The authors of a letter signed by more than 120 business people concerned about the future of the £300m Northgate Development in Chester are keen to have a private meeting with council leaders to discuss the issue.
The open letter was handed to Cheshire West and Chester Council last month, calling for a major rethink of the Northgate scheme.
Tim Kenney of Kenneymoore property consultants and Guy Butler, co-founder of property firm Glenbrook and ex-chairman of Chester Growth Partnership, penned the letter to council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon and deputy chief executive Charlie Seward.
Ms Dixon and Mr Seward replied in defence of the development and invited Mr Kenney and Mr Butler to meet with council officers to debate their concerns - a meeting the businessmen are now eager to see take place.
They have written back to the council leader and deputy chief executive saying: “Unfortunately, recent events at House of Fraser have materialised exactly as we expected and one would hope that your officers and development managers have a contingency plan.
“We would very much like to take you up on your offer to meet and discuss the major issues, and we would welcome an early meeting - the Grosvenor Hotel have very kindly offered to host us. Please can you advise who you propose should constitute your ‘team’ for this meeting?”
Mr Kenney and Mr Butler say they would welcome the attendance of new chief executive Andrew Lewis although it is not yet clear when Mr Lewis is due to take up his new role.
They added: “Our aim is to be as clear as possible with the intent, the purpose of our meeting being to identify and agree on a structured way forward to ensure the very best sustainable, affordable and viable outcome for Chester is achieved.
“While this exchange has thus far been conducted in the public domain we suggest that the meeting itself should be conducted in private, hopefully with an agreed public statement at the end of it, summarising agreed outcomes.
“We truly hope that these important issues can be fully addressed, debated and actioned without delay.”
Despite the recent news that House of Fraser no longer plan to be part of the Northgate scheme, the council has remained resolute in its determination to see the development become a reality.
Leader of the council, Cllr Samantha Dixon, said: “As we’ve said previously the council would be pleased to meet with Mr Kenney and Mr Butler to discuss the Northgate project plans. There is much we agree on, not least the fact that we are all striving for the same end - a sustainable and vibrant Chester with a bright and prosperous future.
“It’s important and invaluable to share our plans and capture the views of everyone who has an interest in the success of Northgate in an open and constructive manner, something we have done both in relation to this project and throughout the development and delivery of the wider One City Plan.
“The council will work to find a mutually convenient date and location for a meeting in the near future.”