H20, the national joint venture company owned by British Waterways and private developer bloc, has submitted proposals for the regeneration of Northwich Marina to Cheshire West and Chester Council after generating strong support from local residents.
The plans, which would create up to 230 jobs, include:
- New Extra Care Housing – McCarthy & Stone will be providing a development of 58 homes for the elderly for sale, including a number of on-site facilities such as a restaurant.
- A quality 18,000 net sq ft food store operated by Waitrose and parking for town centre shoppers.
- Improvements to the waterways, including a new marina providing up to 40 mooring berths, and access to the waterfront through a number of quality public spaces.
- New waterside leisure/restaurant/cafe facilities.
The proposals have received strong support from local residents. Over 750 residents attended H20′s Public Exhibition on 25th and 26th November 2011. Over 170 residents made written comments, with 82% giving their full support for the plans and a further 14% expressing support with reservations.
Richard Thomas, Director of bloc and Development Manager for H20, said; “These proposals will regenerate a long underused and mostly vacant site that has severe constraints to development. We have had strong support from the local community and this is an opportunity to deliver a significant phase of the towns regeneration plans in a relatively short timescale, as well as providing a potential catalyst for future phases of regeneration in Northwich”.
Mike Coates, British Waterways Investment & Development Manager (North), said; “The proposed improvements to the waterways have received very strong support from residents and waterways users. The proposals will give public access to Northwich’s new waterfront and will enable us to maintain and enhance the waterways network for the benefit of all users.
“The proposed mix of uses at Northwich Marina will add to the town centre in a way that does not compete with established commercial areas and creates the opportunity for a mixed use, sustainable scheme that will open up access to the waterfront and bring much needed new investment to the town centre.”
Geoff Hope-Terry, Chair, Weaver Valley Partnership, said; “It’s great to see this scheme moving forward at a fast pace and I was impressed by the level of support shown by the local townsfolk. Northwich’s rivers are part of its unique heritage offering and these proposals will play a key part in transforming the town’s future.”
John Tackley, Chairman of the River Weaver Navigation Society, has welcomed the scheme and said: “Northwich has a fantastic asset in the River Weaver which it has disregarded for years. This development will improve the river frontage and allow full pedestrian access along the east bank of the River between Hayhurst and Town bridges. We are confident that this will produce a more vibrant town centre as visitors will be attracted by this improved access to again enjoy this area of central Northwich.
“This scheme, on which our Society has been fully consulted, is, we believe, the best that can be achieved in the current financial climate, where investors are difficult to find. It will bring new boats to the area and add life and colour to the town.
“We regret that the side slipway will no longer be available for boat repairs, but British Waterways are making available a nearby wet and dry dock for the private sector to lease and operate, which should improve the potential for the boating industry in the area.”