Ask breaks ground at Urmston as CPO wait continues

Ask Developments has started work on site with the long-awaited redevelopment of Urmston's shopping centre in Trafford, Greater Manchester.

The site preparation for phase one, which includes a new Sainsbury's supermarket, library, and car park, will see the temporary relocation of the library to the former FADS unit in the shopping centre precinct from 29 October. In addition, short-stay car parks on Park Road South and Sumner Way will close at the end of October to make way for building work. The Hilton Avenue car park will remain open for as long as possible, the developer said.

The scheme will provide 140,000 sq ft of retail and leisure and 144 residential apartments and enhanced community facilities.

Ask was selected as preferred developer by Trafford council in April 2004. Planning consent was granted in May 2007. However, progress depends on the outcome of a Public Inquiry held in August into a Compulsory Purchase Order made on several properties. Retailers In Store and Farm Foods objected to the CPO and must wait for the decision from Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, over whether the CPO can be enforced.

Julie Moorhouse, development executive at Ask Developments said: "We have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to get the scheme off the ground and while Ask Developments appreciates that progress may appear to have been slow, we have been doing all we can to overcome legal and planning processes.

"The first phase is expected to be completed in spring 2009 and we are working hard to make this happen."

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