Council Comments on Cheshire East proposal for Crewe Lifestyle Centre

The Town Council welcomes the proposals from Cheshire East Council to build a lifestyle centre in the Town. The Council raises the following points and questions and asks Cheshire East to consider these matters as part of the overall implementation of the project.

  1. Full consultation with the public is essential and Cheshire East is asked to make a concerted effort to liaise with groups and users from the disabled community to ensure ongoing input is provided at both planning and construction stages.
  2. The Council asks that Cheshire East consider utilising the geothermal heat source under Crewe to reduce the running costs of the centre and to provide for wider connections to the supply.
  3. The Council asks that the new building is connected to the rest of the Town through an enhanced network of walking and cycling routes. If possible a direct foot bridge connection to the retail park would be welcomed.
  4. There should also be secure and covered cycle storage at the site.
  5. The Council wishes to see integration with the public transport network and to have in place sufficient parking provision for the development as a whole.
  6. Car-parking issues in general need to be considered carefully. If the site of the existing library is used, then it must not impinge in any way on the Civic Square and War Memorial. The Council wishes to see greater clarity as part of the on-going consultation as to the location and scale of parking provision that will support the needs of the centre and its users.
  7. The Council wishes to better understand what the future is for what will be the former library. The building will become redundant once the library moves and the Town as a whole needs to understand what usage will be made of the vacated space.
  8. The Council can see the benefit of an integrated library, but raises the question as to whether a separate library would be more beneficial for the town, so as to permit more space for other uses within the centre.
  9. The Council wishes to see a statement on the proposed charging regime for chargeable services to be delivered at the centre. Such charges should be affordable for all of the community.
  10. The design should have something of a ‘wow’ factor but should also be sympathetic to the area and especially to the historic Christ Church.
  11. The pool will be 25 metres long and 8 lanes wide, is this a suitable replacement for the current Flag Lane facilities and provide for the necessary competition standard.
  12. The Council would also wish to see assurances that the Flag Lane Baths once redundant is sympathetically developed and that the façade in particular is not lost to the Town.
  13. The Council would wish to see the multi-use space in the building equipped such that facility can host conferences, seminars and conventions. This would include suitable seating, break out areas and appropriate projection and sound systems as an integral part of the build.
  14. There should be a well-equipped room (as at the present library) available for local societies to hire for monthly meetings/small exhibitions. If the proposed University Technology College uses the Victoria site, there also needs to be a replacement for the large hall there which is used for large exhibitions etc.
  15. The existing library based Family History Room, run by volunteers and well-used, providing an important additional resource to the library, needs protecting, indeed enlarging to form a Family/Local History Study Centre with a large exhibition/education room – not necessarily in the library, but as part of the proposed ‘Cultural Quarter’.
  16. The site itself is constrained on all four sides and the draft plans attempt to get as much use of the available space as possible. In view of the ambitions for Crewe and its future growth, it is essential that it remains fit for purpose for 50 years and is not found to be inadequate in a few years’ time. The design as such may need to incorporate long term options for an extra floor or other means of expansion/development.
  17. The Council seek to query whether the combined loss of other facilities is to be greater than the floor area provided by the new site. Crewe is a growing town and is already in need of an expansion of the infrastructure. As indicated at (15) the lack of the potential to expand may prove a hindrance in future.
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