A list of buildings has been released that will be demolished to make way for the £300m retail-led Northgate Development if it goes ahead.
The long-delayed Northgate scheme aims to create a new city centre shopping area including a department store, cafes and restaurants, new hotel and conference facilities, new market hall, multi-screen cinema and up to 120 homes.
Plans have just been submitted on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council with a decision likely this autumn although the project needs a financial backer before it can get off the ground.
Demolition work would come in the second phase of the project, forecast for around 2019, which would involve bulldozing the 1960s Forum Shopping Centre incorporating the market hall and the existing Crowne Plaza hotel which would make way for new shops including the department store and residential element.
The 4 star Crowne Plaza replacement, featuring conference facilities, would be built to the north, just a stone’s throw away from the current facility.
Also facing the wrecking ball is the United Services Club in Crook Street; Hamilton House where the Inland Revenue used to be located; Goldsmith House where back-office council departments are based; part of the DIAL House charity in Hamilton Place and lower level residential properties in Trinity Street.
It is predicted the scheme could create up to £37m extra annual spend in Chester, 2,800 full-time equivalent new jobs and 57,200 sq metres of shops, cafes and restaurants plus 961 car parking spaces.
Ben Wrighton, development planning director with GL Hearn, consultants working with the council, said in a letter accompanying the planning application: “GL Hearn has been appointed by Cheshire West and Chester Council (as the applicant) to submit a package of applications which together seek permission for the retail-led mixed use redevelopment of the Northgate area of Chester city centre, the proposed development is to be known as ‘Chester Northgate’.”
Mr Wrighton predicts the scheme will deliver ‘significant benefits’ to Chester as well as the wider city and region.