whole scheme.

Cannock Chase District Council

“Working with our various partners, including Staffordshire County Council, Cannock Town Centre Partnership, South Staffordshire College and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, we can report good progress being made but now comes the next critical stage of preparing to make CPOs.

“Needless to say, I am pleased to report that our survey asking what residents dislike about the town centre and, importantly, what they would like to see to improve its appeal to both residents and visitors to Cannock, has provided invaluable feedback.

"As a result, we intend to build on this next month by holding drop-in sessions in the town centre to give residents the chance to come and talk to us in person and help shape our plans further.

“Details of these sessions will be announced shortly and will feature scaled up drawings of our Levelling Up Fund bid vision for the town centre, with an opportunity for residents to record their views, as well as to gain an understanding about some of the challenges we are having to deal with given the two-year plus timescale from the initial bid submission.”

The council said considerable behind the scenes work had been carried out in recent months and it was time to "legally and formally" approach the affected parties.

It also has a ‘Northern Gateway’ scheme aimed to improve pedestrian access into the town centre from the Beecroft Road car park area to develop a more attractive arrival point for visitors. There are also plans for to create units for start-up businesses.

The council also said results from its recent public consultation exercise over schemes will be published soon.

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