New plans for the major regeneration of Chester’s Northgate shopping area are being launched for public consultation on 3 December and local residents, businesses community groups and city centre visitors are being encouraged to get involved and have their say.
The proposals for new retail, leisure and residential development will be on display at a three day public exhibition in The Forum shopping centre, next to the Town Hall. Over the three days, the project team will be on hand to discuss this major investment in Chester with as many residents and businesses as possible and hear what they think about the Northgate regeneration proposals.
Visitors are asked to look out for signs in The Forum shopping centre which will direct them to the ‘Northgate Consultation Shop’ and events are being held as follows:
- Thursday 3rd December: 4pm – 8pm
- Friday 4th December: 12pm – 4pm
- Saturday 5th December: 10.30am – 3.30pm
For a month after the staffed exhibitions, the plans will remain in the shop window of the unit and there will be an online consultation running until early January. All of the information that will be shown at this exhibition will also be uploaded to the dedicated project website – www.chesternorthgate.com – through which people can also find contact details for the team and submit their feedback.
Councillor Samantha Dixon, City ward member and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Although Northgate is a long-held aspiration, the masterplan is very much an up-to-date strategy informed by current market demands to ensure it offers the right kind and blend of accommodation to attract prime retailers.
“This major regeneration scheme will complement Chester’s existing retail and leisure offer in order to return the city to its rightful place as a regional retail leader.
“We now want to hear the views of residents, businesses and everyone else with an interest in the future economic success of our city.”
Councillor Stuart Parker, Opposition Spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing, said: “Northgate is critical to ensuring Chester continues to be a successful retail and leisure destination providing a vibrant, contemporary shopping experience with a successful mix of well established brands and high quality independent stores.
“It is vital that people in Chester give us their feedback so we can ensure that these proposals accurately reflect the aspirations of those who live, work in and visit the city.”
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 Chester Northgate scheme by the Council’s development manager (Rivington Land), the Council’s Cabinet approved an updated set of proposals in 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.
David Lewis, Chief Executive of Rivington Land, added: “During the next three months we will be preparing the planning application and we will be taking into account what local people have to say about the scheme we are presenting at the public exhibition. So this is really the best time for people to have their say. We want as many people as possible to submit their views either at the exhibition or through the project website. All the feedback we receive will be carefully analysed and then used by the development team to inform their work on the forthcoming planning application.”
If people have any questions about the proposals prior to the launch on 3rd December, or if they would like to register their interest in being kept informed about the Northgate development, they can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0344 225 0003.