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Wednesday 8 November 2017

Council to launch consultation on draft Crewe HS2 Masterplan Vision

Cheshire East Council is to launch a public consultation on its draft Crewe HS2 Masterplan Vision.

The document provides a strategic framework for the town, showing how current regeneration plans for Crewe could be built upon through future development, investment and infrastructure to maximise the transformative economic benefits of an enhanced HS2 hub rail station at Crewe.

If approved, the vision will be used to develop detailed plans and policies for key areas for investment, including from the town centre to the areas around the existing station.

The draft masterplan vision is based on government deciding to deliver both enhanced rail infrastructure and a hub station at Crewe capable of serving up to seven stopping high-speed HS2 trains per hour, with direct services to Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Together with a programme of investments in the town centre, hub station surrounding area and local highways network, the vision shows how Crewe could be truly transformed for the benefit of communities across the borough – creating potential diverse employment, housing, retail, leisure, cultural and educational opportunities.

The draft masterplan vision would support the creation of almost 40,000 new jobs over the next 30 years in Crewe alone and facilitate additional economic growth across the surrounding towns in Cheshire East and its Constellation partners in neighbouring authorities.

It would also look to create a new commercial hub around the station housing more than 350,000sq metres of new commercial floor space and deliver an additional 7,000 homes, above existing plans, by 2043.

Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey said: “The arrival of HS2 at Crewe by 2027 provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver nationally significant transformational economic growth and regeneration – not only to Crewe, but the whole of the sub-region.

“An enhanced Crewe hub station would be the catalyst to deliver this growth, jobs and investment opportunities for Crewe and our partner councils and LEPs in the Constellation Partnership and the wider Midlands and North Wales regions.

“A fully-connected HS2 Crewe hub is a key aim of this council in order to maximise the enormous economic benefits this project will deliver to the whole sub-region and beyond. It reflects a plan-led approach to growth for Cheshire East and our partners.

“But Crewe needs to be HS2 ready. These huge potential benefits can only be delivered with the right masterplan framework in place for Crewe before the arrival of HS2. That is why we have produced this draft masterplan vision document which will undergo full public consultation.

“I would also reiterate that we wish to see the highest standards of mitigation and compensation for those people and businesses affected by the HS2 route.

“We will continue to press for a strategic hub station at Crewe, served by increased HS2 services to and from London, Birmingham and Manchester, that will benefit from the station’s unrivalled 360-degree connectivity. In this way the economic benefits could then reach far beyond the traditional political and regional boundaries.”

The draft masterplan vision seeks to develop two complementary and linked centres, with development around the HS2 hub station focused on employment and Crewe town centre regenerated as the cultural, retail and leisure focus for Crewe and the wider area.

The vision stresses the importance of investing now and in coming years to maximise the positive impact of HS2 on Crewe. This approach has already seen the council decide, in September 2017, to invest in the Royal Arcade project, public realm and Crewe market in the town centre. These investments and others, such as proposals for a state-of-the-art Crewe History Centre, are examples of moves to make Crewe ‘HS2 ready’.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “The draft masterplan vision presents the prospect of a very exciting future for Crewe and builds on the successful town centre regeneration already in action. As a town built on the back of the Victorian investment in the railway, a successful framework for growth through a masterplan vision will ensure the town equally benefits from this next high-speed rail revolution.”

Frank Jordan, executive director for place at Cheshire East Council said: “The draft masterplan vision builds on the council’s extensive track record of delivering significant infrastructure development in Crewe and set the conditions for future growth via a framework that is agile and responsive and that delivers more-integrated connectivity.

“The Crewe hub station needs to have a high-quality design that would set the standard for development in Crewe in the future and promote ‘quality of place’ in the towns and rural areas right across south Cheshire.”

The six-week consultation will be launched later this month, following unanimous approval by Cheshire East Council’s cabinet today (November 7) and will be the first phase of the consultation process. The draft masterplan vision will also be shared with key stakeholder groups for their feedback and comments.

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