Design team sought for Baron’s Quay

Cheshire West and Chester Council is starting its search for a design team to take forward plans to transform Northwich's Baron's Quay into a 300,000 sq ft retail and leisure quarter.

The team of surveyors, architects and developers will be responsible for developing a detailed scheme for planning consent and identifying potential occupiers.

A brief is due to be published next week through the Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions.

Baron's Quay – which is being led jointly by the council and Weaver Valley Partnership – aims to transform a neglected 25-acre site between the town centre and the River Weaver.

A revised development framework was adopted by the council in July after it ended a pre-recession agreement with developer Wilson Bowden.

The new plans were devised with the help of architects Broadway Malyan, project manager Fraser Blair Associates, and engineer Curtins Consulting.

It includes 205,000 sq ft of non-food retail including the potential for a 50,000 sq ft department store anchor as well as space for restaurants, a cinema, a bowling alley and three new squares. The council says the development could create up to 1,500 jobs.

Councillor Herbert Manley, executive member for regeneration, said: "Appointing a design team will allow us to maintain this momentum and ensure that the community and regeneration benefits of the development framework are delivered for the people of Northwich.

"It will also pave the way to appoint a delivery partner to secure the delivery of the Barons Quay scheme to act as a regeneration springboard for the whole of the town centre."

An outline planning application for the Baron's Quay scheme is expected to be submitted autumn 2012, with a decision expected in 2013.

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does northwich really need 250,000sq ft of retail? This sounds like utter madness…as for the councils belief this would create 1500 new jobs, I would like to see how this figure was calculated

By cj

Northwich is in desperate need of regeneration and some inward investment. For 20 years, this town has been going downhill. there is little or no opportunities for any decent shopping, or going out, with most people heading to knutsford, chester, manchester for somewhere decent to eat and enjoy a drink (without being glassed!). this is just what is needed but whether somebody is willing to invest that much in northwich is another dilemma for CWAC.

By Northwich resident

CJ’s comments are totally ignorant. Northwich is a likely to be growing substantially over the next few years. The town centre holds no draw for residents and does not adequately provide the type of shopping experience customers are after. It is also an eyesore. This new development is long overdue and hope it gets off the ground this time.

By Paul

We’ve been waiting for this to happen for years now – but for one reason or another, the momentum always fades away. I will be surprised if it ever gets moving – hope they prove me wrong. A mini multiplex cinema would be fantastic for Northwich – the usual food courts nearby (i.e. Pizza Hut, etc) would also bring in the punters. Shopping is really boring in Northwich – but not sure if the recession would dictate more shops – particulary when half the town is closing down it’s exisiting shopping. Fingers crossed though !!!

By Dez