WORK on the long-awaited multi-million pound transformation of Blacon Parade is set to begin early next year.
Community leaders say the ambitious redevelopment is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the estate and will breathe new life into Blacon.
Under the plans, The Parade will be transformed into a thriving shopping, arts and business hub, complete with supermarket, market square, enterprise centre and state-of-the-art health centre.
The £18 million scheme would also see 26 homes built along with 36 apartments for the elderly and new road layouts and play areas.
Chester and District Housing Trust (CDHT), Chester West and Cheshire Council (CWaC) and the Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust(PCT) are behind the proposals, which are due to be submitted to planning chiefs next month.
Blacon councillor Reggie Jones said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to create a new civic centre for Blacon.
“The creation of new shops, community facilities and jobs is fantastic for Blacon and there is a lot of excitement about these plans.
“Work on this scheme started back in 2004 and it has been a long time in the making.
“It is a testament to those past and present who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Final consultation on the proposals has been taking place this week with CDHT representatives knocking on doors in the area.
Drawn up by architects Brock Carmichael, the final plans are likely to be signed off when the consultation results are published early next week.
Existing shops and businesses on the left hand side of The Parade, including the hairdressers and Spar store, will be demolished as part of the redevelopment.
The right hand side of The Parade will remain largely intact although extensive refurbishment and parking improvements will be carried out. It is not yet clear how many jobs the redevelopment will create but hundreds of tradesmen are expected to work on the scheme.
Danielle Harrison, CDHT senior development officer, said: “We are progressing with the planning application for The Parade, which we are hopeful to put in by October.
“We are just finalising the elevations of the housing plans and are progressing well.
Rowlinson Construction has been appointed as the main building contractor.
“We are working with businesses which are affected by proposals at The Parade to help find alternative premises for them.”