Having concluded that ING was unlikely to deliver its scheme, the Council terminated its agreement with ING in February 2012. The Council also undertook a significant investment in the redevelopment of Northgate by acquiring all of ING’s land interests, which included The Forum Shopping Centre.
The ‘One City Plan’
At the same time, the Council worked closely with local stakeholders to prepare the ‘One City Plan’ – a document that sets out an overarching vision and a development framework for the city.
The plan guides development in the city and has seen over £194m invested to date, delivering major projects including One City Place, King Charles Tower Green and Chester Bus Interchange.
The Council commissioned a new concept scheme and masterplan of its own for Northgate which were approved in late 2015. In line with the early phases of the scheme, both Storyhouse and the new bus interchange opened in 2017.
During 2018 the economic uncertainty in the retail market led to the Council reviewing its original plans for Northgate. It subsequently decided to pursue the development of an initial ‘leisure’ phase whilst postponing the remainder of the development to later phases.
Despite having a compulsory purchase order confirmed in 2018, the council has fully committed to this scheme by acquiring all of the land needed to complete the scheme by agreement.