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Cheshire East presses on with HS2 vision
Published: 13th November 2017
This Article was Written by: Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group
Cheshire East Council has announced its plans to launch a public consultation for its HS2 Masterplan Vision for Crewe by the end of November.
The Government has chosen to deliver both enhanced rail infrastructure and a hub station at Crewe that is capable of serving up to seven stopping high-speed HS2 trains per hour. Direct services to Manchester, Birmingham and London would be included.
The plan announced by the council promises to outline how Crewe can reap the benefits from the impact of the HS2 hub station. By 2043, the aim is to build 3.5m square feet of commercial space and 7,000 new homes.
Providing a strategic framework, the submitted document demonstrates how current plans to regenerate the site have strong potential for future development with heavy investments.
Should the plan be approved, detailed plans and investment policies will be drawn up that have a strong focus on development from the town centre, to the areas around the existing station.
Cllr Rachel Bailey, Cheshire East Council leader, 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.
Two complementary and linked centres would be developed. The area around the HS2 hub station would be centred more around employment, with Crewe’s town centre being regenerated as the cultural, retail and leisure focus for Crewe and its surrounding area.
Rachel Bailey added: “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 six-week consultation will commence by the end of November, having received unanimous approval by Cheshire East Council’s cabinet last week. This will mark the first phase of the consultation process, and the draft masterplan vision will also be shared with key stakeholder s for their feedback and comments during this time.