Posted: 13.09.21 at 20:00 by Belinda Ryan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
CHESHIRE East planners are recommending councillors this week approve plans to re-develop Crewe’s Royal Arcade site.
Full planning permission is being sought to bulldoze the existing bus station and replace it with a new one, together with a multi-storey car park.
Peveril Securities has also included an outline application for a mixed use town centre which will include a café/restaurant, leisure facilities including gym, bowling and cinema as well as complementary retail uses.
In a report due to go before this week's meeting of the council’s strategic planning board, planning officer Adrian Crowther states: “This hybrid application proposes the re-development of this important town centre site in Crewe.
“The full element proposes a new multi-storey car park and bus station, whereas the outline element proposes a range of town uses, to replace the previous retail uses now removed from the site.
“The application has been revised to make improvements to the design and incorporate more sustainable features including the incorporation of a green wall, more planting and renewable energy provision.”
Cheshire East Council bought the Royal Arcade site - which included the bus station and the now demolished shops on the west side of Queensway and the south side of Victoria Street - for £6m in 2015.
The new bus station will run along the western site boundary.
The Victoria Street access will be retained, although slightly realigned, and there will be a new access from Delamere Street linking a series of bus bays with a new interchange to the rear adjoining the multi-storey car park.
The interchange would be a single-storey largely glass structure.
The multi-storey car park was originally intended to be a 18.7m high building with six parking levels including the roof, providing 411 parking spaces.
However the plan is now to remove the half-deck from the top floor of the car park which will reduce the number of spaces from 411 to 401, with a consequential reduction in the overall height of the structure and scale and mass of the building.
The second part of the application is in outline for the principle of a range of town centre uses including leisure and some retail.
This would be on the site of the former L-shaped Royal Arcade buildings which have now been demolished.
Approval is not being sought for any details of this aspect of the application at this stage.
This will be considered at a future meeting.
In the report to Wednesday’s meeting the applicant states: “High streets have had to adapt and to focus on creating an attractive place to dwell, shop and socialise.
“The current proposals embrace these trends acknowledging the importance of providing high-quality buildings and creating a sense of place.
“The strategy is based on focusing on more leisure uses, improved facilities and providing an appealing environment to live and work.”
The applicant adds: “The proposed scheme represents a significant investment in Crewe by Cheshire East Council and Peveril Securities Ltd to provide modern transport facilities and a leisure-led, mixed-use development to complement the wider town centre and encourage further investment in the area.
“While the Royal Arcade redevelopment represents the most significant council regeneration initiative, it is just one component in the town centre’s regeneration strategies which are ongoing.”
There have been some negative comments about the scheme from Crewe residents, including some who question the need for a gym and cinema and suggest an ice rink would be more appropriate.
Others say building a multi-storey car park will discourage sustainable transport means and some argue the bus station is in the wrong place and of a poor design.
Crewe Town Council has supported the application but asks that a replacement clock be provided.
The meeting takes place at 10am on Wednesday (September 15) at Sandbach Town Hall.
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