new bus station royal arcade plan

Building work will begin in January on Crewe’s new bus station and multi-storey car park and the scheme should be completed by August 2023 now planning permission has been granted, writes Belinda Ryan.

That was the claim of the agent representing the developer at Wednesday’s meeting of Cheshire East’s strategic planning board.

Mr Wilcox, agent for developer Peveril Securities, told councillors: “Today is an opportunity for us to realise the ambitions and the aspirations for the Royal Arcade in Crewe.

“It is something which, a favourable approval here this morning, would enable us to commence on site in January 2022 with a completion date of August 2023.”

He told councillors that approving the scheme “will give a confidence to the market place that this is actually happening and it will give operators confidence when we are negotiating with them”.

The board was discussing a hybrid application for the Royal Arcade site from Peveril Securities.

They were seeking full planning permission to bulldoze the existing bus station and replace it with a new one together with car park and outline permission for a mixed use town centre, which will include leisure facilities and shops.

The discussion around the bus station and the 401 space car park was focused mainly on the low number of charging points for electric vehicles in the car park and lack of charging infrastructure in the proposed bus station.

Most of the debate centred around phase two of the application – the mixed use, which was only in outline form so no real details were available.

Mr Wilcox said: “I think we’re in a really special place with the hybrid application that we made because its purpose is to enable us to take away all these comments and review them for a detailed application, which will be forthcoming and will be presented to you.”

Cllr Steve Hogben (Crewe South, Lab) asked for assurances that suggestions from the public and councillors regarding possible uses, including leisure, would be taken into account.

“For example, the ice rink was mentioned… another one might be facilities available for children to play, like climbing walls.

“There’s all sorts of possibilities. Will you be investigating those sorts of opportunities which can attract people to come to Crewe?”

Mr Wilcox replied: “It’s those kind of activities, which bring in the people, that we are looking to attract and we will scan every market availability and use in order to bring the right leisure formula.”

Crewe councillor Anthony Critchley (Lab) said he would like to see more in terms of what was planned for the second phase.

He said there was no provision in the outline plans to replace the clock which had been knocked down.

He added he was pleased to hear about the funding reassurances from Mr Wilcox that the scheme would go ahead.

Both Cllr Critchley and Cllr Stewart Gardiner (Knutsford, Con) said they would like to see some residential and some type of community facility in the Royal Arcade scheme.

They were told residential has not been consulted on with the public.

Councillor Steve Edgar (Haslington, Con) moved the application be approved ‘as it stands’.

“We need to approve this and give the town the confidence to move forward,” he said.

Councillors approved the application with conditions, including infrastructure to be incorporated into the parking and bus scheme to provide additional provision for electric charging points.

Informatives were also added regarding uses for the local community and the replacement of the clock tower with a townscape feature.

The application was approved by 11 councillors and one abstained.

The detailed application regarding the mixed use will be submitted for consideration by the planning board at a future date.

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