Views are being sought over major plans to improve one of Middlesbrough’s key gateways.
A masterplan (also referred to as a draft supplementary planning document or SPD) has been drawn up to revitalise the town’s Western Gateway – which includes the area long known as Cannon Park – featuring modern consumer-friendly shopping units, a new supermarket and improved transport links.
The draft SPD is intended to guide and promote the redevelopment in line with the adopted planning policies for the town as a whole. The intention following consultation, is to adopt the SPD where it will form part of the Local Development Framework.
The draft SPD proposes a new, high quality retail quarter as an extension of the town centre, enabling it to grow in size and quality while maintaining its role as the prime retail centre in the Tees Valley City Region.
Significant landscaping work will be undertaken, with major improvements to pedestrian links between the Western Gateway and the town centre.
The proposals follow research which showed that the majority of those looking to buy convenience and bulky goods were doing so outside the borough.
The first phase of the project – featuring a supermarket at the eastern end of Cannon Park and retail warehouses at the western end - is expected to take up to five years to complete.
The second stage, featuring the development of the central area of Cannon Park for further retail warehouse units and leisure uses, is expected to follow within five to ten years.
The Western Gateway initiative is expected to generate up to 1,500 new jobs, in addition to those involved in the development and construction phases.
The new business opportunities for major retail chains will bring private investment into the town of nearly £120 million, with associated training and recruitment initiatives.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “The draft SPD recognises this as a rare opportunity for large-scale investment and the creation of a new retail destination in Middlesbrough town centre.
“It’s vital that the final scheme at this important gateway location is of the highest possible quality and complements the offer that already exists elsewhere in and around the town centre.
“It’s also important to stress that the draft plan is a framework and not a blueprint, to put in place the overarching principles which will shape the development and ensure that it fits in with its surroundings.
“There is now an important opportunity for anyone with an interest in the future of the town centre – from members of the public to businesses present and future – to have their say on these proposals.
“I would urge as many people as possible to take part in this process and play their part in the next key phase of regeneration in Middlesbrough.”
The consultation will run for six weeks from Thursday, April 5 to Friday, May 18.
The draft document and representation form can be downloaded from the Council’s website atMiddlesbrough Council: Planning Services: Western Gateway Consultation
Paper copies are also available for reference at the Civic Centre, Central Library and Newport Settlement Youth and Community Centre.
Representation forms can be sent to: Urban Regeneration,Middlesbrough Council, Civic Centre, PO Box 504 Middlesbrough, TS1 9FY or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively representations can be made via the Council’s consultation portal http://consult.middlesbrough.gov.uk/
For further information, contact Project Officer Sophie White on 01642 729055 or by email at Sophie_White@middlesbrough.gov.uk