Consultation of One City Plan launched

Cheshire West & Chester Council is holding a 12-week consultation on its draft strategic framework that aims to transform Chester into a world-class destination.

The council, the regeneration agency for Chester city centre, Chester Renaissance, and GVA started to work on the concept of the One City Plan in October 2010.

The plan is embracing some of the recommendations of a study taken by the Urban Land Institute in November last year.

Steven Broomhead, chairman of Chester Renaissance, is launching the One City Plan consultation on Thursday.

The council said all sections of the community are being asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas on the 50-page plan.

Broomhead said: "The plan combines the collective thinking of a council determined to restore Chester to its former glories, the recent Urban Land Institute study, ongoing engagement with every section of Chester society – and the results of the 'Brand Vision' exercise.

"We have a substantial discussion document which will provide the creative springboard of an exciting vision and programme for the future – a vision that all people of Chester can help shape and own."

The council said One City Plan identifies four key themes that will shape Chester's future and suggests priority actions which will aim at helping deliver the next successful chapter in the city's history. They include:

People and communities – the framework suggests the following actions:

  • Chester will focus on enhancing the health and wellbeing of residents
  • Effective planning for the growth in the number of older people
  • Support the city's development as a low carbon economy
  • Deliver a supply of new homes to meet the needs and demands of existing and future residents and families
  • Improve resident and visitor safety and perceptions at all times of day and evening

Business and investment – Framework's planned actions:

  • Support professional networks to help influence decisions
  • Target inward investment by focusing on the city's opportunities for growth
  • Create a new leadership and governance structure
  • Identify growth sectors that require support and investment to create high value local employment
  • Become a city of educational excellence- linking courses and skills to local business infrastructure
  • Re-establish itself as a competitive city centre shopping environment

Living city – Framework's planned actions:

  • Safeguard and invest in Chester's rich history
  • Effectively use and fully integrate the green fields and waterway infrastructure
  • Enhance the contemporary cultural and civic offer
  • Establish a clear single brand and a "visitor package"

Movement and accessibility – Framework's planned actions:

  • Improve the public transport network and links with the rail station
  • Improve the park and ride offer
  • Locate car parks on strategic corridors or at gateways and sign them effectively
  • Within the city centre the key pedestrian footfall streets and corridors must have priority and be exemplar in nature. These routes must be the core links of a pedestrian "super-highway" network
  • Continue to encourage cycling throughout the city and use "green" corridors
  • Address parts of the inner ring road at key pedestrian and public transport crossing points

The draft plan looks at all areas of the city centre, including the historic core, Northgate development and the business, cathedral and artisans quarter, and details improvements for the Castle Gateway, riverfront, and amphitheatre, the Old Port, Gorse Stacks and Barrs areas.

The plan also includes a timeline chart detailing the proposed phasing of all potential proposals, although the council has emphasised that this also is a basis for discussion and does not represent a fixed programme.

Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member for prosperity, said: "The Urban Land Institute concluded that Chester was a city of 'immense and unrealised potential'. Of that there is no doubt. We urge everyone to help us realise this latent promise with their own thoughts and ideas on our vision for the future."

The council added that Broomhead will head a new strategic board, a combination of public and private sector representatives.

The board will direct and commission all aspects of the drive to transform Chester into a world-class destination, including marketing, city management, arts, events and investment support.

Drop in sessions will take place at the following venues and times:




Wednesday 22 June


26 Bridge Street (vacant shop)

Thursday 7 July


26 Bridge Street (vacant shop)

Friday 15 July

12 noon-5pm

Grosvenor Park

Saturday 23 July


Grosvenor Shopping Centre

Thursday 4 August


Forum Shopping Centre

Monday 15 August


Chester Renaissance, Visitor Centre

Cheshire West & Chester said the draft plan will also be available on the Chester Renaissance website.

Those wishing to comment can email or by post to: Chester Renaissance, c/o Cheshire West and Chester Council, HQ, 58 Nicholas Street, Chester, CH1 2NP.

The council said all comments must be received by Thursday 8 September.

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