ELLESMERE Port’s proposed waterfront development may receive a £1m boost towards the creation of transport routes to link the site with the town centre.
The cycle and pedestrian route infrastructure would provide the 7,000 new homes planned at Ellesmere Port docks with a safe crossing over the M53 motorway.
It would also link the waterfront to employment sites along North Road, including Vauxhall, nearby schools and healthcare centres in Westminster, as well as shops and public transport in the town centre.
Cheshire West and Chester Council, which launched today, is being invited by the Department of Transport to submit an application for the £750,000 funding.
Developers Peel Holdings will provide the remaining £250,000 towards the £1m scheme.
With 30-storey skyscrapers forming the proposal, the waterfront project would be the largest single housing development proposed in the new authority area.
Environment portfolio holder, councillor Neil Ritchie, said: “This is great news for Ellesmere Port. To be one of the 29 transport projects allowed to bid for further funds is a real achievement.
“Safe, green transport facilities are essential to the long-term housing needs in our area.”
The new authority is keen to promote more sustainable ways of travelling, such as walking, cycling and public transport.
Bill Billing, who runs Big Bills Bikes in Whitby Road, is delighted.
He said: “This is encouraging. Ellesmere Port is one of the worst places for cycle lanes so something needs doing. If they provide routes in the town we’d consider hiring out bikes.”
The scheme is part of the Government’s New Growth Point programme, which aims to tackle the national housing shortage by concentrating on derelict and brownfield sites.
Funding of £3.5m has already been allocated to Cheshire West and Chester area after a joint bid by the outgoing district and county councils.
That cash will come on stream between April this year and 2011, when there will be further opportunities for the new council to bid for more funds.