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Thursday 13 August 2009

Shopping but no Centre

One of those issues that nearly got raised during last year’s by-election campaign, but got sidelined to the Tory “Yah Boo Pa Broon” approach, was that of the town centre redevelopment. At the heart of the new shopping centre was to have been Delamere Place, along with a new Debenhams store and a revamped BHS.

Not any more, it seems. The Sentinel has picked up on the placing of the development’s parent company into administration, with one less than totally subtle comment saying the scheme is “dead in the water”.

Central Crewe is already suffering, for a variety of reasons: business isn’t good, there are an increasing number of vacant retail units, and the dreadful state of the bus station puts folks off using that mode of transport to visit. Also, bus services routinely run down after 1800 hours, so by then the place is dead – there’s no point in opening late.

We’re told that Cheshire East Council is carrying out a major planning exercise for the town centre, but it’s hard to see how there will be any significant redevelopment without someone to put in the money in the first place.

Heck, we still haven’t had the OK for the Rail Gateway scheme.

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