Building work will start on the East West centre in 2010. This much needed project will create 2000 essential jobs for the people of our city but will see the end of The Coachmakers Arms (pictured) which will be demolished to make way for the new centre. The regulars of this popular watering hole has fought it's closure and have campaigned hard and have a large petition calling for the pub to be left on it's present site. In my opinion it is essential that this development goes ahead without further delay and it that means that a single public house closes to make way for a three level department store a host of cafes and restaurants, a further 70 shops, a hotel, a multi screen cinema, a new bus station and a large multi-storey car park, then so be it! I do have sympathy for the Coachmakers regulars but feel that we as a city can't halt progress for the sake of a few people who would soon find alternative drinking venues.
This development is also vital for bringing in construction jobs during a period where there is much uncertainty in the building trade. It is essential for our council to ensure that local building workers are recruited by the developers.
Realis managing director Duncan Mathieson, said: "With the quality of our plans we are talking about high street names which are not in a city very much 'under-shopped' at the moment.
"We are very excited. It is a great time for us to lodge this planning application.
"We said in June that this was our goal and some people were concerned given the financial situation.
"But we have stuck to our word, we are committed to this scheme and have done it on time."
Stoke on Trent City Council are now working on linking this exciting development to the existing Potteries Shopping Centre by developing an area of public land and encouraging independent shops and restaurants to open.
This vision and regeneration is vital to the prosperity of our city, facilities like this are needed to attract shoppers and visitors to Stoke and to help us to be competitive with the likes of Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield.
This maybe a controversial statement, but I believe it is true, that regeneration like this would not be possible if this city were run by the likes of the BNP. I do not say this to be antagonistic to this parties supporters, I have said on many occasions that I believe it would be a massive stumbling block for our city if big blue chip companies were forced to negotiate with a party that have extreme policies.
Do you think this development is a good thing for our city? What do you think of the regulars of the Coachmakers campaign?
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