Contributed by Dr A. Drakakis-Smith

Gallowstree Lane

Even before work on the lights and drains at Silverdale Road junction have been completed, work is beginning on a major reconfiguration of the roundabout and roads at the A525 junction with Gallowstree Lane and Cemetery Road.  Already trees and old hedges have been felled on the roundabout, in Gallowstree Lane and Cemetery Road to make way for road widening, much to the dismay of many residents.  This is preparation for a third lane in Gallowstree Lane and a third lane coming down hill from Keele into Cemetery Road.  These detailed plans were available at Keele University in March and after the felling of trees on the roundabout had taken place –  outline planning permission having been given some years ago when the development scheme for Keele had been approved – hence, we are told, the reasons for the lack of consultation at this stage.  However, this should not preclude the accessibility and availability of these plans to view at the Guildhall or on the Staffordshire County or Newcastle Borough Council web sites.  Some residents were concerned that crossing points for pedestrians were quite a way from the points where they might logically want to cross these roads.  Let us hope that the comments made at the exhibition have been taken to heart and will be enacted on the plan.
The development at Keele is large scale with 74 acres or thereabouts already prepared for hi-tech and consultancy industries.  The roads have been laid and the street lighting and bus stops have been in place for some time.  We have been told that two plots have been reserved, both by national government as part of their relocation programme, for two government offices, although no-one could say which these would be.

Georgia Pacific Site

The developer, whose plans were recently approved for the Georgia Pacific site in the near heart of Newcastle, is making another application to the Council.  This will be to waive the £63,374 contribution to the Newcastle Transport and Development Strategy (NTADS) which was promised seemingly as part of the permission granted.  The case will be heard at a forthcoming meeting of the Planning Committee when further details of the financial position of the company will be revealed.

The Stone Wall (episode 999)

An agreement has been reached, finally, and a promise made by Persimmon Homes to rebuild the stone bridge parapet which was demolished 18 months ago,
along the A525 at Thistleberry Parkway and outside its housing development.  Unfortunately the metal barrier will not be removed but a wall will be built in front of it.  Materials, height and depth have yet to be agreed but a meeting has been promised within the next week to finalise matters so that work can proceed.  Residents are anxious that the replacement wall be as similar as possible to that which was removed particularly in terms of height and width.  Unfortunately, the stone was removed from the site so the chance of replicating the stone, exactly, are regrettably slim.