More shops, eateries and hundreds of parking spaces could be destined for Cheshire Oaks as part of a master-plan to ‘modernise and refurbish’ the retail haven.
Shopping centre bosses have revealed their grand vision in documents submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council in support of their planning application.
Aside from the host of new retail and restaurant units, the raft of proposals include a replacement visitor centre, a new ‘futuristic’ children’s play area and a multi-functional community space billed as ‘a first for Cheshire Oaks’ which would be a focal area for events held on site.
A design and access statement by Leonard Design Architects reveals that around 330 jobs – 250 of which it is hoped will come from Cheshire West and Chester, with 200 being residents living in the Ellesmere Port postcode – would be created if the scheme is approved.
The main access routes to the site are slated to remain the same, but new entrances and exits to the car park, as well as 300 more parking spaces, form part of the plans to better cope with the outlet village’s 8,000,000 annual visitors.
Residents of Stanney Grange and Wolverham may be pleased to hear their shopping trips could become a lot easier thanks to a proposed footbridge which would provide a direct link between the housing areas and Cheshire Oaks.
“To remain successful the centre must evolve and reinvest, if it is to meet and exceed the customer expectations,” the statement says.
“That’s why a series of improvements are proposed that will modernise and refurbish the centre, giving an improved customer experience, whilst also ensuring Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet maintains its leading edge, pulling itself ahead of its commercial competitors.”
If the changes and additions receive the green light, the work would be undertaken in a number of phases over a three-year period to keep disruption to a minimum.
According to the planning statement, the total increase in retail space amounts to 15 new units and six kiosks, while the food and beverage offering would include two new units and three kiosks.
It explains: “The proposals are for a responsible continued investment in a regionally significant retail destination responding to customer demand and consumer preferences.
“To achieve this, customer facilities are to be doubled in size, new toilets added, play equipment enhanced and new parking facilities provided.”