PEOPLE are being urged to help drive Chester to a bright and successful future.
Today (Thursday), Professor Steven Broomhead – the man chosen to lead the next phase of Chester’s regeneration – launched a 12-week consultation on the draft ‘One City Plan’ (OCP).
The OCP, which is about celebrating the city’s strengths and shaping the type of city Chester aspires to become, is open for discussion and views and ideas to improve the plan are being welcomed.
Professor Broomhead, chairman of Chester Renaissance, said: “The plan combines the collective thinking of a council determined to restore Chester to its former glories, the recent Urban Land Institute study, ongoing engagement with every section of Chester society - and the results of the brand vision exercise.
“We have a substantial discussion document which will provide the creative springboard of an exciting vision and programme for the future – a vision that all people of Chester can help shape and own.”
OCP identifies four key themes that will shape Chester’s future and suggests priority actions which will help deliver the next successful chapter in the city’s history.
The outcome will create a city that ‘stands apart from its neighbours’ by making the best of its unique assets; a centre of culture and history; a leading knowledge based business –hub and quality retail centre.
The draft looks at all areas of the city centre – including the historic core, Northgate Development and the Business, Cathedral and Artisans quarter – and details improvements for the Castle Gateway, Groves/riverfront, and amphitheatre, the Old Port, Gorse Stacks and Barrs areas.
And it includes a timeline chart detailing the proposed phasing of all potential proposals – although it is emphasised that this also is a basis for discussion and does not represent a fixed programme.
Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member, prosperity, added: “It has been said that Chester is at the crossroads of its history. The One City Plan will help us choose the right path to improve quality of life for everyone.
“The Urban Land Institute concluded that Chester was a city of ‘immense and unrealised potential’. Of that there is no doubt. We urge everyone to help us realise this latent promise with their own thoughts and ideas on our vision for the future.”
Professor Broomhead will head a new strategic board.
The board will direct and commission all aspects of the drive to transform Chester into a world-class destination, including marketing, city management, arts, events and investment support.
The One City Plan key themes are:
People and Communities
By addressing the issues identified in the City of Now, and producing an effective response to the opportunities to drive Chester forward, the City of the Future has the potential to deliver the next successful chapter in
Chester will focus on enhancing the health and wellbeing of residents.
Effective planning for the growth in the number of older people.
Support the city’s development as a low carbon economy.
Deliver a supply of new homes to meet the needs and demands of existing and future residents and families.
Improve resident and visitor safety and perceptions at all times of day and evening.
Business and Investment
Chester will improve and enhance its role as a knowledge-based, high value business hub-growing enterprise within the city centre and establishing the reputation of Chester as a place ‘open for business’.
Chester must stand apart from its regional and closest comparable competitors. The city has its own unique identity, which it must grow to flourish and realise its potential as a home, an international visitor destination, a place to study and a regional business hub.
The aim is to safeguard and invest in Chester’s rich history.
Movement and Accessibility
The City of the Future will result in the need to cater for more people wanting to both access and move around the city centre.
The aim is to improve the public transport network and links with the rail station.
Improve the Park and Ride offer.
Locate car parks on strategic corridors or at gateways and sign them effectively.
Within the city centre, the key pedestrian footfall streets and corridors must have priority. These routes must be the core links of a pedestrian ‘super-highway’ network.
Continue to encourage cycling throughout the city and use ‘green’ corridors.
Address parts of the inner ring road at key pedestrian and public transport crossing points.
Professor Broomhead added: “Chester has all of the key ingredients, but has reached a period in its history that suggests it is need of reflection, review and focus. We all have a role to play in its evolution and implementation.”