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Does new group hold the quay?
AN ALTERNATIVE vision of Barons Quay is being put forward by a group of residents who want to know what others really think.
Members of the group, spearheaded by the River Weaver Navigation Society (RWNS), say they are disappointed with the proposals put forward by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) for the long-awaited regeneration project.
Barnton man John Tackley, chairman of RWNS, said: “We are mounting a campaign to say we think these proposals are inadequate and are not embracing the whole town, which we think they should.”
The group, which organised the Northwich River Weaver Festival in the summer, has a number of concerns, from the proposed architecture and layout of the Barons Quay scheme to the distance between it and the site of the proposed lifestyle centre.
Artist Diana Bernice Tackley, John’s wife, said: “The proposals from the council show city centre architecture, it’s not really architecture for a small market town.
“We are a very attractive market town and we are seeking to maintain the character of the town.
“As a group we are in danger of appearing to be very fuddy-duddy and that’s not what we want to be, we just want to keep the reason intact for people to come and visit Northwich, like they would visit Nantwich.”
Jim Mole, a fellow member of the group, said: “What we want is a pretty and attractive riverside town.”
John said: “We really do think we are unbiased in that we just want the best for Northwich and don’t believe the best is being offered.”
The group has launched its own consultation to find out what residents think of the current proposals compared to its own vision.
The consultation is available online at Baronsquay.questionpro.com.
A CWAC spokesman said: "We are on the verge of the largest investment Northwich will have seen in half a century – involving well over £100 million – with an exciting, detailed, costed and achievable scheme, which has already attracted strong interest commercially.
"The proposed Barons Quay development, has received a very positive report from the Places Matter Design Review – a regional panel of impartial environmental and urban design experts – and is expected to go to planning application within the next couple of months.
"However, we are considering all representations made during the recent consultation process and indeed consideration has already been given to comments received on opening up the river front for pedestrians, with Weaver way being improved; new public spaces by the river and links to Carey park improved.
"In addition a pontoon with moorings is identified which the Council will seek to deliver in partnership with British Waterways."