Cheshire West and Chester Council have formally submitted plans for the regeneration of the Northgate area of Chester city centre.
The retail-led mixed-use scheme aims to deliver around 500,000 sq ft of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities which are planned to be delivered over two phases of construction.
The scheme will go a long way towards delivering the 400,000 sq ft of retail capacity identified by international consultancy WYG as required in Chester city centre to meet growing demand from population growth, continuing economic recovery and high levels of tourism by 2018.
In addition to a new shopping centre, flagship department store, multi-screen cinema, cafés and restaurants, the development will deliver an improved local market, new homes above some of the shops and car parking.
“The Chester Northgate project will transform the city centre, creating over 1,000 new jobs, increasing tourism and driving economic growth,” said councillor Samantha Dixon, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and City ward member.
If plans are approved, work on the first phase of the project could get underway by autumn 2017. This would see the development of restaurants within the shell of the current library building, a new market hall replacing the existing Chester market, a six screen cinema and a 167 bedroom 4 star hotel and conference centre.
David Lewis, managing director of Rivington Land, the council’s appointed development manager, commented: “We are at a point where we have sufficient confidence in the commercial market prospects of the Northgate Scheme to advise the council to make this application for a major redevelopment of the city centre.
“We have worked hard with the council and consultees to fine tune the detailed design of Chester Northgate to ensure the best possible fit with the city’s needs and the demands of retailers and other commercial interests.”