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Northwich Town council speaks out on Barons Quay
A CINEMA shuttle bus, vibrant town centre and local employment are high on the wish list for the redevelopment of Northwich, according to town councillors.
Northwich Town Council discussed its formal response to the plans for Barons Quay at its latest meeting.
Proposals, put forward by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) and the Weaver Valley Partnership Board, are for a multi-screen cinema, supermarket, shops, restaurants, hotel and a petrol station.
Clr Andy Stott, chairman of the planning and environment committee, said that councillors were broadly in favour of the scheme but did have some concerns, including the impact on the existing town centre.
“The market report mentioned more than 30 retailers they would like to encourage into the new development but 15 of those are already in Northwich,” he said.
“We’re concerned that they’re trying to drag 15 businesses out of the existing town centre and make it an even worse environment than it is now.
“A couple of businesses have already moved out of Weaver Square closer to Marks and Spencer because obviously that’s the place to be.”
Clr Stott also said that the council wanted a long term guarantee of free parking and more consideration of public transport.
Clr Brian Jamieson said: “We’re asking CWAC for the facility for a cinema shuttle bus.
“One could start at Middlewich and call at Winsford, Rudheath, the train station and Barons Quay, from the other direction we’ve got Frodsham, Helsby, Kingsley, Crowton, Sandiway and Hartford, then we’ve got Comberbach, Barnton and Winnington.
“If that could be arranged and achieved almost every service coming into the centre of Northwich would be full.”
He added: “It’s going to be a major construction site so what we’re saying is that the council should use local labour.
“It’s also a great opportunity for contractors to work with places like Mid Cheshire College and maybe introduce some apprentice training in regeneration.”