A multi-million pound redevelopment for Chester Northgate has been shown the green light.

Cheshire West and Chester planning committee gave unanimous support for detailed designs for the first phase of the scheme which includes a new indoor market, public square, picturehouse cinema and an arcade within the former library building.

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The committee also approved the inclusion of a multi-storey car park as part of initial pase of development.

Work to build the new leisure destination in the heart of the city centre is on schedule to start in January 2020.

Chester residents visitors will have a choice of eateries, bars and cultural attractions from cinema to pop-up events as well as the popular Storyhouse library and theatre.

The market, which has undergone a revival over the past 12 months, will be relocated to provide "a dynamic new environment" for traders and visitors.

The designs were submitted following extensive public consultation with the views of Chester residents and local businesses helping shape the scheme.

Councillor Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “Planning approval for the first phase of the Northgate development is a welcome milestone in a long and complex journey towards building a brand new leisure destination in the heart of Chester.

“This is long-awaited and much-needed investment in this part of our city centre and it will have a positive impact for residents, local businesses and the local economy with the creation of new jobs and new work for local suppliers.”

Councillor Stuart Parker, shadow cabinet member, communities and wellbeing said: “This project is one of the largest investments in the city centre and will help create a dynamic, modern city that is fit for the future while preserving all that is cherished from the past.

"Chester is a very special place and we have the unique opportunity to enhance its richness with new facilities and attractions inside the city walls.

“This is the first chapter and will be proof of high quality development for further investment in Northgate and the city centre.”

The next stage will be the formal appointment of the building contractor with Vinci already selected as the preferred partner.