‘AMBITIOUS’ proposals for the regeneration of Northwich town centre are to go before the public next month.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet approved proposals to push ahead with a public consultation, which will begin in March and run for two months.

The plans include a masterplan for the regeneration of Weaver Square and Watling Street, including the creation of a ‘Public Sector Hub’.

The plans also include releasing a further £1.3 million from the council’s budget to help deliver the Barons Quay project.

This comes just two days after a planning application was submitted to demolish part of Weaver Square.

Speaking during yesterday’s meeting, Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said the council are looking at a ‘whole site approach’ for the whole of Northwich.

He said: “The consultation will take in everything, from Barons Quay to Weaver Square.

“The whole site is about 7.2 acres, it is a large site. There are numerous owners in there that we need to consult with.

“This includes the police and health (services) – all those people want to come in.”

Cllr Clarke assured councillors there would be ‘no depletion’ of public services and in fact would be an increase in public services.

Visiting speaker Cllr Charles Fifield, ward member for Weaver and Cuddington, expressed concerns over what would happen to Weaver Square in the period leading up to its redevelopment.

He said: “In that period Weaver Square is effectively going nowhere. I think it will have a negative effect on our town.”

Cllr Fifield suggested making a temporary car park to help bring more people into the town centre.

Cllr Paul Dolan, cabinet member for adult social care, called the proposals an ‘ambitious and far reaching plan for the town centre’.

He also supported the £1.3 million cash-boost to help kick-start Barons Quay.

Cllr Dolan, ward member for Winnington and Castle, said: “I welcome the fact we are looking at making a realistic approach.

“If we cannot immediately attract the premier retailers then we need to look at a mixture of them.”

Cllr Sam Naylor, who is part of the cross-party working group tasked with keeping track of the town’s regeneration in the town, said he had ‘total confidence’ the council will deliver Barons Quay and the wider redevelopment.

Cllr Naylor, ward member for Winnington and Castle, said the council should incorporate the River Weaver into any future plans.

He also said a ‘superb, state of the art library fit for the 21st century’ was crucial, as was the protection of the current library building.

The news comes as CWAC announced that it has purchased Winsford Cross Shopping Centre.