Ellesmere Port masterplan set for sign-off

Cheshire West & Chester Council is to adopt a masterplan for Ellesmere Port’s town centre to usher in private investment as well as putting council funding towards a new public service hub and bus station.

Supported by Allies & Morrison, Colliers, and Mott MacDonald, the council has drawn up a 15-year strategy for the town centre focussed on improving access, diversifying its cultural and leisure offering, and reducing the proportion of retail.

Among the early interventions proposed by the council is a public service hub, set to include a customer service centre, housing, and council offices.

This is to be built on the existing bus station, owned by the local authority and next to the Mercer Walk entrance of the Port Arcades shopping centre. The existing offices at Civic Way will also be demolished, while buses will be relocated to a new interchange along the same road.

This has a capital cost of around £16m and will be supported by £7m in funding from the Cheshire and Warrington LEP.

A second phase will include accommodating two GP surgeries and community health services in the vacant 22,000 sq ft TJ Hughes unit at 2-4 Mercer Walk; this option is currently being explored by the NHS.

The Civic Centre site is to be redeveloped as a mixed-use, housing-led development, featuring a mix of housing types including affordable homes. A development brief is to be prepared for this site and brought to market, with CWAC expecting any development to “promote excellence in design, public realm and green space”.

There is also the potential for a family pub or restaurant fronting Whitby Road and Stanney Lane.

At Coronation Road, which currently houses many of the tenants who will move into the public service hub once it completes, the council is proposing to focus on housing, with a mix of types and tenures to be brought forward. CWAC added due to the “incremental nature” of development in this area, it should be brought forward by a registered provider, or as build-to-rent. In total, these future phases of the town centre regeneration could include around 600 homes.

Land ownership is mixed around this area, with 14 plots identified for redevelopment and 11 of these in public ownership.

The former B&M Bargains site, described as a “blight on the town centre”, is also identified for redevelopment and is set to be demolished, although the council warned it “may be difficult to deliver viable commercial development in the short term”. Redevelopment of this site could include food and drink uses.

CWAC is set to sign off the masterplan at a meeting next Wednesday, after holding a series of consultation events in November last year. These found most members of the public in favour of diversifying the town’s offering to reduce retail and improve cultural and leisure facilities, but reactions to adding new homes to the town centre were mixed, with 49% in favour and 34% against.

Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure said: “Thank you to all of the people taking time to view the plans and complete the questionnaire. These opinions have supported the masterplan being presented to cabinet.

“Significant progress has been made improving the town’s education and sports facilities and delivering major housing developments. We have invested in foot and cycleway improvements in the town to link key destinations and further investment will soon happen on the A5117, Canal Corridor and Sutton Way.

“The investment in the town centre will enable the ongoing regeneration of Ellesmere Port through a structured and locally supported plan that underpins future development and investment decisions.”

Your Comments

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The Simpsons-like illustration of the new bus exchange sums up exactly how seriously this is being taken.

By Richard

Aah, once again national players with a London emphasis are carrying out work that should be conducted by regional firms that have considerably more local knowledge, are equally as skilled and provide hands down better value. CWAC does it again. #jobsfortheboys.

By Anon

Spot the cycleway.

By IanP

well what a surprise the council are set to sign this off even though most local people do not agree with it. they are taking away the bus station and a vital road yet building themselves a fantastic new office block while increasing our tax by 4.8%. my wages don’t go up by that . they have not taken residings feelings into account at all as usual

By annette innes

not really impressed a new bus station maybe but business won’t come to the town anymore those o were here have moved out rent is too high .there no shoppin experience in Ellesmere Port anymore

By C woods

Just like the mps in Westminster these supposed local council officials look after there own as is usual I I’m port born and bred but won’t be doing my shopping here anymore what a fiasco

By Geoff holland

More people would use the town if parking was free. Getting rid of the free after three was a big mistake by the council and had helped in killing the town centre.

By Anonymous

I think the plans are good this is the way all towns up and down the uk will be going its moving with the times and people shopping habits have changed with online shopping retail parks etc we are also very close to the city of liverpool and chester and we need housing for local people and also could do with more doctors sugerys

By Pamela morris

what an absolute farce. more houses.!!!!. where is the shopping experience in ellesmere
all the place is are run down shops . junk shops . phone shops. nothing there to bring investors into the area.

By carol Davies

Anything is an improvement on how it looks now.

By Ash

Moving the bus station further away from ASDA and the Post Office is stupid. Have the planners tried carrying bags of shopping to the proposed location. The town is half dead this will kill it. Well done !!!.

By Barbara Roberts

Yes ,they did it again killed off the shopping by charging for parking and now to kill off the town like they have done in Chester.We should be ok for Charity shops and buses though ,if you can afford them.

By Chester lad

The council introduced paying car parks in ellesmere port so it would kill off the town.. job done in 20 years ellesmere port town centre will be a housing estate. And Cheshire oaks will still be known as chester. Do we need a new council building? Answer is no.do we need our once bustling town help financially? Yes we do. We don’t need more houses we need more space for kids to grow up and be able to play footy hopscotch hide and seek and do on Stop the gangs. Stop the kids smoking weed. Let them grow up as kids should

By Mr T

Another great opportunity for sticky fingers and carpet-baggers.

By Dave Power

This town is dead through the govenment and this councils expencive rents on retail shops etc

By resident

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