PLANS to redevelop Weaver Shipyard by creating a leisure marina and up to 83 homes should be approved, planning chiefs from Cheshire West and Chester Council have said.

The application has been called before the council’s planning committee next week by Winnington and Castle councillor Kate Cernik, who raised concerns over access, parking, congestion and the impact on ecology and flooding.

But in a report prepared by case officer Brian Leonard before the meeting, it is recommended that the development be given the go ahead as it will ‘enhance the site’.

The 3.3-hectare brownfield site off Saxons Lane is currently occupied by an operational boat maintenance and storage yard, which if approved will be retained to provide advice, maintenance and light repairs in a modern workshop.

Applicant H20 Urban and Weaver Marine is also proposing an ancillary shop providing boat supplies, an upgrade and modernisation of the existing moorings and pontoons and a new riverside pathway.

The residential dwellings are proposed to be a mix of terrace, semi-detached and detached properties ranging from two to four bedrooms.

Northwich Guardian:

An aerial view of the existing site

The development will be accessed from Saxons Lane, which would be widened to 5.5 metres with a new 2-metre-wide footpath.

Objections have been raised against the development, including from Northwich Town Council over its impact on the wider highway network, potential flood risk and affordable housing provisions.

As well as these, a number of residents have objected on additional grounds such as the impact on wildlife, parking and a negative impact on the nearby Marshalls Arm Nature Reserve and River Weaver itself.

In his report, Mr Leonard states that the development would not have a significant detrimental impact on the highway network and that the site has ‘good potential’ to integrate into existing pedestrian and cycle routes.

He goes on to say that it would ensure that the brownfield site is developed sustainably, with a marina providing an economic benefit, as would construction work.

Northwich Guardian:

Drawings of what the site will look like is the development is approved

On the impact on schools and of flooding, Mr Leonard said: “While there are sufficient places in the catchment Charles Darwin Primary School, there are insufficient places in the catchment The County High School, Leftwich.

“As such, a financial contribution of £171,376.90 will be sought and secured through a section 106 agreement.

“Residents have raised concerns over the site flooding. The site is located within flood zone two and adjacent to flood zone three and has been assessed by the Environment Agency and the council’s lead local flood authority.

“Both have raised no objection to the development.”

Mr Leonard added that the development would have ‘no greater impact’ on and does not ‘urbanise’ the countryside.

On these grounds, the development has been recommended for approval subject to additional section 106 agreements of £30,000 for public rights of way improvements, £5,000 for highways improvements and £218,385.80 for open space provision.

The application will go before the council's planning committee on Tuesday.