THE proposed multi-million pound redevelopment of Crewe town centre will see dozens of shops and offices bulldozed to make way for a new shopping complex.
Design plans were revealed to the public for the first time yesterday, showing developer Modus Properties intends to cut a huge swathe through the heart of the town, reaching from Victoria Street south to the new Phoenix Leisure Park and from Queensway to the east across to Flag Lane.
Landmarks earmarked for demolition include the dated 1950s L-shaped Queensway parade and bus station, the Delamere Street Health Centre and the Wellington and Delamere House office blocks.
They will be replaced with a shopping centre comprising a department store and up to 30 other retail units, with a new 'high street' running diagonally through the middle of the complex from Victoria Street to Delamere Street.
A new bus station will be built opposite the present site on what is now Delamere House car park, with Delamere House itself making way for a new 10-storey L-shaped office block.
New apartments will be built stretching out towards Flag Lane, with a multi-storey car park attached to the shopping complex where Wellington House now stands.
With the £200m project adding to the regeneration jigsaw begun by the Phoenix Leisure Park and Dunwoody Way housing development, Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council leader Peter Kent said he was excited by the pace of change in the town.
He said: 'I don't think it is any exaggeration to say this is the biggest thing to happen to Crewe town centre in half a century.'
Anthony Kilbride, director of projects at Modus, said: 'This is certainly one of the biggest projects undertaken.
'We have been in negotiations with the council for the past six months and look forward to hearing their decision by November.'
ONE of the first members of the public to view the plans, Dave Williams, 65, of Davenport Avenue, Crewe, said he was impressed by what he saw.
He said: 'It looks good. Obviously a lot more thought and work will go into it and we don't yet know which shops will be coming to the town, but as long as everyone is in agreement it should be just what the town needs.'
Modus has already bought the land and buildings and intends to redevelop pending planning permission, with current tenants put on short-term leases.
Plans to relocate county and borough council departments from Wellington and Delamere House are currently being discussed, and land has been earmarked for a new medical centre off Dunwoody Way.
THE public can give their views on the plans at further consultation days taking place at the Lyceum Theatre, Heath Street, Crewe, on Monday, September 19, from 2-7.15pm, and Tuesday, September 20, from 10am-7.15pm.
In the meantime, the plans can be viewed at the Municipal Buildings and Access Shop in Earle Street, and views may be submitted to the council in writing.