Talking West Cheshire

Community invited to have their say as Barons Quay plans take place

30 April 2012

Northwich residents are being invited to help shape the regeneration of Barons Quay as outline plans are unveiled.

Proposals for the major retail and leisure scheme are expected to be submitted for planning approval this autumn.

And the local community is now being invited to have their say to inform the development of the final design.

The outline plans have been developed by Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Weaver Valley Partnership Board following public consultation into the development framework.

Proposals for the 25-acre site include a smaller food store than previously suggested within the mixture of food and non-food retail outlets.

A cinema, restaurants, cafes and high-quality public realm spaces are included in the outline plans, while potential for housing and a hotel is being explored.

The public engagement exercise launches tomorrow with a staffed exhibition at the Memorial Hall from 4-8pm.

This will be followed by a staffed mobile exhibition at Barons Quay car park on Friday from 10am-4pm and Saturday from 10am-2pm.

Following these exhibitions, the display will be on public view at Northwich Information Centre from May 8-25. Information will also be available at Northwich Library.

Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “We have listened carefully to the feedback from the local community and the current proposals reflect these comments.

“For example, we are now proposing to reduce the size of the food store by 20 percent in response to concerns that it was too large.

“As the plans develop we are continuing to liaise with potential tenants. We have already had significant interest from a number of major cinema operators, food stores, shops and restaurants.

“Our priority is to regenerate Barons Quay in a way that complements the surrounding areas, and strong links to Witton Street, the River Weaver and Carey Park will be a key element of the final design.”

Weaver Valley Partnership Chairman Geoff Hope-Terry said: “The timescale for getting to this stage has been astonishingly quick and I have the highest praise for everyone who has been working on the project.

“It was just over 18 months ago when the Board first met and the old developer contract, which wasn't going anywhere, was still in place.

“Since then we have taken back control of the site; put together and consulted on outline plans; drawn up a detailed scheme based on the feedback, which is both viable and deliverable; and now we're pushing ahead towards a planning application.

“This is truly amazing and I'm sure Northwich is the envy of a large number of towns around the country who can only dream of moving ahead at this pace.”

Local Councillor Paul Dolan said: “I am sure the people of Northwich will be pleased to eventually see progress being made on regenerating this neglected site.

“Now is the time for residents to tell us what they think so we can fine-tune the proposals to ensure we deliver the development that our town deserves.

“We will be engaging with the local community again in the summer on a final design with the intention of submitting a planning application in the autumn.”

The proposals have been developed by a design team led by project managers Rider Levett Bucknall, with architecture and planning support from Broadway Malyan.

Subject to consent, site works and construction are expected to begin in 2014 with completion estimated in 2016.

Barons Quay plans

Photo caption: An artists’ impression of how the regenerated Barons Quay could look