First look at detailed plans for £70m Tollgate Village leisure and retail park
A multi-million pound retail and leisure park on the outskirts of Colchester has taken its "next vital step" in a long-running planning battle.
The reserved matters planning application for Tollgate Village, in Stanway, includes greater detail of the northern and southern sections of the proposed £70million leisure, cinema and shopping complex on vacant land opposite Tollgate Retail Park and the former Sainsbury's site.
The leisure hub on the south of Tollgate West, will feature a multi-level pedestrian plaza and include a multi-screen cinema, up to nine restaurants and shops, additional leisure operators, and extensive landscaping.
The other two development zones which form part of Tollgate Village on the north side of the Tollgate West road, will be made up of upgrading the facades of the existing shops at Tollgate Retail Park, new units and facilities on the former Sainsbury's site.
These will be the main shopping areas and will also include a promenade, small plaza and a green pedestrian link to the southern leisure site.
MORE: Plans for £70m retail and leisure park near Colchester submitted
The development has attracted much controversy since plans were first put forward and was twice refused planning permission by Colchester Borough Council.
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It eventually got the go-ahead at appeal when the secretary of state stepped to grant outline planning permission in August 2017.
The development then faced a High Court challenge from Fenwick, along with Lion Walk Shopping Centre, which was first rejected in November 2017 before a second hearing in front a specialist planning judge also threw out the appeal in December 2017.
Tollgate Partnership Limited, the Stanway-based family company behind the scheme, has now applied to Colchester Borough Council for approval of the materials, landscaping and other details of the pedestrian-friendly leisure and retail areas.
MORE: Fenwick vows to campaign for planning law changes to protect town centres as Tollgate Village gets go-ahead
Daniel Watts and Jayne Gee, directors of Tollgate Partnership Limited, said: "We hope that Tollgate Village will start to take shape as we continue our father's legacy.
"Over the past 18 months, we have been working hard to design a deliverable scheme, alongside the council, that conforms to the outline planning permission that was granted by the secretary of state for communities and local government in August 2017 and the subsequent challenge by Fenwick, that was rejected in the High Court in December 2017.
"Despite the recent negativity in the retail and restaurant markets in Colchester, we are confident that development of our scheme will commence next year with support from the end users. "We know our many supporters will be as excited as we are to see this next vital step in the planning process for Tollgate Village."
The first full plans for the development were submitted earlier this year as Tollgate Partnership Limited sought permission to make the series of improvements to Tollgate Retail Park.
These included external changes to shops, the creation of an additional retail unit between PC World and Office Outlet, the construction of a service road off London Road, alterations to the car park and road improvements.