HUGE plans to build 1,320 apartments and a hotel in the town centre have been revealed.

The plans have been put forward by planning and development consultant Lichfields, on behalf of its client Cockhedge Property Unit Trust Ltd, in a request to Warrington Borough Council.

It has requested a formal screening opinion that seeks to confirm that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required in respect of the proposed development on the land, off Scotland Road.

A screening opinion is the process of determining whether an EIA is required as part of a planning application.

The proposals comprise the demolition of the existing buildings on the western part of the Cockhedge Shopping Centre and the creation of a residential-led mixed use development, including a hotel and ground floor retail floorspace of up to 10,000 sq ft.

The plans consist of the construction of up to 1,320 apartments, which would be a mix of uses including private rented sector dwellings, a 153-bed hotel and car parking. The buildings would not exceed 16 storeys in height.

A statement in the screening opinion request says a number of the retail units are currently unoccupied, with the Wilko store having already relocated to Golden Square.

It states the remaining occupiers include Gala Bingo and Changing Lives in Cheshire.

“Notice has been served on these occupiers who will be vacating the properties in due course,” it adds.

“It should be noted that whilst the Asda supermarket is located within the application boundary associated with this screening request, the unit does not form part of the redevelopment proposals.

“However, alteration may be made to the units western elevation to deliver aesthetic improvements alongside the development.

“It is likely that outline planning permission will be sought initially, with subsequent reserved matters applications to follow in relation to specific phases.

“Development is expected to start in 2021 and the construction period is likely to last 10 years or more from this date.

“Given the scale of the development, we will likely seek a longer planning consent than the standard three years.”

The development is currently planned to come forward in four phases.

The scheme would involve the demolition of some of the existing buildings on the land, including parts of the shopping centre and the New Town House and Quattro council offices site.

The existing access into the site from Scotland Road would be retained.

Warrington Guardian:

New Town House and Quattro in the town centre