North Colchester development on track
THE multi-million pound redevelopment of north Colchester is a step closer as the latest plans for Cuckoo Farm have now been drawn up.Centred around the proposed 10,000seater new Colchester United stadium, the plans include a 600-space park-and-ride scheme, a business park, health and fitness centre, restaurants and pub, plus an 80-bedroom hotel, with new homes on the border of the development.
THE multi-million pound redevelopment of north Colchester is a step closer as the latest plans for Cuckoo Farm have now been drawn up.
Centred around the proposed 10,000seater new Colchester United stadium, the plans include a 600-space park-and-ride scheme, a business park, health and fitness centre, restaurants and pub, plus an 80-bedroom hotel, with new homes on the border of the development.
The development could be accessed by the proposed new A12 junction which has been given Highways Agency approval.
A shopping centre on previous plans for the development has been replaced with a business park as out-of-town shopping is out of favour nationally, and the plans could be called in by the Planning Inspectorate for a planning inquiry if they included shops.
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Colchester Borough Council would like to fund a large part of the project through private finance.
It is hoped the whole development will be built in four years time, although elements of it, such as the park-and-ride scheme could be completed earlier.
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Ken Jones, Colchester Borough Council cabinet member for regeneration and partnership, said the council's planning committee should be able to grant planning permission without the application being called in.
Commenting on the new blueprint, Mr Jones said: "I am very happy with it. From our point of view, the park-and-ride scheme is the biggest change in these plans.
"I also hope the private sector will pick up the opportunities here and run with them as it is largely a private sector venture."
The development is linked to a complex series of proposals which are interlinked, including the Severalls Hospital plan and the last phase of the Northern Approach road.
Without the new junction the other proposals will collapse, but the Severalls and Cuckoo Farm redevelopment are needed to fund the junction.
The Cuckoo Farm plans will be discussed by Colchester Borough Council's planning committee in the coming weeks.