Crewe HS2 hub moves to next stage
Cheshire East is pressing on with plans to build 3.8m sq ft of commercial space along with 3,700 new homes around Crewe station, with its area action plan set to move to a second round of public consultation.
Having already put the plans to the public earlier this year, the council is advancing with a second round of consultation, due to be held in September.
A key part of the scheme focusses on creating a commercial quarter around the station with the council’s aim to attract “knowledge-based, research, and creative-based industries” to the area; Cheshire East is looking to support the creation of 26,000 jobs with 3.8m sq ft of offices and commercial space to support this.
This primarily focusses on a plot either side of Weston Road, bordering the station then moving across Weston Road to reach Gateway Road opposite Crewe Business Park. The plot is also bordered by First Avenue.
As well as offices, the council will also look to bring forward sites for approximately 3,700 homes, focussed around Mill Street between the town centre and the railway station.
An improved retail offering in the area is also proposed with both new and re-purposed space to provide as much as 65,000 sq ft of retail and leisure; however the council has stipulated any retail offering should be convenience focussed with units of no larger than 5,300 sq ft.
These should be “complementary” to the wider offer of Crewe town centre, and will primarily be focussed on activating ground floor space in both commercial and residential developments.
Part of the plans centre around the railway station, including improved access, a southern link road bridge between Gresty Road and Weston Road to take traffic away from the station’s frontage, and better public transport and pedestrian routes; this will feature cycling routes along Nantwich Road, Macon Way, and Crewe Road among others.
The Department for Transport has already committed £9.5m of funding via Network Rail to support development at the station; this will allow it to serve between five and seven HS2 trains per hour.
The council’s vision for the station also includes a new roof and a reconfigured layout along with extended platforms.
Overall, the Crewe Hub Area Action Plan site stretches from Basford Hall sidings, across Weston Road to Second Avenue; along Gresty Road, South Street and Mill Street; and as far as Manchester Bridge along the A532.
Cheshire East’s strategic planning board is set to endorse the outline proposals next week; a public consultation will then follow in September before a final plan is agreed.