Colchester – Northern Gateway

A significant 10 acre site located on the northern fringe of Colchester at Junction 28 of the A12 and adjacent to Colchester United Football Club. The site forms part of Colchester City Council’s Northern Gateway vision for a major regional sports and recreation facility on land it owns.

Turnstone have secured the site from Colchester City Council, having been selected in September 2015 following a tender process.

In April 2016 Turnstone submitted a full planning application for the site. Colchester City Council resolved to grant planning permission in July 2017 and planning was granted in January 2018 following the signing of a s.106 Agreement. A subsequent legal challenge of the planning decision was dismissed.

In response to a changing leisure market a full planning application for a revised scheme was submitted in August 2020. The revised scheme comprises:

  • a 12 screen cinema;
  • up to seven restaurant units;
  • two drive-thru units;
  • a ninety bed hotel;
  • two indoor active leisure units;
  • car parking for 750 vehicles;
  • high quality landscaped piazza.

The revised scheme received unanimous approval at planning committee in December 2020 and planning permission was issued in May 2021.

Cineworld has been secured as the operator of the cinema which will include a Super Screen and 4DX. Hollywood Bowl have been secured for a 20 lane bowling alley together with their adventure golf concept Puttstars. Travelodge have been signed for the 90 bed hotel.

Popular bakery brand Greggs and American fast-food chain Wendy’s will each be opening a drive-thru restaurant, together with Fastned who will operate 8 rapid charge EVs on site. Kervan Kitchen, a casual dining restaurant offering authentic Turkish cuisine has signed. Since commencing construction several restaurant units have been let with Mexican operator El Guaca, dessert seller Kaspa’s, global buffet company Nines, Slim Chickens and Italian food specialist Taste of Italy. The line up promises to create a diversity of high quality, casual dining outlets that offer widespread appeal to future visitors. 

Canada Life has been secured to forward fund the scheme.  As part of the deal Colchester City Council has taken an over-riding lease on the scheme with a full buy-back at the end of the term for £1. This will allow the Council to manage future leisure provision within the town with outright ownership after 35 years.

HG Construction have been signed as the main contractor and started on site in February 2022 and is expected to reach completion in early 2024. The scheme will have a phased opening. Wendy’s, Gregg’s and Fastned opened in 2023, with Travelodge and the rest of the scheme opening in 2024.

Turnstone are in the process of securing tenants for the remaining restaurant units. For letting enquiries please contact Whybrow (Ewan Dodds 01206 577667) and Wareing & Partners (Nathan Wareing 020 7409 0022).