Barons Quay Public Consultation » River Weaver Navigation Society

The 2010 Riversdale Bridge

The Northwich Woodlands

The Anderton Boat Lift Mural

The Weaver is only navigable from Winsford Bridge to its confluence with the Ship Canal

Barons Quay Public Consultation
4th February 2013

QUICK LINK - Download and print the Original Questionaire

QUICK LINK - Download and print the Public Consultation Results & Analysis

QUICK LINK - Download and print this RWNS News Release

The River Weaver Navigation Society (RWNS) has published the results of the Barons Quay Public Consultation Survey which gauges public reaction to the proposals being made by Cheshire West and Chester Council and their consultants, Broadway Malyan.

The report comes on the back of Mary Portas, the Queen of Shops, visiting the North West last week to see how shops in Lancashire and Greater Manchester were rejuvenating their shopping areas.

The RWNS Survey, which was based on 461 respondents – nearly seven times more that the council’s own survey – sends a clear message that local people care about their town and want the Barons Quay development to kick start the local economy.

The survey, which was devised by skilled business analysts, sought to achieve a representative sample of Northwich residents, shopkeepers and visitors. It used hard copy questionnaires and an online version and was widely promoted by the Northwich Guardian, social media and local clubs and societies.

 

What the People said …..

On Broadway Malyan proposed designs:

76% Did not think the shop designs were sympathetic to the town

66% Did not support the design for the cinema

61% Disagreed with the contemporary designs for the shops

Using the Artist's Impression:

89% Felt a comprehensive development of Northwich was important

81% Agreed with the artist's style of development

On the proposed Lifestyle Centre:

54% Did not like the contemporary design of the Memorial Court

33% Felt it should be situated on the Moss Farm Development

33% Felt it should be situated on Memorial Hall site

17% Felt it should be situated at Barons Quay

Respondent's Profile:

71% Were Northwich residents

9% Were visitors to the town

7% Owned property or boats locally

6% Worked or Studied in Northwich

5% Were business owners in the town

 

John Tackley, Chairman of the River Weaver Navigation Society said:

Our society is strongly in favour of the development of Barons Quay as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference.

We want to work with the Council and their consultants to make the development a great success but it is essential that the development is painstakingly marketable to those commercial undertakings interested in bringing their businesses to Northwich. This will only happen if the offering is exceptional and goes beyond their business objectives.

Northwich desperately needs a new shopping centre and leisure facilities, like a multiplex cinema but the new development needs to be sustainable for future generations. It must also support the existing retailers in the town – especially the local independent businesses that have supported Northwich through thick and thin.

Northwich’s unique selling point is its River Weaver frontage and its confluence with the River Dane and this must drive the project rather than be subservient to the retail offer.

Whilst we recognise the accountants require big business to bring their retail offer to the town to fund the development, we believe taking advantage of the waterfront will add value to this project and ensure that visitor numbers will multiply and bring the much needed increased prosperity to the town.

Northwich needs to carefully audit its undervalued assets. Its River and Canal waterways are picturesque and steeped in history and we must ensure they become a premier Cheshire tourist destination sitting in the centre of the Anderton Boat Lift, Weaver Hall Museum, Lion Salt Works and nearby Anderton and Marbury Country Parks.

Picture the Barons Quay Development with fantastic shops, hotel and entertainment centre alongside a pretty river, with a café society watching the boats pass by. We also see in that picture, trip boats connecting the Northwich Tourism Triangle bringing visitors to our shops from the Boat Lift which currently attracts over 100,000 visitors a year.

Northwich would then be an extraordinary place to live, visit and be proud of.

 

Belinda Davenport, owner of Davenports Farm Shop and a member of the Weaver Valley Partnership Board, whose remit is to plan, co-ordinate and deliver regeneration in Northwich said:

“I have been pleased to bring both my academic skills, local awareness and tourism sector knowledge to this consultative process.

I must thank all those that have contributed to the survey. The RWNS set out with a blank piece of paper and have been surprised by the results.

The survey, although only a representative sample, has clearly shown that the RWNS aspirations for the town based on the river frontage is shared by the majority of those who live and visit Northwich.

The survey is not rejecting the need for the Barons Quay Development but it is giving a clear message that more emphasis should be placed on river amenities and the architects should be more sympathetic to the towns existing style subject to the constraints of the adopted Vale Royal Local Plan.

Tourism is now an essential and recognised engine for growth for our economy and Northwich should take advantage of its position at the confluence of two rivers.

I am sure my Board will take note of the findings of this survey.

 

Andrew Needham, Chairman of the Cheshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said:

“Many see the CPRE’s objective of only campaigning for a beautiful and living countryside but we also work hard to protect and enhance our towns.

We want places, like Northwich, to be a better place to live, work and enjoy.

This survey supports a national recognised view that a well thought out development based on a natural and living amenity - the river, in the case of Northwich - and our local countryside works.

It will encourage urban development, be an unsung hero for environmental protection and, for future generations, safeguard and protect the tranquillity of the Weaver Valley.

This survey should bring a breath of fresh air to those planning the development at Barons Quay

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