Altrincham apartments return to planners
Scaled-down proposals for an apartment scheme alongside the Bridgewater Canal have been recommended for approval by Trafford Council planning officers, nearly five months after first being refused at committee.
The plans by developer Maya Property and architect Ollier Smurthwaite are for 38 apartments in a mixed-level block ranging between six and three storeys in height, on a plot of land housing the former Rileys Snooker Club on Bridgewater Road. This is roughly on the other side of the canal to Halfords.
Similar but larger proposals for the site were previously rejected at Trafford’s July planning committee, despite a recommendation to approve from officers.
Although slightly larger at 42 apartments and seven storeys, the committee rejected these proposals based on claims the scale, massing, and design of the buildings would harm the character of the area; and that a shortfall in parking provision on the sites would lead to overspill parking on surrounding residential streets, which would be detrimental to residential amenity and highway safety.
The revised proposals, which lose four apartments and one storey in height, are recommended for approved at next week’s planning committee. There are 42 car parking spaces included in the proposals, including an additional four spaces compared with the previous plans, alongside 42 cycle parking spaces.
The treatment and design of the elevation facing the canal has also been altered since the previous proposals were refused in July.
Eight of the apartments are offered as shared ownership, to be managed by Trafford Housing Trust, equating to 21% of the total – this is below the policy requirement of 45%, although higher than the seven apartments the developer initially proposed.
Despite the changes, the updated proposals have still attracted 45 objections from neighbouring properties as well as three local councillors: Conservative Cllr Michael Young, and Green Councillors Dan Jerrome and Geraldine Coggins.
Objections centred on the scale of the proposals at six storeys, which Cllr Young argued would “dominate the skyline” , and the parking provision, which Young said was “very minimal”. Coggins also raised concerns over the increased levels of traffic the development could bring.
Jerrome called on the council to “re-think a more appropriate scheme for the area” after criticising Maya’s proposals for a lack of “clarity, analysis, or long-term thinking” on car parking.
Despite this, planning officers have again backed the proposals, arguing the apartments would not be overlooking nearby properties and there would not be “an undue impact” through noise.
Regarding car parking and traffic, officers said: “Although there may be some limited on-street ‘over-spill’ parking, it is not considered that this would be so significant as to exacerbate existing parking stress to a degree that highway safety or residential amenity would be affected to a level that would warrant a refusal of planning permission”. Access to the site was also considered to be acceptable by officers.
The planners’ report concluded: “The scheme will deliver a sustainable development including 38 new residential units on a brownfield site, a significant contribution to the council’s housing land supply figures, and targets for delivering residential development on brownfield sites”.
The project carries a “minded to grant” recommendation when Trafford Council’s planning committee meets on 13 December.
The professional team on the project includes Paul Butler Associates as planner, Curtins as transport consultant, and Urban Green as environmental consultant.
Maya’s proposals were one of two schemes rejected at the July committee; the other was a neighbouring development by MCR, which was for 99 apartments.
This has been reduced significantly in an updated design released last week, which cut apartment numbers down 49, and the height of the building from nine to five storeys.