A DEVELOPER is defying the credit crunch by preparing to start building new homes in Chester.
Morris Homes has gained planning permission for a revised more traditional scheme at Tower Wharf by Telford’s Warehouse on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Morris spokeswoman Sarah Shimwell said: “We have now started to clear the site ready for building work to begin.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council has approved an amended plan with redesigned frontages for five five-storey buildings comprising 112 apartments and ground floor shops plus 26 three-storey town houses.
Planning board B chairman Cllr Andrew Storrar said: “Members were happy with the more traditional plans for the project and voted in favour of them by eight votes to one.“
The previous planning application was for a more radical contemporary design including metal wall-cladding panels while the new one is of a more traditional approach using brick facing walls, pitched slate roofs but containing contemporary elements.
Meanwhile, developer CTP, which owns part of the site, is still waiting for the commercial property market to pick up having gained permission for three office buildings which will ultimately provide 8,000 sq ft at the location.
Spokesman Andrew Kingsley said: “We will undertake a marketing campaign but at this moment in time we have not got any interest. We will not be building speculatively.”
City MP Christine Russell has been waiting 20 years for the regeneration scheme which could eventually create up to 500 jobs.
Had it not been for delays, it could have been built in 2005, before the onset of the recession.
Jez Horrill, landlord of Telford’s Warehouse, said: “It will bring new people to the area and hopefully increase new business and that’s got to be good – to give the place some sort of vibrancy.”
He is looking forward to the offices being built which will benefit his lunch-time and early evening trade.