Stocksbridge’s future

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Residents and businesses alike want what is best for Stocksbridge. But after reading about council plans to throw more support behind developers through compulsory purchase orders and grant applications it makes us all wonder who is being supported.

If it is the intention to regenerate and build a new town centre then let everyone work together to create it but please don’t let a retail park simply take its place.

Surely working with the community and incorporating people’s needs is a far better way of spending European Regional Development Funds.

Where is the funding and support for small independent businesses to help them grow? It is these that will lose out; some have already closed. Why is the council simply supporting Stocksbridge Regeneration Company, set up by Dransfield Properties and Gallagher Developments.

What happened to the steering group promised by Sheffield council for businesses and the community? To date this has not happened and consultations have only been a matter of course.

There’s been no reassurance to alleviate local concerns and to get everyone working together towards creating something special for the valley. That would have been a far better way to spend funding.

What happened to the government promise of community involvement?

So much more could have been achieved if Stocksbridge had been given more support and been directly involved in an action plan, as did Kelham which is a good example of revitalising an industrial area, bringing together its proud history for the growth and development of its residential and business communities and encouraging tourism.

All this could have been part of Stocksbridge’s regeneration plan with our own steel heritage and the creation of our own heritage link.

A major issue is building on a flood plane. We all know about the 2007 floods. I just hope, for the sake of residents who will eventually live and work in the valley bottom, that it never happens again.

We haven’t even mentioned bringing back the trains (or tram-train, now it exists) to Stocksbridge, highways issues or saving our ancient public rights of way that the developers want to remove, but these issues are still ongoing with many others.

T Martin, Stocksbridge

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