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Community Planning Weekend helps to shape a vision for landmark Rugeley redevelopment
Over 400 people contributed to a Community Planning Weekend held at Rugeley’s Mansefield House, marking the first major step in the public consultation phase of the planned Rugeley Power Station redevelopment.
The weekend, which enabled members of the public to contribute to the shaping of a vision for the redevelopment, followed ENGIE’s recent announcement that it will retain ownership and a long-term interest in the 139-hectare site.
Local residents, community groups and political representatives - including MP for Cannock Chase Amanda Milling - attended the event, which was advertised locally and open to all members of the community. Hosted by ENGIE (Rugeley Power Station site owner) and JTP (ENGIE’s appointed architects and urban designers), the weekend enabled visitors to take part in facilitated workshops and hands-on planning groups, view an exhibition of the current Power Station site, meet members of the redevelopment project team and share local knowledge.
A Report Back session (held on Tuesday 4th December), summarised community priorities: concluding that the redevelopment has the potential to create a ‘once in a lifetime’ transformative impact for Rugeley and the surrounding area.
The Report Back session also highlighted several key themes from the weekend’s wide-ranging community discussions: People felt it was important that future ambitions for the site were planned in balance with a retained sense of heritage for the sites’ past. There was strong sentiment that the mixed-use redevelopment would need to become home to a multi-generational community by providing opportunity and tailored facilities (including community hub and local amenities) for all. The regeneration was also recognised as a potential catalyst for local economic growth, with attention drawn to the need for employment space to provide good quality jobs for local people. Also, the discussions acknowledged the importance of connecting the new development with its surroundings to complement the town of Rugeley. Many also highlighted the positive impact that the creation of open access to existing lakes and a country park adjacent to the River Trent could have, something which could also boost numbers of visitors to the area.
ENGIE’s Project Manager for the proposed development, Chris Riches commented:
“It was pleasing to see such high levels of enthusiasm and interest across the weekend. It is important for the redevelopment project team to engage and work together with the local community to shape the masterplan for the Rugeley site. We want people to share our vision of the creation of a new landmark in placemaking and sustainable living.”
JTP’s Community Planning Partner Charles Campion commented:
“The Community Planning Weekend is just one of a number of ways for the community to help shape the proposals for the site. No two projects which JTP work on are ever the same and it is important to hear the views of a wide range of local stakeholders to co-create a tailored plan for the site: to shape it into a place that works for everybody.”
ENGIE and JTP will now help set up a community forum to refine plans for the site and provide a platform for further local discussion about the future of the town. Called the ‘Renaissance Forum’, the first meeting will be held on 30 January 2019 and include an exhibition in March 2019, ahead of a planning submission later in the spring. Further details will be available on jtp.co.uk/projects/rugeley