Crewe car park and music venue - artist's impression

A South Cheshire music venue will be demolished as part of plans to build a five-storey car park close to Crewe railway station, writes Stephen Topping.

Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning board has given the green light for a 243-space car park to be built behind the locally-listed Royal Hotel, in Nantwich Road – complete with a car wash.

Outbuildings behind the hotel, which include music venue The Box, will make way for the development – although a replacement venue is expected to be provided within the Royal Hotel, which itself will be renovated.

The planning board had been due to make a decision on the car park at last month’s meeting, but it deferred the item so the developer could provide more detailed plans on its design.

And developer Property Capital Ltd returned to the committee with added copper detailing.

At today’s (November 21) meeting, Nantwich South Cllr Peter Groves, Conservative, said: “I’m really pleased that the applicant has taken on board the concerns of the committee.”

Cllr Derek Hough, Liberal Democrat, also supported the plans – stating that CEC needs to “take a gamble” on regeneration in Crewe.

“We are going nowhere and I think that this is a step in the right direction,” he added.

But Cllr Brian Roberts, Labour member for Crewe West, insisted the design is not fitting with the area.

He said: “The hotel was built before Crystal Palace.

“I think this building deserves something alongside it which is more sympathetic with the design of it.

“We’ve lost so much of our heritage in Crewe. We have to accept what we have got left. This design is not protecting that heritage.”

Cllr Toni Fox, Independent, added that the design is “too high and too dominant” for the area.

Planning board members and Cllr Steve Hogben, Labour member for Crewe South, also had reservations about the car park’s impact on traffic.

But officers said this was not a consideration to be determined this month, as the item had been deferred over design issues.

Councillors voted to approve the scheme by seven to four.

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