A NEW country park for Northwich could include outdoor performance space, cycling and walking trails and fishing lakes.

Prompted by housing plans in the area, a concept is being drawn up for a park in the Dane Valley linking Leftwich and Rudheath.

Clr Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), said: “When the developer for Leftwich came forward with plans for the site there is acres of flood plain they cannot develop.

“We said ‘would you be able to donate it to a trust to develop as a country park?’, we own 60 or 70 acres on the Rudheath side and if we join our bit of land to the bit donated to the trust then we’ll have 90 per cent of the land together and can go through the planning system.

“The concept of the country park is now being revealed and we’re asking the public what they would like in there.”

Developer Aisncough Strategic Land submitted plans for a country park on the Leftwich side of the river along with plans for 230 houses, which were approved by CWAC in November.

A trust would be made up of residents and representatives from CWAC and town and parish councils.

Weaver Valley Conservatives, including MP Graham Evans and Clr Jones, are asking residents what they would like to see in the park.

Initial ideas include off-road cycle tracks, fishing pits, a shop and visitor centre, nature trails, trim trails and links to existing cycle and foot paths to the new Memorial Court, Northwich Woodlands and Winsford.

Clr Jones said there was an escarpment that would make the perfect outdoor performance space and added that the park would improve the health of residents and fit in with the overall regeneration of Northwich.

“In Rudheath there are problems with poor health, unemployment and lack of excercise,” he said.

“This could kickstart a transformation in Rudheath and create momentum for change.

“It will link with changes to the roundabout at Chesterway and there are lots of things that will start to fit together now and be supportive of what’s happening in the centre of Northwich.

“I said it might take 15 or 20 years but Northwich will be a fantastic place if we get it right.”