Northwich development framework five years in the making finally approved at council cabinet

Northwich town centre (pic from council)

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet has approved the Northwich Development Framework to steer regeneration in the mid-Cheshire town for the next 10 years.

The ambitious plans, which have been consulted on over the last five years include approval for public realm developments and upgrades such as the renovation of the library, the Memorial Court leisure complex and the restoration of heritage buildings along Witton Street and High Street as part of the Northwich Townscape Heritage Project.

The council hopes those interventions will attract investment for a new market for the town; and to an ambition to submit bids to government for future funding when an appropriate funding stream becomes available.

The Council has said it wants to collaborate with existing landowners and partners and private investors to have a positive impact on Northwich. The Framework will ensure that development proposals and investment decisions are made to complement other development and benefit the town overall.

Intensive engagement and public consultation has taken place with local ward councillors, Northwich Town Council, Northwich Business Improvement District (BID), Barons Quay management, the Police, and students from Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College. 

Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Regeneration and Digital Transformation, said: “The Northwich Development Framework sets out a bold and ambitious vision for the future of Northwich. It aims to make the best of the assets that the town has, including a fantastic heritage and waterfront area, and suggests how the town can be developed.

“The Council cannot deliver the recommendations of the Framework alone – everyone has a role to play in making the plans within it a reality. We are excited to use the Framework to support potential funding bids and help guide our work with partners and the private sector to deliver this vision for the people of Northwich.”

However, opposition Conservative councillors were lukewarm on the plans. Marbury ward councillor and shadow cabinet member for regeneration Lynn Gibbon said:

“This is the town’s second vision iterating many times ‘it’s a long term dream’, so you can forgive residents and members for being sceptical on what, and how, and when action will be seen.

“Therefore, clarity on the council’s role as enabler would be helpful. This is the 18th report strategy or plan on a variety of proposals for Northwich you can take your pick and not one has been fully delivered.”

Northwich framework

Place design practice, Planit has been deployed to “establish new design principles” and to improve connectivity.

Anna Couch, Urban Design Studio Director at Planit, said: “These proposals have been shaped by the distinctive and unique aspects of Northwich, whether those are physical aspects, like architectural character, or people’s movement patterns around the town.”

The Framework has also created a comprehensive landscape and open space strategy which will improve access to the river, while also creating greater connections to Carey Park, the River Weaver and The Flashes.

Planit has completed successful projects across the region in Poynton, Stockport and Altrincham.