Council set to reject Crewe retail park

Proposals by developer Clowes for a 50,000 sq ft retail park and housing project off Mill Street in Crewe have been recommended for refusal when Cheshire East’s Southern planning committee meets next week.

Designed by architect Corstorphine + Wright, the scheme includes three large retail units, 281 car parking spaces, and outline proposals for a housing development to the north of the nine-acre site alongside the railway.

The occupiers for the retail element are Lidl in a 24,000 sq ft unit, and B&M in a 23,000 sq ft unit.

The application also includes an outline submission for up to 53 homes neighbouring a nearby Wickes store. According to a planning and retail statement from Plan A, these would be a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses.

Plans for development of a similar scale were previously approved by Cheshire East, but the delivery of the scheme was put on hold due to the proposed HS2 Masterplan, which outlined what land would be needed to deliver the high-speed rail link in the town.

The planners said it “has taken some time for the conclusion to be drawn that the application site will not be required to deliver HS2,” and this led to the previous outline planning permission to expire in 2016.

Plans for the scheme were resubmitted late last year, but Cheshire East planning officers have now recommended the scheme for refusal, following a mixed reaction from local stakeholders.

Crewe Town Council has opposed the plans, arguing the development “misses the opportunity” to create a “high quality development linking the station to the town centre”.

The town council also said the design of the scheme was “inoffensive but without any attempt to reflect local character or excellence in contemporary design”, and criticised its lack of a “more direct, open and attractive [pedestrian] route” to the site.

However, at a series of public consultations held last summer, 85% of attendees were found to be in favour of the development with only 4% against the proposals.

In their report to Cheshire East Council, planning officers agreed with the town council’s assessment that the proposals did not link well with the railway station and town centre.

The report said the scheme was “consistent” with Crewe’s local plan in terms of land use, but argued the scheme “would not reflect the existing character of the area” and would not “provide an active frontage to Mill Street”.

“The proposal provides no reference [or] response to Crewe’s railway heritage”, added the report. “No attempt had been made to reflect the heritage element nor does the red brick character of the area feature.”

Planners concluded the benefits of the proposal, including job creation, the regeneration of a brownfield site, and the creation of open market homes, was outweighed by the “poor design” and a lack of a link between the railway and the town centre.

Cheshire East’s Southern planning committee is due to discuss the proposals on 7 February.

Corstophine + Wright was approached for comment.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

I smell an appeal…

By PJ & Duncan

Perhaps the scheme should have been designed to be offensive in order to ‘attempt to reflect local character’?

By Bungle

Well no surprise that once again we are let down by any new development in crewe . Surely job creation and new builds are better than waste land. Crewe is a disgrace at the moment I’m ashamed to say where I live. Something needs to be done and fast

By Anonymous

Cheshire east are very shortsighted this is what crewe needs.

By Lyn

Leave it as it to reflect the town’s existing character of the area – a dump. I’m ashamed of Crewe.

By Anonymous

To attract people into Crewe we need quality shops. Over the years we have lost all to cheap retail. Let’s have a John Lewis or a mixed fashion shop/outlet like the one they have on the fe
Festival park. I have lived here all my life and I have to say I am completely ashamed of where I live. This will then attract people from outside the town.

By Ann

C.East give planning consent for 300k houses on Green sites when locals object but will not allow a plan that regenerates the area, provides both jobs and affordable housing. Also the majority of those consulted agree with the plan. This typical of CE

By Richard Lawrie

I find it ironic the council are worried at the railway history of Crewe. Nearly any thing to do with the railways has gone. I think a lot of people would support the plans

By Michael barker

Nothing surprises me about Cheshire East when it comes to Crewe’s redevelopment, as they will stop at nothing to stop it happening!!!!!!!@

By Anthony Hill

A dying northern town once again let down by an out of touch Cheshire East Council and an even more out of touch Town council . Utter disgrace , just like the new bus station we’ve been waiting nearly 20 odd years for . They both need to hang there heads in shame and embarrassment.

By Anonymous

Unbelievable. The area has been like a bomb-site for the past 20 years and
nearly 90% of the residents think the scheme is the best thing that could
happen in the area. Do we have to wait another 20 years whilst the Council
waits for another proposal. Approve this scheme or sack the lot

By David Jones

It’s not expensive to provide some good robust public realm to enliven this scheme. Decent public realm with some places to sit and rest, some nicer paving to make the scheme legible. Some better trees and planting too.
All could all be achieved with some minor modifications without reducing the parking spaces. So why not?

By Adam Ash

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below