Cheshire West and Chester Council is moving forward with the look and feel of the designs for the first phase of the Chester Northgate scheme, which will see a new market, six-screen cinema, public square and car park in the heart of the city centre.
AHR architects, whose lead architect is also a local resident, are in the process of working up detailed designs and the Council is keen to get the views of local residents and interested groups on the proposals as they begin to emerge.
A shop unit in The Forum will be open for people to drop-in and give their views.
Unit 7 will be open from Wednesday 20 February for people to learn more about the background to the Northgate development and have their say on the look and feel of the emerging plans. The shop will open Monday, Wednesday mornings 9am to noon, Friday afternoons 1pm to 5pm and every Saturday morning from 9am to 12 noon.
In addition a number of informal sessions are being held with interested groups of people such as market traders, representatives from the creative and arts sectors, the Older People’s Network and the business community, etc.
The Council secured planning permission in 2016 for the relocation of the existing market currently operating within The Forum, together with a new six-screen cinema above the new building. In addition plans were secured to make changes to the old library building which will become an arcade providing connections from Town Hall Square to the new public square. Some minor amendments to the approved scheme will be submitted via a Section 73 planning application and detailed design for a new multi-storey carpark next to St Martin’s Way will be submitted via a full planning application.
Detailed drawings will be worked up for public consultation from 20 March to 8 April where the public and all interested parties will be asked to formally record their views before the planning application submission at the end of May.
Building on the phenomenal success of Storyhouse, Chester Northgate will bolster the city’s leisure and culture offer, as well as providing more jobs in the heart of Chester. The scheduled start on site for enabling works will be late autumn, with a full start on site in early 2020.
Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, Councillor Brian Clarke, said: “The Northgate development has been through a number of variations over the years but now the Council is leading we are really clear about what we want to deliver for the city in this first phase. It’s important that we give people an opportunity to share their thoughts with us, particularly on the look and feel of the development. We have the opportunity to create a fantastic new 21stcentury market for the city, building on the success of our existing market.
“We have kitted out a shop in The Forum with the background to the Northgate development along with emerging images and want to encourage people to drop-in and share their thoughts with us in the coming weeks and months.”
An application can be made under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to vary or remove conditions associated with a planning permission. One of the uses of a section 73 application is to seek a minor material amendment, where there is a relevant condition that can be varied.