Campaigners are calling for a proposed £20 million development on Burton's Bargates site should include leisure facilities for families, including a bowling alley and ice rink.

The seven-acre Bargates site in the town centre could be built on with a plan for 140 houses, along with two shops is approved.

However, developers behind the project have are being called on to include things which will entice visitors into the town in search of leisure activities.

Jessup Build Development has applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council for permission to build the development on the site which sits between High Street and the River Trent, near the Meadowside Leisure Centre.

The scheme will include 72 sheltered apartments, 24 private apartments and 44 houses. There will be two shops and roads will be installed on the site.

When asked by the Burton Mail to comment on campaigners' concerns, the firm's managing director Clive Jessup pointed out that the town already has a cinema.

He also noted that there was a bowling green at Meadowside Leisure Centre, which he claimed was "barely used".

Bargates Public Consultation at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, where members of the public can view and discuss proposals for the new Bargates
Pictured: Architects preliminary design proposals for what Bargates could look like.
Picture: Simon Deacon Bargates Public Consultation at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, where members of the public can view and discuss proposals for the new Bargates Pictured: Architects preliminary design proposals for what Bargates could look like.

The borough council-run leisure centre could also see its car parking reduced from 179 to 141, which the council and developers say will be enough for the new development.

Campaigners did launched a petition calling on people to "Say no to the Bargates development".

The one-day online petition was set up, and closed on the final day of a consultation event staged by the firm behind the project . The petition attracted 12 names.

Kim Smith, who set up the e-petition claimed there was very little for families to do together in Burton and that the Bargates proposal needed to include entertainment.

She said: "The new Bargates development consists of houses, flats, restaurants and cafes, but we feel it would be better suited to making it more family orientated.

"As one of the roads into our town we feel it would not entice people to come into the main town if the first thing they see is a housing complex.

Bargates Public Consultation at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, where members of the public can view and discuss proposals for the new Bargates
Pictured: Ian Jackson - Jessups Consultant, Kim Guttridge - Burton Civic Society, Clive Jessup - MD of Jessup Build Develop, Steve Faizey - Principle Architect
Pictured: Ian Jackson, Jessups consultant, Kim Guttridge, Burton Civic Society, Clive Jessup - managing director of Jessup Build Develop, and Steve Faizey, principle architect at the consultation event

"We need something that will bring people back to the town, such as a brand new up-to-date bowling alley, lazer quest, roller world, a trampoline park, such as Rebound in Ashby, a massive outdoor ice rink in the winter, assault courses or sand pit in the summer, soft play area, band stand, trips on the river.

"All these things work so well everywhere else. Let us get people coming back to Burton, spending their money in their own town and leading to visitors wanting to come to Burton.

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Time Line

Burton's Bargates

  1. MARCH 2004

    Council admits the Riverside Leisure Centre, known as Bargates, had become an embarrassment with just a few units open, including Superbowl 200 which still had 14 years on its lease and had 'no desire to move'.

  2. SEPTEMBER 2004

    The council reveals a cafe quarter plan for Bargates with accommodation, bars, cafe and a hotel.

  3. MAY 2005

    The Mail exclusively reveals that the council has lined up a deal with Tesco, which would see Bargates turned into a giant Tesco Extra store. The deal in principle included Tesco paying the council £8 million towards the cost of a new leisure centre to replace the Meadowside, which would have been demolished under the plans.

  4. AUGUST 2007

    One of the last remaining units on Riverside, Indian restaurant Manzil, moves to the former Ocean nightclub, off Guild Street, where it remains to this day.

  5. AUGUST 19, 2007

    Superbowl 2000 closes to make way for the Tesco development. At the time Superbowl owner Jerry Hodges said he was keen to relocate and was looking for a site in Burton.

  6. DECEMBER 2007

    The council pulls out of a deal with Tesco to demolish the neighbouring Meadownside Leisure Centre due to sky-rocketing costs. An application for the Riverside Centre is still expected to be submitted.

  7. FEBRUARY 2008

    Arsonists strike at former Superbowl 2000.

  8. NOVEMBER 2008

    A Tesco plan to build nine glass-fronted retail units on the site is unanimously rejected by council planners after the scheme is branded as "unimaginative".

  9. DECEMBER 1, 2009

    Three options are listed for Bargates' future: a residential-led redevelopment, a retail-led redevelopment or a mixture of both.

  10. MAY 30, 2010

    Tesco indicates a willingness to relinquish the site and move to the former Condor site, which never came to fruition. Proposals are put forward for a mix of retail, office and residential buildings, including a hotel overlooking the River Trent.

  11. JUNE 3, 2010

    Tesco installs large wooden boards to screen the eyesore from public view.

  12. JUNE 15, 2010

    East Staffordshire Borough Council announces its intention to appoint a developer by the end of 2010.

  13. SEPTEMBER 21, 2010

    Tesco's board of directors agrees the sale of the site to East Staffordshire Borough Council for £4 million.

  14. APRIL 12, 2011

    Meanwhile, Tesco is given permission for a superstore in Hawkins Lane. This plan never came to fruition after financial difficulties led Tesco to put the site up for sale.

  15. FEBRUARY 2, 2012

    Demolition begins at the Bargates site.

  16. MAY 28, 2012

    The council announces Bargates will be turned into a 'village green'.

  17. JULY 4 2012

    The council puts up 'The Bargates Job' on the site.

  18. FEBRUARY 21, 2013

    The council announces it has full ownership of Bargates and it is up for sale – maintaining the preferred mixed use option in a bid to attract developers.

  19. JULY 15, 2014

    Councillors reveal plans to spend part of a £1.5 million grant on making Bargates more attractive. It came after work started to improve the appearance of shops opposite, to show the authority was keen to regenerate High Street.

  20. MAY 2015

    Councillor Richard Grosvenor, leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, said the authority was hoping to work in partnership with other agencies to bring sheltered housing to the site.

  21. JANUARY 2016

    A major developer is in talks to buy Bargates but discussions break down in March.

  22. AUGUST 2016

    Contractors were spotted drilling on the site to ascertain the site's development costs.

  23. SEPTEMBER 2016

    It is revealed a deal has been struck for offices and extra-care facilities on Bargates.

  24. AUGUST 2017

    Developer Jessup Build Develop reveals a planning application could be submitted in September.

  25. December 2017

    Jessup Build Develop submit planning application to East Staffordshire Borough Council

  26. January 2018

    Jessup Build Develop hold public consultation at Meadowside Leisure Centre. Burton Civic Society formally objects to the proposals

"How many of us travel out of Burton to do things as a family? Our young people are our future and they have been let down so much. Let us provide something for them and their families."

Jessup Build Development has decided not to comment on the petition until it has considered all of the comments following submitted during the consultation period, which ended on January 31.

Bargates Shopping Centre looking across the forecourt in June1968

A spokesman said: "We are in the process of collating the comments from the public presentation and we will give due consideration to the petition when we go through consultee responses."

Mr Jessup previously said that entertainment such as re-enactments could be staged on the public space on the site overlooking the River Trent.

His comments come after Burton Civic Society said it felt the housing project was "entirely inappropriate" for its "unique riverside location". The group has also officially objected to the plans.

Society members describe Bargates designs as an "architecturally-mediocre, bland and unambitious scheme which will fail to stimulate the night-time economy and attract abuse and anti-social behaviour".

Originally a shopping centre, Bargates' last remaining business, bowling alley Superbowl 2000, closed in 2007 to enable Tesco to build a superstore in its place.

Bargates Public Consultation at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, where members of the public can view and discuss proposals for the new Bargates
Pictured: Architects preliminary design proposals for what Bargates could look like.
Picture: Simon Deacon Bargates Public Consultation at the Meadowside Leisure Centre, where members of the public can view and discuss proposals for the new Bargates Pictured: Architects preliminary design proposals for what Bargates could look like.

However, the borough council rejected the supermarket chain's proposal due to traffic concerns.

Tesco later moved its application to Hawkins Lane, but axed the plans due to financial struggles.

The Bargates site was finally demolished in 2011 and has since become a designated "village green".