PLANS to begin demolition of Weaver Square have been welcomed, with the long-awaited regeneration of the shopping precinct set to get underway.

The bulldozers will descend on an area between the indoor market and The Arcade on Monday, September 23, with 10 units and three canopies to be demolished.

Northwich Guardian:

Phase one of the demolition of Weaver Square, it is expected to take until the start of December, with drop-in information evenings tonight and next Thursday, September 12 and 19, offering a chance to meet the demolition team between 5pm and 7pm.

READ >>> Weaver Square demolition to begin this month

Town centre ward member Cllr Sam Naylor said: “It’s been long time coming.

“It’s not a particularly welcoming site for someone entering the town at the moment. You come over Town Bridge, towards the Bull Ring and Watling Street and that should be your gateway to the town.

“Once the demolition is completed in the first phase, hopefully a motorist or pedestrian will see – along Watling Street towards Brio – to the right aesthetically-pleasing flats for the over-55s which are in keeping with the surrounding area.

“Then to the left you will hopefully see open land and some shops that will be occupied by perhaps existing traders or people looking to make a name for themselves.”

It is thought the row of shops housing shops such as Claire’s and – until recently – Card Factory will be re-leased to traders, possibly on short-term leases pending later phases of demolition.

Mike Amesbury, MP for Northwich, has also welcomed the commencement of works, amid continued discussions over moving the police service to make way for further regeneration.

READ >>> Cheshire PCC backs new Weaver Square hub – if it works for police

Mike said: “Stores had left the square in recent years and it wasn’t a good image for visitors.

“With Barons Quay now making progress this is further good news for Northwich town centre.”

Mike also highlighted the town centre’s nomination in the Great British High Street Awards in the ‘Rising Star’ category for the second year running as further good news.

He said: “There are so many good things happening in Northwich now such as the Artisan Market and this award nomination is further proof the town centre is held in very high regard by visitors.

APRIL 2018 >>> Weaver Square gets demolition approval ahead of masterplan consultation

“Business rates are still a big issue for business and that’s something I’m continuing to press for action on with the government.”

Guardian readers branded the precinct an eyesore, bidding good riddance to the 1960s architecture.

Janice Hayes said: “About time – it looks such an eyesore. Times change, if our ancestors came back when the precinct was being built I'm sure they would not have approved.

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“It’s time now to pull it down – I don't mind what comes as long as it improves Northwich.”

Ita Frances added: “Well, we can only hope that this time the powers in charge listen to the ideas from the folk who live in this town.

“Let's home they choose a style that blends in with the town’s present architecture, i.e. no turquoise buildings, no multiple glass and steel, no high-rise.

“I await the project with great enthusiasm and anticipation.”

A consultation on the council’s previous masterplan was held online and in person last autumn, which Cllr Naylor said brought up some interesting ideas which are being considered as part of a renewed vision.