Not sure what development you are on about in Widnes but it certainly isn't in the town centre. Apart from a few pubs and the odd chippy Widnes town centre is dead.
They did try developing the old town centre with a vision of wine bars and continental eating but that turned out to be just a couple of clubs with trouble similar to Bridge street but on a smaller scale. The only other development is around the cinema which no one wanders around because you basically need a car to get to it. Like most visions of family friendly town centres they tend to just turn into the odd boozer, a couple of fast food outlets and late night clubs with bouncers on the door.