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Council’s 20-year vision for the town centre

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TOWN Hall chiefs are to be asked to agree an updated Warrington Town Centre Master Plan – a vision for the town centre for the next 20 years.
The ambitious plan aims to build upon what is special about the town centre – its cultural assets, its locational advantages, its attractive architectural form and its waterfronts and green spaces
Its aspiration is to create a town centre that is distinctive, green and colourful – a great place to live, to work, to do business and to enjoy – a real heart for the growing town.
The master plan – described as a “live” documents that will continually evolve, develop and be revised – will be presented to the borough council’s cabinet next Monday by leader of the council Russ Bowdon.
It has been updated in the context of the current draft Local Plan, which is still progressing through analysis of the 3,000-plus representations arising from the consultation last year.
The master plan has a number of components, including:
Circular parklands: A “green necklace” made by linking Sankey Valley Park, Orford, Victoria and Black Bear parks, the Twiggeries, Arpley Meadows and other smaller parks to provide a distinctive setting for the town centre and providing an important leisure resource.
Rediscovering the River: Making the most of the Mersey – one of the most famous rivers in the world – with continuous waterfront promenades and walking cycling routes and ensuring development areas along the river are strong and special in design and quality.
A place of bridges and water: Making use of new and existing bridges for public art reflecting the town’s history, particularly through the use of light.
Changing the main shopping streets: Reinvigorating town centre streets to reflect changes in shopping habits, introducing new activities to replace retailing, such as outdoor eating and drinking areas, residential conversions, temporary uses, etc.
A place of culture: Developing existing assets such as the Museum, the Parr Hall, Pyramid, sports stadia, events and festival.
Town centre living: More than 8,000 new homes in the town centre – mainly town houses and apartments, conversion of disused retail properties, etc., to buy, rent and through shared-ownership.
Cllr Bowdon introducing the master plan, says it will give Warrington and attractive and vibrant town centre for residents and businesses to be proud of – a focus for culture and leisure.
“Our town centre projects are already coming to fruition: the new Time Square leisure development has started to trade and our Palmyra Cultural Quarter is coming alive as a colourful destination of high quality restaurants and bars. We have recently given. consent for over 700 new homes in the heart of our town.
“This is an updated and revised masterplan. It takes into account the successes we’ve had since the first version was published in December 2016.”

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