BATTLE has commenced for control of the vital and long-delayed Northgate scheme in Chester after a rival development was announced yesterday.
ING Real Estate - dumped by Cheshire West and Chester Council as partners in a scheme which has failed to get off the ground for 12 years - has revealed its own plans for redevelopment of the site, much of which it still owns.
This comes just a week after the local authority declared its intention to go it alone with a proposed scheme it claimed would create 1,600 jobs and include a multiplex cinema, retaining a city centre market and enhancing the existing library.
The newly-unveiled rival ING scheme shares many of the same elements including a cinema, refers to a relocated market hall as well as 80 retail units, a major department store and 13 restaurants.
Other elements of the ING scheme include:
580,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space on two main levels
1,100 high quality car spaces – 200 underground and the majority in a multi-storey car park at the north of the site.
In a statement released yesterday, ING said the scheme is designed to address Chester’s retail, leisure and car parking shortcomings, which were the key findings of a detailed research exercise, and to deliver the quality shopping and leisure offer that the Chester shopping public deserves.
A spokesman for ING Real Estate said the plans will shortly be available to view in the Northgate Information Centre in the Forum Shopping Centre.
The spokesman added: “ING has the ability and resources to progress these plans for restoring Chester as a premier shopping city with all the economic and employment benefits a scheme of this magnitude would deliver.”
However, like the CWAC scheme announced last week, ING have not revealed any details as to the cost of the scheme, how it will be funded or what the timescale might be for delivering on its vision.