Cheshire East Council has moved another step closer to realising its ambition to unlock the delivery of £180 million of investment into the regeneration of Crewe.
A programme of interventions is being taken for engagement at a meeting of its environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee on Monday 19 October that aims to boost the local area’s economy and to enable residents to lead successful, healthy and happy lives.
These interventions aim to support the town centre regeneration, with new commercial and employment opportunities, provide new homes that will help to tackle housing supply issues and inequalities in the town.
The arrival of HS2 to Crewe is an important component of delivering the council’s future ambitions for Crewe and the surrounding area. However, the arrival of the high-speed train services alone will not unlock the potential for the town or the region. Getting the right station solution for Crewe is critical to unlocking the economic, social and environmental potential of the town.
To unlock this potential, the council require the delivery of:
● The right rail infrastructure solution to be delivered at Crewe station to enable up to seven HS2 trains per hour, in each direction, to call at Crewe;
● A new rail junction known as the Crewe North Connection that would link the HS2 Phase 2b line (which is out for consultation) and the existing West Coast Main Line; and
● Critical enhancements to Crewe railway station to bring it closer in line with the standard of other HS2 stations being delivered elsewhere.
Councillor Craig Browne deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said “The arrival of an enhanced HS2 offer for Crewe will bring with it un-capped economic potential for Crewe and its town centre. Much work is being undertaken now to transform the town into something that is fit for the future. With nearly £180m worth of projects under development and in the pipeline, the investment in this town is significant and long-awaited for.
“This news continues the ‘Crewe story’ and provides a further update as to what is happening for the town.
“As a council we will be considering HS2 in more detail in November, but this update shows that we are starting to engage our scrutiny committee on it, prior to the decisions being confirmed.
“The council has assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HS2 project and notes that it is important to continually review and revise its plans based on the affordability, viability and deliverability of a scheme.
“This has led to a revised scheme proposition for the Crewe hub which will see the full vision delivered in phases rather than all upfront.”
The initial phase of the proposed scheme, which will focus on the area immediately surrounding the Crewe Hub station and will include:
● Enhancements to Nantwich Road Bridge including the delivery of new pedestrian and cycle bridge decks to improve links between the station and town centre and promotion of active travel;
● Delivery of a new interchange on Weston Road to provide enhanced facilities for taxis, pick-up and drop off and with the potential to incorporate buses;
● Delivery of a new multi-storey car park on Weston Road to replace the existing surface level car park and cater for HS2 passenger growth at Crewe; and
● Delivery of highway access improvements comprising of a series of junction improvements on the immediate road network serving the hub.
Future High Street Fund
In June this year the Cheshire East Council submitted the ‘Revitalising Crewe’ business case to Government seeking £20.568m capital funding to support projects which will stimulate the regeneration of Crewe town centre.
The projects, which are yet to be formally decided upon at a future cabinet meeting, look at ways to:
● Make the town more accessible,
● Provides the thinking towards developing more in-town living
● Seeks further enhancements for the development of the history centre;
● Provides outline ambitions for supporting a technology and digital innovation campus; and
● Sets out the creation of a sustainable energy network.
Councillor Nick Mannion portfolio holder for environment and regeneration, said: “These projects have been outlined as part of a business case to government and will be subject to further discussions and planning permission if successful.
“If we are successful with the funding application process, these projects will form part of a big plan to improve Crewe overall, from its station, right into the heart of the town centre.”
Cheshire East respond to HS2 Phase 2b consultation
Cheshire East Council has acknowledged the announcement from HS2 Ltd regarding the Phase 2b Western Leg Design Refinements Consultation, published 7 October.
The key proposal is the addition of the Crewe Northern Connection and changes to the design of Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot. The two changes to the design north of Crewe are:
● Include Crewe Northern Connection in the design for HS2 to enable the benefits of NPR and the Crewe Hub to be realised in future with more and quicker services to the North and the Midlands; and
● Modify the design of the Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot to provide the required stabling and maintenance facilities for HS2 rolling stock and support the efficient operation of the HS2 network.
Over the coming weeks, the council will review the information that has been published and develop its response to the consultation, which ends on 11 December 2020. The council will work with the local community to establish and prioritise key concerns. Any issues raised, will inform the consultation response to government and HS2 Ltd.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “As with previous consultations, I would urge our residents and local businesses to view the latest 2b consultation, which outlines the design modifications to deliver faster services.
“HS2 is one of our key steps to deliver the overall vision and will support Crewe’s expansion, therefore we want to ensure this major infrastructure project limits environmental mitigation, exploring all possibilities to be cost effective and appropriate for Crewe’s wider plans.
“The next step is to engage with members and our local communities in this HS2 Ltd led consultation to establish key features and benefits of the new designs and where they could be improved, to feedback our comments and suggestions at a later date.”
The consultation documents are available on HS2 Ltd’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-2b-design-refinement-consultation
HS2 Ltd have a 24-hour helpline and email address for those who would like to ask any questions about the consultation, or scheme in general ring 08081 434 434 or email email@example.com
The full overview and scrutiny papers can be found on the council website at: http://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/ecminutes/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=870&MId=7995