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Houses welcomed for Northwich
NORTHWICH is welcoming new housing developments with open arms in a bid to save green space and reinvigorate the town centre.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) is looking at Northwich to take on a greater share of west Cheshire’s population.
Its Local Development Framework shows that it wants to see 4,200 houses built in the area during the next 20 years.
In the light of this, Northwich Town Council has decided to set up a group to look at central brown field or derelict areas it thinks would be best suited to housing.
Clr Amy Mercer-Bailey said: “Northwich is going to develop whether we want it or not.
“There’s little we can do about it unless we’re ahead of the game.”
She added: “We need to try to shape this from the beginning rather than be blindsided by massive development in the green belt that we don’t want.
“We need to be able to turn round and say ‘there’s this brown field area that would be a really good place for development’.”
Clr Derek Bowden said: “Decisions are going to be made and we want to be the ones to make them or guide them.”
Councillors said they were keen to see a mix of housing for residents of all ages either in or near to the town centre.
Clr Paul Dolan said: “We need to ensure balanced development - we don’t want a doughnut town where all the development is on the outside and there’s nothing in the centre.
“Retail needs people and needs a mix.
“We want to encourage families to move into town because that’s the only way the town has a future.”
The council will look at land and prepare an interim statement of intent for potential developers, which will set out its recommended areas for housing until it can complete the neighbourhood plan process.