PLANS for new glazed openings at the Northgate Arena in Chester which will enable the leisure centre cafe to provide an outdoor eating and drinking area have been given the green light.

The proposal by Brio Leisure, which was approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council this week, is designed to complement the cafe facilities which are undergoing improvements.

The three large, full height glazed openings, facing Victoria Road, will provide an "al fresco area in front of the arena" and a "more active frontage".

No representations were received in relation to the planning application.

In a report recommending approval, council case officer Paul Friston said: "The proposal is to open up the west elevation with three large four panel, ground floor, full height glazed panels, across all three of the recessed brick panel sections.

"These would be aluminium framed, to match existing. The alterations would facilitate/complement internal alterations in relation to the provision of enhanced café facilities within the leisure centre.

Northgate Arena plans before and after.

Northgate Arena plans before and after.

"There would be an ability to open the panels, providing the opportunity for an al fresco area in front of the arena. The result would be to open up the internal space to view from the outside and provide a more active frontage."

He adds: "The panels are considered to be more in keeping with the larger openings on the entrance elevation to the arena and the overall design and massing of the building.

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"The windows would sit between the projecting brick columns which provide a vertical emphasis and the glazed panels would provide a more balanced horizontal ground floor feature across the building.

"The alterations would be an improvement on the existing brick elevation."