PLANS submitted which seek approval to demolish the fire-damaged Northwich Outdoor Market building state that doing so will ‘enhance the future economic prosperity’ of Northwich.

They also say that demolition will safeguard the site from vandalism in the short term while redevelopment plans are finalised.

The building was gutted by the fire which broke out on January 3 and has been boarded and vacant ever since.

Cheshire West and Chester Council was given the green light to demolish the site by its insurers last week and is currently processing the demolition application.

Once demolished, a knee rail fence will be erected around the area and soft landscaping will be completed.

A planning statement by Q+A Planning on behalf of the council reads: “As a result of the fire, it is apparent that the outdoor market is beyond repair.

“Following recent redevelopment at Barons Quay and in line with Northwich’s emerging masterplan and Neighbourhood Plan, there is an identified strategic need to clear the site.

“This is in order to improve its appearance and accordingly to safeguard from vandalism in the short term while town centre redevelopment proposals are finalised.”

The statement goes on to say: “The area around Weaver Square clearly detracts from the character and appearance of the area and is of low value compared with the surrounding historic street pattern of Witton Street.

“This is especially so following the fire, which left the building dangerous and uninhabitable.

“The impact of the proposals will be clearly beneficial and are much needed to capitalise on recent successes and investments within Northwich.

“By demolishing the vacant market building, this will facilitate a clear foundation upon which to build and enhance the future economic prosperity of Northwich.”