Cheshire East’s consultation into the future of Crewe station, including options for a road bridge and the potential to bring forward up to 3.8m sq ft of commercial space, will close on 3 September.
The council launched two consultations in July into its plans for the area around the station; the first is for its area action plan, including nearly 4m sq ft of offices and retail along with 3,700 homes.
This focusses on area which 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.
Commercial development will primarily focus 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 3.8m sq ft of 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.
The council is seeking public views on where different types of development should be built; how to encourage walking and cycling; protecting heritage in the area; how to link the station and town centre; and what new infrastructure will be needed to support the project. The area action plan is set to run until 2040.
A second consultation is also taking place on the Southern Road Link Bridge, which is one of the key infrastructure proposals for the area action plan. While the location of the bridge is fixed by Network Rail, there are eight different access options being assessed by the council, which can be seen below.
The consultation is set to close as the Government presses ahead with an “independent and rigorous” review of the £52bn high-speed rail line.
The Government confirmed earlier this month that Douglas Oakervee will pen a review into the future of the project, set to provide high-speed rail services between London, Birmingham, Crewe, Manchester, and Leeds.
The review will look into the benefits and impacts of HS2; its affordability and efficiency; its deliverability; and its scope and phasing, particularly in relationship to Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “HS2 is a massive opportunity for Cheshire East. It will bring a huge investment in our infrastructure and create the right conditions for businesses and jobs to come here.
“Crewe could be an incredibly successful place. We are working on huge investment projects that will radically transform the area, such as the Crewe Market Hall, Royal Arcade and bus station. This, along with road improvements, is all to ensure our residents fully benefit from HS2 and the increased rail connectivity that comes with it.
“To make this happen, the council has to plan carefully to anticipate opportunities that HS2 could bring and plan for how our communities will get the best out of the development here. This also includes developing an understanding of the skills and training offer locally – working with the UTC, Reaseheath College, Cheshire College South and West and existing businesses – to understand how local people can take advantage of the jobs that are expected to come to the area.
“I am sure you will agree that we need to improve the road network around Crewe and we have proposals to achieve this, and bring jobs and opportunities to our community.
“We are aware of the government’s announcement of a review of the HS2 project and firmly believe in the economic and social benefits that HS2 and a hub station at Crewe would bring to the town, borough and the wider sub-region.
“The council continues to plan carefully, in anticipation of the positive change that HS2 will bring, to ensure new development is shaped for the benefit of all our communities.
“We will continue to work with government, pressing the case for HS2 with a hub station at Crewe, and look forward to the outcome of the review.
“These public consultations allow people to comment on the plan – and the proposals contained within it – in particular the proposal for the Southern Road Link Bridge. I urge everyone in the area to be involved in this consultation as this is something that impacts the future for Crewe.”