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Uncover Chester's Amphitheatre don't let Council give it to developers for 150yrs years.

This petition had 15,696 supporters

Please sign and share this petition to stop Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) from leasing off part of the land (inc. Dee House) above the unexcavated part of Chester's Roman Amphitheatre which was built in the 70s AD, to developers for the next 150 years, until the year 2166! 

Our petition to CWAC Councillors reads:

I feel that the public and I as the signee have NOT been fairly consulted on this proposal, this is highlighted by the recent outcry from over 11,000 other members of the public on this petition alone to date, a number which is growing by the hundreds day by day. It is further highlighted by the growing number of local Chester businesses (62 at the time of writing this letter) who have all written and signed an Open Letter to you, the letter highlights the discontent across the city of Chester towards the proposal to develop Dee House and remove any chance of the Chester Amphitheatre being uncovered for the next 150 years. Furthermore the reaction on the Chester Chronicle website to this proposal to develop Dee House and condemn any possibility of the Amphitheatre being excavated in the next 15 decades, is clear for all to see.

It is apparent that a high number of Cestrian's want you as a Councillor to apply for Dee House to be de-listed and then either demolished or even moved so that the Chester Amphitheatre can be uncovered or in part, rebuilt. We appreciate that this might not be possible now or even in the next few years, but if you vote to lease Dee House to a developer for the next 150 years, without giving the public a proper period of public consultation first, then you will be condemning this wish and strongly held desire by a high number of those who you represent and who put their trust in you to act on their behalf.

I know that Dee House is listed, but it’s been left derelict for over 20 years now, it is described by most as an eyesore and a very large number of voters here in Chester want it demolished so that the Roman Amphitheatre can one day be uncovered and turned into the jewel in our crown here in Chester, a place for Cestrian’s to be proud of, I hope that it could even be rebuilt in parts to show what it used to look like! Could you imagine the draw that such a site would create for millions of tourists over the next 150 years, making Chester a must-see destination, drawing new businesses back to the city centre rather than to Cheshire Oaks or Broughton Park, the city of Chester has heritage which most other cities around the World, let alone the UK, can only dream of having, it must utilise every drop of it to draw the crowds, who bring the money, which creates the jobs and businesses, instead of yet another hotel which will ultimately be turned in to more student flats like the old Travelodge on the fountains roundabout.

Any developer paying the millions required to make Dee House safe again will need a maximum return on investment and won’t think twice about converting the rooms in Dee House into Student flats, after all they will give the best return on investment at present. Can you image if this happens, student accommodation on top of Chester’s Amphitheatre, can you imagine what the public outcry will be like if this happens? What the headlines will say and it will all be too late, the horse will have already bolted as they say and there will be little if anything that you can do about it. If it can't be de-listed, then keep it for the people of Chester by turning it in to a much needed visitors centre like the Jorvik Centre in York, which could one day dig down. Last year Jorvik welcomed it's 18 millionth visitor! Thats over half a million tourists every year that York is pulling in. If York can do it, then why can't we here in the famous Roman town of Chester?

It would be the greatest missed opportunity that the City of Chester has ever witnessed and it will have occurred on your watch! Britain’s Biggest Amphitheatre one day uncovered and potentially rebuilt in places with a world class visitors centre, or student flats, hotel rooms and offices…

I know that Historic England say that they don’t support any plans to demolish Dee House, but that's because they can’t be seen to publically approve a listed building being demolished, but if CWAC Council applied for it to be delisted and were successful then Historic England's stance could change. It may not change tomorrow, or even in the next five years, but it would surely change decades before 2166, which is when they’d have to wait until if you vote to go ahead with this proposal, especially given the fact that Historic England themselves are this week funding other archaeological digs across the county, with no thought of leaving remains left in situ or until new technology becomes available!
To leave discoveries buried for future generations to uncover is simply illogical, it goes against the grain of us as a pioneering seafairing nation, for thousands of years we have risked life and limb to discover what lies over the horizon and yet right here in our own great city of Chester we have a discovery waiting to be unearthed, which has the potential to change our great city for generations to come and enhance our lives with the discoveries which still today could lie beneath or be rebuilt in their place to show what once was.

I implore you therefore that on Thursday the 8th of September, please act as my elected representative and vote to allow a full and fair period of Public Consultation on this proposal, which is nothing less than this important site deserves and furthermore talk to others and get their views on whether they would wish for an uncovered Roman Amphitheatre one day or more accommodation and offices.


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