Posted: 25.11.21 at 18:08 by Gwyn Griffiths
PLANS for a five-storey medical centre which would have towered over several listing buildings in Crewe town centre have been abandoned.
The scheme to extend premises at the corner shopping unit on Market Street/Chester Street drew opposition from planners and Crewe Town Council who feared it would dominate the landscape.
Private medical company Cheshire Medical Centre was seeking permission for a change of use and the addition of three extra storeys on No 22a Market Street - a unit whose previous occupants have included a Donna Louise Hospice shop and a furniture store - as well as adding another storey and rear extension at No. 20, also in Market Street.
The firm said its centre would help tackle lengthy waiting lists for surgery as a result of the pandemic as a day surgery unit was schemed in the plans. It said procedures such as colorectal surgery, endoscopy, orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery would have been available.
The centre would also have housed a GP practice as well as a renal dialysis unit and a pharmacy, while creating between 70 and 100 jobs.
But borough planners, while welcoming investment along Market Street which has been hit by closures in recent years, said the quality of the designs were "nowhere near aspirational enough" to help improve the street scene on one of the key routes into the town centre.
Crewe Town Council pointed to the impact the high-rise structure would have on 24 Market Street opposite, currently occupied by a betting shop on its ground floor, but considered one of Crewe's finest architectural buildings.
Its significance was taken into account during Crewe's 1960s redevelopment to ensure it could be seen from Chester Bridge. But the proposed medical centre development would have left it obscured.
The town council's heritage officer said the development would have a "negative impact on the built environment heritage", particularly altering the skyline around Christ Church's tower.
One objector to the plans, submitting a view to the council's planning portal, said: "A much better solution for this application would be to redevelop the former doctors surgery on Mill street which is a purpose built site with ample car parking."
Now Cheshire East Council says the applicant has withdrawn its two separate applications for the site.
Every Wednesday at Crewe Market Hall there is soft play for the kiddies. If you need some free entertainment the soft play area provided by Monkey ...