ING pushes Northgate start back to 2012

Michael Hunt

ING Real Estate and Chester City Council have reaffirmed their commitment to delivering the £460m Northgate Development regeneration project.

The 400,000 sq ft retail-led scheme, the largest development project planned in Chester, is now expected to start in 2012.

The company said it intends to announce a preferred development partner shortly.

The city centre scheme, anchored by House of Fraser, won planning consent in 2003 and was due to start on site in 2007 but has been frozen by the credit crunch.

ING said the scheme would be redesigned with the development partner on board and a new planning permission, as well as compulsory purchase orders and road closure orders, sought.

David Alker, development director at ING Real Estate, commented: "ING remains fully committed to delivering regeneration for the Northgate Quarter of the city. We have welcomed the opportunity of more time to review the project to provide the best solution we can for Chester, and in the meantime we are pushing ahead with our detailed discussions with interested development partners for the scheme."

Alker said an interim performing arts venue, pending the development of a new centre within the Northgate scheme, could be created within existing facilities or a new, modern temporary multi-purpose arena.

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