A couple of days ago I was trying to find out what the construction works were all about at the delightful Westminster Coach and Motor Car Works building next to the Town Hall on Northgate, its façade formerly fronting the library. I found a whole website dedicated to the redevelopment of Northgate at https://chesternorthgate.com.
Too late to have any influence on the outcome, because the public consultation is over, but for those wondering what the redevelopment is going to look like, there are indications on the above site, including many more details and architects’ illustrations of what’s being planned.
It’s a matter of waiting and seeing what it looks like when it’s up, although one or two of the proposed new buildings seem completely out of keeping with Chester’s personality. The new multi-storey car park, in particular, looks like a step in quite the wrong direction.
The FAQs are well worth a look. There’s also a history section with some interesting details about past developments intended to improve the marketplace itself.
Although there is always the worry that new shopping centres and arcades will concentrate shopping activities in new locations at the expense of older ones, I do hope that it brings renewed life to Chester. The number of shop-fronts boarded up or simply abandoned in Chester is sad, including the former Browns/Debenhams, Patisserie Valerie, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and the entire of the Grade II listed St Werburgh’s Row.