Mirrlees Fields, MAN, c Google Earth

MAN has said it will sell the land to a developer if the plans are not approved., Credit: Google Earth

Appeal lodged over 200-home Hazel Grove refusal 

MAN Energy Solutions will fight Stockport Council’s decision to reject proposals for a housing scheme and a country park next to the manufacturer’s Mirrlees Fields head office. 

The developer and the council will head to appeal this autumn with MAN hoping to overturn the refusal of its 200-home scheme, which would provide 100 affordable properties and a 43-acre park.

The council’s planning officers had said the redevelopment of the 67 acres MAN owns in Hazel Grove should be approved.  

However, the planning committee voted against that recommendation in December due to concerns about the loss of open space. 

The land to the north of MAN’s Stockport head office was once a golf course and has been owned by the company for 60 years. At present, access is only permitted via public footpaths or with prior consent from the owner. 

In May 2021, MAN agreed in principle to transfer 43 acres to the Land Trust, allowing it to be used as a public park should the project be approved. 

The balance of the site would allow for 10 acres to be developed for housing and 11 acres to be allocated as open space to service the homes. 

MAN wants to sell the residential land and use the proceeds to reinvest in the business. 

A letter from MAN to Stockport Council sent 12 months ago said that the company would spend the money on upskilling its workforce and upgrading its buildings as part of the firm’s shift towards green technologies. 

The letter also warned that if the authority did not approve the proposals, MAN would “sell the land to a developer”, who may want to build more than just houses on the site. 

The preservation of a large chunk of Mirrlees Fields for publicly accessible space is one of two main arguments MAN has put forward to support its appeal. 

The site does have various protections. It is classed as strategic open space in the core strategy and “green chain” in the unitary development plan in a part of the borough lacking in alternative greenspace. 

Another reason the developer says the scheme should be approved is that Stockport Council does not currently have a demonstrable five-year housing supply.  

A statement of case prepared by consultant Asteer Planning states that the council has not delivered enough new housing in recent years. 

The inquiry will begin on 31 October. 

The Mirrlees plans, consulted on in 2020 and lodged in outline in summer 2021, have been controversial from the outset, rousing local opposition. 

A petition launched by the campaign group Protect Mirrlees Fields has garnered more than 5,000 signatures to date. 

Your Comments

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With Stockport having no local plan and a poor supply of land I can see a successful appeal with the council having to pay the developers costs.

By Anonymous

That’s a good idea for building more homes on that site we need them

By Dale hart

Do not build on mirrlees

By Anthony booth

No Local Plan , not part of Places for Everyone, Officers recommendation too. Planning is broken and power shouldn’t be with those who don’t follow rules and policy and apply discretion kicking the can to the Planning Inspectorate. Local supply needs to meet local demand and we need a clearer and quicker system to achieve this

By Kay Osrains

Maybe the council could buy the land and open it up to self builders, there is a shortage of available land for people who want to build a home at a reasonable price.

By Anonymous

Yet more evidence that the Planning System is completely broken and not fit for purpose….. Officer recommendation to approve and yet refused by committee – ridiculous and another appeal at the Tax Payers expense.

By David Sleath

There is not enough local services for the houses already in this area, schools, GPs, dentists etc… why build more houses when the infrastructure can’t cope with the population it is already struggling to serve?!

By Jane Davies

The council need to be protecting green spaces for the local community.
Some small development would be a good compromise.
It’s all to easy to suggest building on green spaces, Mirlees fields is home to a lot of habitat and wildlife, used by local residents, once its gone, its gone!

By Anonymous

The area they plan to use is the habitat of nesting Buzzards. If they got permission what would happen to the wildlife. I have even seen the odd small deer. Then in a few years to come they will apply for more land to be used.

By Anonymous

Typical entitled company to try and hold the local authority to ransom with threats of selling off the land if they don’t get what they want.
Stand you ground Council.
Ditto to Jane Davies, let’s get the infastructure in place before building more houses.

By Anonymous

This beautiful unspoiled green oasis (also known as Flowery Fields) in a stifling toxic desert of relentlessly busy roads and congested housing is a priceless treasured amenity to all who know it, love it an use it. It provides essential habitat for all manner of wonderful creatures. What a nightmare, a disaster, a tragedy of monumental proportions it would be, were builders ever allowed to encroach at all. Please fight to save Flowery Fields for the future!

By Dave Brock

Please can you advise how many signatures Friends of Mirrlees garnered ad I haven’t seen a petition.
Reading this statement it is my understanding that objections were raised to save open space, even though MAN gave a proposal to leave 43 acres of what would be lovely shrub woodland and open space in Land Trust?

Has anyone actually done a survey in just how much open discern there is in the Stockport Borough ? What I can recall and do use is…
Georgian Cricket field full of purple orchids in spring and far more grass species that Mirrlees. Also kept managed by the club.

Bramhall park – nice place to sit and chat with people and take a picnic. Also managed by the council

Happy valley

By Margaret Burke

Broken planning system dominated by a political leadership serving their own vested interests rather than good local governance. The Liberals are responsible for Stockport only just climbing out of the 1970’s and the Tories need to be fired for turning coat on the night and forcing Stockport out of the GMSF, Not only will Stockport have to deliver all those identified Greenbelt sites. When Labour gets in and restores national and local housing targets, the Council will have to find the 5000 housing units that they gave back to the local authorities when they pulled out of the GMSF. Watch the rats jump ship when that happens!

By Alastair Sheehan

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