Public consultation on the proposed £300m Chester Northgate retail and leisure-led development will begin later this year.
The long-delayed city centre regeneration scheme will include new retail units, including a department store, multi-screen cinema, cafes and restaurants, an improved market, new homes above some of the shops and car parking.
Details of the plans, centred around the current bus exchange, will be put on display at a public exhibition in early December, with more information available at the Chester Northgate website. People can also register their interest if they wish to be kept informed about the scheme’s progress.
The £300m project is a long-held strategic objective of Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon said: “It is important that the development takes full account of the views of our local people and I would encourage all Chester residents to get involved in the consultation when it starts later this year; either by attending a public event, responding online via the Northgate website or using the Freepost leaflets that will be distributed to local households.”
Nearer to the time of the public exhibitions, plans and a full explanation of the scheme will be added to the website, along with an online questionnaire and details of other ways in which people can ask questions or submit their views. As well as consulting the public, the development team will also be consulting key stakeholders and local interest groups over the next few months.
Cllr Stuart Parker, Tory opposition spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing, said: “It is welcome news that the proposed Northgate scheme will soon be ready for public consultation and at that time I would encourage local people to get involved and contribute positively to the discussion about the masterplan proposals.”
It was following a review of the scheme that the council cabinet approved an updated set of proposals last month (September, 2015) which will be the subject of the public consultation, prior to a planning application being submitted next spring (2016).
In this revised scheme, the existing Crowne Plaza hotel will be replaced by a new hotel on another part of the site. That move will allow for an improved shopping layout to be created, including a new department store to be developed on the site of the existing hotel.
If people would like to speak to a member of the project team or register their interest in being updated on progress, they can do so by emailing email@example.com or calling 0344 225 0003.