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 Borough Council’s Northern Gateway vision for a major regional sports and recreation facility on land it owns.

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

In April 2016 Turnstone submitted a full planning application for the site. Colchester Borough 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. Clip ‘n’ Climb are taking a double height unit for their climb operation, Hollywood Bowl for a 20 lane bowling alley and Puttstars have been secured for a major adventure golf centre. Travelodge have been signed for the 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 for a 6,000 sq ft unit.

Canada Life has been secured to forward fund the scheme.  As part of the deal Colchester Borough 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, allowing a scheduled opening in Autumn 2023.

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).