Public consultation on the proposed Chester Northgate retail and leisure-led development will be commencing later this year.
Details of the proposals will be put on display at a public exhibition at the beginning of December, with this information also being made available on a dedicated project website – www.chesternorthgate.com – which will be continually updated over the coming months.
It will initially provide information about the development team and forthcoming consultation activities, as well as asking people to register their interest if they wish to be kept informed with the scheme’s progress. Nearer to the time of the public exhibitions, plans and a full explanation of the scheme will be added to the site, along with an online questionnaire and details of the other ways in which people can ask questions or submit their views.
As well as consulting the public, the development team will also be consulting key stakeholders and local interest groups over the next few months.
This £300m project is a long-held strategic objective of Cheshire West and Chester Council. As well as new shopping (including a department store), a multi-screen cinema, cafés and restaurants, the development will deliver an improved local market, new homes above some of the shops and car parking.
Following a review of the scheme by the Council’s development manager (Rivington Land), the Council’s Cabinet approved an updated set of proposals last month (September 2015) which will now be the subject of public consultation, prior to a planning application being submitted in spring next year (2016). In this revised scheme, the existing Crowne Plaza hotel will be replaced by a new hotel on another part of the site. That move will allow for an improved shopping layout to be created, including a new department store to be developed on the site of the existing hotel.
Councillor Samantha Dixon, City Ward Member and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The start of pre-planning consultation and engagement with the local community is an important phase in the continuing development of the Northgate scheme. We are keen to hear a wide range of local views on this vital investment which will shape the centre of the city for years ahead. It is important that the development takes full account of the views of our local people and I would encourage all Chester residents to get involved in the consultation when it starts later this year; either by attending a public event, responding online via the Northgate web site or using the Freepost leaflets that will be distributed to local households.”
Councillor Stuart Parker, the Council’s Opposition Spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing, said: “It is welcome news that the proposed Northgate scheme will soon be ready for public consultation and at that time I would encourage local people to get involved and contribute positively to the discussion about the masterplan proposals.”
David Lewis, Chief Executive of Rivington Land, added: “Over the next few months, the feedback we receive from local people will be carefully analysed and used by the development team to help shape the proposals as we prepare to submit a planning application next spring. The forthcoming consultation offers a great opportunity for people to have their say and help to ensure that the Chester Northgate development delivers the best possible outcome for Chester.”
Full details of the upcoming events and how people can get involved will be widely advertised in the coming weeks by communication and consultation experts GL Hearn, who will be supporting the Council and Rivington Land. In the meantime if people would like to speak to a member of the project team or register their interest in being updated on progress, they can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0344 225 0003.