The next exciting stage of the redevelopment of Winsford town centre can now begin after planning permission was approved to transform a key part of the centre, following the development of the new Aldi last year.
The Council has planning permission to demolish Queen’s Parade and Fountains Court and replace them with modern retail shops and restaurants, a drive-to/through coffee shop, new car parking and the relocation of war memorials to a new public square.
The project is scheduled to start this summer, and the overall development will have a distinct parkland character by extending Winsford’s green spaces, its award-winning Town Park, and natural assets into the town centre, creating a green and leafy environment with undulating grass verges, wildflower meadows, and 73 new ‘high canopy’ trees.
A leafy, new pedestrian boulevard will run north to south, connecting the A54 subway with a new Town Square and the rest of the town centre.
The boulevard will be a landscaped and tree-lined avenue for cyclists and pedestrians, safely away from roads and car parking, offering a clear route linking the crossing points on the High Street, bus stops, taxi rank, and the existing underpass, and the shops and restaurants.
The memorials will be sensitively relocated from their existing location and grouped together in a new town square alongside other important civic assets such as the library.
The town square’s green, parkland character, will offer a quieter and more intimate and reflective space for the memorials, away from the main retail area, which will become a lively entertainment and event space.
The community hub will provide an opportunity for people to socialise and host cultural events, details of which will be confirmed at a later date.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said:
This is great news for Winsford and its people. The redevelopment and modernisation of their town centre have been needed for a long time and this planning decision means we can now get on with turning our plans to enhance its local shopping, leisure and community facilities into reality. This aligns with our aspirations set out in our high street, town and city centres commission and I’m thrilled for the communities of Winsford that this is now moving to delivery.
“The rationale behind the scheme is to offer retailers a modern environment in which to operate in energy-efficient buildings, and residents and visitors to the town an attractive environment in which to shop and spend leisure time. We want to reverse the town centre’s decline and regenerate it socially, economically and environmentally, while also acting as a catalyst for further regeneration.”
Consultation on the town centre’s wider masterplan aspirations was undertaken between December 2019 and January 2020 and from May to June 2021. The Council has considered the responses received to the consultation and this has helped shape the plans for this investment.
The redevelopment of the town centre will be undertaken in phases and details on future phases will be released in the future.
This has been a key regeneration priority for the Council since the adoption of the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan in 2014. The Council bought the shopping centre in November 2018 and much work has taken place since to get to this stage.
The Council secured £9.98 million from the Government’s Future High Street Fund and is also investing £11 million of Council funding to pay for the scheme.