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Westbrook Centre redevelopment plan put on hold

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A MAJOR planning application for redevelopment of the Westbrook Centre has been put on hold by Warrington planning bosses.
Members of the borough council’s development management committee decided to defer a decision on the proposals, but forward by Asda, after hearing of objections from  nearby residents.
The scheme involves reconfiguration and part re-development of the Westbrook Retail Centre – which is owned by Asda.
Existing offices and some retail units would be demolished, the car park and access areas would be reconfigured, new shops and commercial leisure units would be erected, together with construction of a new training facility for Asda employees and the existing petrol station would be redeveloped.
A new suite of units on land to the east of the Odeon Cinema would be created, although no details have been given for their use. They could be retain, financial or professional services, restaurants or cafes or assembly/leisure.
The scheme is supported by borough councillor Judith Guthrie, on the grounds it would regenerate the Westbrook Centre , but is opposed by Cllr Stefan Krizanac, who says the number of retail units will be reduced.
He says the re-development will mean the cinema and other shops will have no allocated parking and will be “at the mercy” of Asda.
The committee was told that more than 17 objections had been received, but there had also been six letters supporting the scheme.
Objectors argued that Asda was not a good neighbour, there would be a loss of trees, traffic issues, vermin and the impact on nearby residential areas.
Officers recommended the scheme be approved – but the committee deferred the application for further information.

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  1. “The scheme is supported by borough councillor Judith Guthrie, on the grounds it would regenerate the Westbrook Centre , but is opposed by Cllr Stefan Krizanac, who says the number of retail units will be reduced.
    He says the re-development will mean the cinema and other shops will have no allocated parking and will be “at the mercy” of Asda”

    Stephan appears to be implying that ASDA are closing off the cat park for shoppers who are not using their store as well as banning the car parking spaces around the Cinema – it simply doesn’t make sense. Can some explain surely they are making changes to promote business and customers in what is already a very popular retail place.

    • It appears you are quoting from the Case Officers’s report. Looking at the actual application the car park allocations shown as 404 for ASDA, 158 for non-Food Retail,131 for Fast food and Restaurants (other than in the Cinema) and the 159 + 45 adjacent to the Cinema for the use of the cinema. The Non-food retail includes 5 for the Library and Youth Centre(!!),two of which are disabled.

      There is no indication of the sharing arrangement that currently exists with mention of parking enforcement instead. Neither is any mention made of sharing for parents at the school (who cannot use the school car park) or patients at the Doctors surgery. Shades of “come to sports day and get a parking fine”. The food outlets in the new set of units will operate at the same time as the cinema and reduce apparent parking space for the latter by using up the overflow, if it is allowed.

      The management and sharing of the car park was the reason that the New Town let ASDA get the land cheaply. You haven’t mentioned that the idea of just ignoring the Core Plan policy which is supposed to protect services at the District Centre will likely cause the Dentists serving 6000 patients to close, the exact opposite of what the policy is for. The council forgets that this costs money to the dental practice and it is not likely to move to one oft he other units. Whilst I may have explained some things it surely doesn’t make sense. The place is only 25 years old and it isn’t broke.

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