A report was presented on behalf of the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment to update Cabinet on proposals for the preparation and delivery of two specific projects within the regeneration programme and to request authorisation to carry out a public engagement exercise in relation to these projects.
Regular reports were received by Cabinet outlining progress on current transport and regeneration projects or setting proposals to develop such schemes. A ‘pipeline’ of projects was actively planned and managed by the Council, which was completing the Woodville - Swadlincote Regeneration Route and the infrastructure to support the expansion of Ashbourne Airfield Industrial Estate, as well as enabling works to bring forward the Hollis Lane Link Road Phase 1.
The Council also had a number of projects which were progressing through the ‘development stage’ and Cabinet had previously agreed to support preparatory work on the Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route, the South Derby Growth Zone and Ashbourne Relief Road and to the use of the dedicated Regeneration Kickstart Fund to ‘pump prime’ the preparatory work.
Current projects included potential schemes for development and construction, including improving access to Shirebrook; addressing transport problems on the A61 and bringing forward a solution to Swarkestone Bridge at significant risk of damage. A full review of the forward pipeline was underway, with work being carried out to assess and confirm a prioritised programme of projects.
To ensure progress was maintained, approval was sought to undertake specific activity:
Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route (CSRR) - the next approval stage, the Outline Business Case, was expected to be submitted in the final quarter of the current financial year and needed to demonstrate that an appropriate level of stakeholder and public engagement had taken place. The CSRR was protected against other land use that would prevent construction of the scheme.
Recent work had identified a number of detailed points on which there was legitimate public interest - where the proposed Route crossed the River Rother and the Chesterfield Canal, Works Road south of Barrow Hill and where it met Hall Lane and the A6192 Ireland Close at Staveley, where flood zone protection was also an issue.
A61 South of Chesterfield - work was being taken forward by in-house resources and was supported by previously-commissioned work already carried out and was closely interfaced between the A61 work and elements of the Clay Cross Town Investment Plan. The recent introduction of signalised junction improvements and real-time bus passenger information along the A61 was likely to be followed by further similar projects including a possible link across or through the Avenue site to the A617 or a potential scheme to address traffic levels and congestion through the centre of Clay Cross.
Cabinet noted that the Clay Cross Town Investment Plan had to fulfil its own public engagement and any approach taken by the Council to engage the public needed to avoid duplication or confusion. Recent experience showed that virtual formats were very effective in engaging groups of people and could help secure wider take up.
RESOLVED - that Cabinet (1) notes the on-going development and delivery of the regeneration pipeline and pending report to Cabinet due in the New Year; and (2) approves that public engagement be carried out on key aspects of the proposed Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route and traffic issues on the A61 South of Chesterfield as set out in the report.