March 9 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Proposals for a major development that could bring up to 100 jobs to a north Essex town are set to be moved to the next stage.
Members of Colchester Borough Council’s cabinet are due to meet next week to discuss the redevelopment of the town’s St Botolph’s Quarter which includes plans for an 85-room hotel, a mix of restaurants and cafés, as well as residential apartments and townhouses.
The council invited bids from developers after marketing the St Botolph’s site last year and officers have recommended that the plans put forward by property development firm, Building Partnerships, offer the best opportunity to reinvigorate the Quarter and complement existing uses.
The cabinet has been asked to confirm Building Partnerships as the preferred bidder and to agree on some initial terms and conditions around the sale and development of the council-owned land, which is currently made up of the former bus station site, the St. James House building, bus depot and ticket office.
Nick Barlow, portfolio holder for regeneration at the council, said the bid from Building Partnerships was chosen because it offers the best mix of leisure, retail and residential properties and also complements the proposed development of a new Curzon boutique cinema and the existing Firstsite gallery - both of which are in the same part of town.
He said: “I’m excited about the potential new development of the St Botolph’s site. The imaginative proposal will regenerate and transform this site and bring many new jobs to the local area. It will provide new entertainment and leisure facilities, giving this area a new focus.”
“This comes at a time when £500m is being invested in Colchester by the private and public sectors which will deliver three new hotels, a better experience in the Castle Museum, 30 minutes free WiFi, refurbishment of Williams & Griffins, new shops, cafes, restaurants and bars alongside better access via a Park and Ride service.”
It is expected legal details for the Building Partnerships development will be finalised over the next few months before work starts on the planning and design stage, which will include a public consultation. Work is due to start on the Curzon cinema later this year and it hoped work could start on the bus station area within two years,