Published: 29/11/2012 09:00

Restoration proposal for JCB legacy site is revealed

Written byBy James Brindle

PROPOSALS have been unveiled for the restoration of the natural beauty of a stream which will be central to the JCB legacy development in Uttoxeter.

Work is set to begin on the site of the former JCB Heavy Products factory next year — if agreement can be reached on the new proposals for Picknalls Brook with the Environment Agency.

The unveiling of the proposals, which can be seen in this newly released artist’s impression(above), is being seen as an important step forward in the longawaited development on the Pinfold Street site.

A key planning condition which has to be met before the ambitious project, which includes a supermarket, park, offices, a possible new health centre and 257 houses, can go-ahead, is to naturalise the current industrial appearance of Picknall Brook which flows around the edge of the site.

Now plans have been unveiled to achieve a more natural look for the watercourse and consultations have begun with The Environment Agency over their implementation.

The key proposals include:

Realignment of the course of the brook

Creation of a pond area to encourage more diverse wildlife species

Removal of concrete beds and replacement with more natural materials;

Creation of steep banks to encourage breeding of water voles;

Replacement of weirs with riffles and gravel barriers;

Creation of shallow depths to encourage aquatic life

JCB group legal director Michael Hargreaves, who is overseeing the implementation of the scheme for JCB, said: “The unveiling of proposals to naturalise Picknalls Brook is a landmark moment for the redevelopment of the old heavy products site because approval of the plans will enable the scheme to go ahead.

“The consultation process on the plans is now under way with the Environment Agency and we hope to reach agreement with them quickly.” Production at the old heavy products site finished in 2008 and the factory relocated to a new £40 million site next to the A50 in Uttoxeter.

The relocation paved the way for the town centre site to be redeveloped and contribute to the wider renaissance of Uttoxeter.

The digger giant said JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford has been insistent that it’s important the redevelopment of the site leaves a legacy to Uttoxeter.

He instigated a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) design contest to ensure the redevelopment is of the highest standard which was won by London- based McDowell and Benedetti and the proposals for the legacy development were given planning permission in April 2011.

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