A £300m HBG mixed-use scheme in Chester has been mothballed as a result of financial instability.

The city’s council was expecting developer ING Real Estate to sign a agreement giving the Northgate Quarter scheme the green light in December.

However, the developer has said that “market conditions” have made the scheme’s future unclear, and work has ground to a halt.

A section 106 agreement had been agreed in September last year and a masterplan by Hopkins Architects and Buro Happold had been completed. Demolition work started in May in anticipation of the go-ahead.

Brian Hughes, planning manager at Chester council, said: “ING said that the state of the global retail economy was such that they would have to hold back. The council remains committed to progressing Northgate, but everybody else has taken a slight step back.”

The council remains committed to Northgate, but everybody else has taken a slight step back

Brian Hughes, Chester council

If it goes ahead, Northgate will provide a new shopping district, a market hall, bus station and performing arts centre to a deprived area to the north-west of Chester city centre, alongside 123 new homes.

David Alker, ING Real Estate development director, said: “Owing to the current issues facing the credit markets, commercial and construction price inflation and market conditions, we have no choice but to review the timing of the scheme.

“We remain committed to Chester and the Northgate scheme while we consider the options open to us.”

The developer has not said when work might resume on Northgate, but pledged to remain in discussions with the council on how the scheme might progress.