Winsford Development Meeting
The Winsford Development Framework has been produced for Cheshire West and Chester Council by Nexus Planning with Broadway Malyan. Additional input has been provided by Colliers International to add to the position on the local property market. The Framework is the culmination of the analysis, consultation and appraisal work undertaken in Winsford by the consultant team with the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Winsford Town Council.
The Development Framework focuses on the agreed Vision in the recently adopted neighbourhood plan and will bring forward key development opportunities, supports and enhances existing assets and importantly links together these existing assets and new investments in a coherent, accessible way.
Making the most of Winsford’s key assets such as the Town Park, Verdin Buildings and the leisure opportunities along the River Weaver and aligning these with a new high quality shopping centre and new leisure uses at the waterfront can help raise the profile of Winsford and achieve an attractive and thriving town centre.
The final report has used feedback from the public consultation programme last Autumn to focus primarily around design principles of proposals to provide a series of deliverable projects in Winsford Town centre.
The full report can be downloaded here.
In recent years and like many other towns across the country, Winsford has faced new challenges on a number of fronts. The town is having to adapt to the increasing regional mobility of shoppers; the growth of online shopping and the increasing concentration of comparison retail and leisure facilities in a fewer number of larger locations – notably in the North-West in Liverpool, the Trafford Centre and Manchester City Centre.
Notwithstanding the competitive environment, Winsford has a number of assets and lots of as yet untapped potential.
The Winsford Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Group have played an active role in the preparation of the Development Framework which has been crucial in ensuring the proposals within the framework deliver on the aspirations of the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan. It is not the purpose of this Framework to review the Neighbourhood Plan strategy or indeed revisit the basis and recommendations of previous studies but rather to focus existing strategies into a clear delivery strategy based on agreed development and design principles.
This Framework focuses on central Winsford and particularly the A54 corridor between and including the Verdin Exchange and the Winsford Cross Shopping Centre to the west and the Winsford gyratory and New Road Industrial Area to the west along the River Weaver. This area includes Town Park and the old High Street. The approach to housing allocations to the north of New Road are also considered.
The Development Framework therefore focuses primarily on:
- Producing a Development Framework for central Winsford, which will be a high-level spatial design and development strategy;
- A development framework for key sites, including Winsford Cross Shopping Centre and surrounds, Town Park, the old High Street, the Verdin Buildings, and the New Road industrial area and housing allocations to the north;
- Informing the design and layout of these key sites; and
- Setting out a preferred delivery approach.
In achieving the above, the Development Framework considers how these recommended actions will help to:
- Improve the overall function of central Winsford particularly around improvements to the connectivity between the town centre and waterfront area;
- Revitalise the town centre and increase footfall and the number of visitors to Winsford;
- Develop a practical toolkit for CWaC and Winsford Town Council as they take forward regeneration proposals; and
- Support jobs and economic growth.
The remainder of this report comprises the following sections:
- Section 2 Winsford in Context – an overview of the study area, location and accessibility, role, history, planning policy, socio-economic
- Section 3 Development Framework Zones – sets out the scope of the Development Framework with reference to a series of zones.
- Section 4 Development Framework Vision – sets out the Vision against which the Development Framework should be applied.
- Section 5 Development Project: Winsford Cross Shopping Centre– considers the design principles and delivery approach to the project.
- Section 6 Development Project: Town Park and High Street – considers a design concept and design principles for the enhancement of these areas.
- Section 7 Development Project: New Road ‘Waterfront’ and Whitegate – sets out the design principles and delivery approach for future development in this area.
- Section 8 Development Project: Verdin Buildings and land to rear– considers a design concept and delivery approach for the Verdin buildings and land to rear.
- Section 9 Delivery Approach – sets out a series of recommendations that can be taken forward as actions when considering the implementation of the Development Framework document.
- Section 10 Conclusions and Recommendations
It is acknowledged that there has already been extensive consultation undertaken in regards to the Winsford Neighbourhood Plan. It was therefore agreed that the consultation for this study would be focused on the design principles baseline work and in agreement with CWaC and Winsford Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. The design principles and projects were the subject of public consultation between Monday 26th October and Sunday 22nd November 2015. This consultation was undertaken in parallel to emerging proposal for a transport strategy for the town. A Consultation Statement (Nexus Planning, December 2015) prepared separately The outcome of public consultation has been reflected in the recommendations of this report.
Nexus Planning would like to thank the Officers and Members of Winsford Town Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Winsford Neighbourhood Planning Implementation Group, other consutlees and the residents of Winsford whose input has been invaluable in preparing this report.