Contested Trafford hotel heads to committee

A nine-storey Hampton by Hilton hotel close to the Trafford Centre could be given the green light next week in the face of several objections from Peel L&P.

In April, Trafford Council’s planning officers recommended approval for the hotel at junction 9 of the M60, known as Lostock Circle. The proposal comes from Blackpool-based Create, which has an agreement in place with the operator. The application was deferred in April to a later committee date.

Objections have flowed steadily throughout this year from both Peel L&P and, up until it went into administration, the Intu shopping centre operator in which Peel was a key shareholder. The parties have argued at various points that other sites in the area would be more appropriate.

The 12,600 sq ft property put forward by Create would cover one fifth of the overall site, with the remainder given over largely to a 127-space car park. 

AEW Architects has designed the development, which would be close to the existing Circle Court apartment building owned by Trafford Housing Trust. Iceni Projects is planning consultant on the scheme.

Between February and May, Intu filed five objections, mostly through Barton Willmore and mostly stemming from its belief that the proposal failed the sequential approach to site selection; this was ramped up in its fifth communication on 7 May, when law firm DAC Beachcroft asked Trafford to commission an independent review of the application, particularly the town centre statement, also taking on board objections.

Peel made representations in March and April, also on the sequential test, putting forward as an example a site within its own Trafford Waters holding with outline consent for a hotel of up to 300 rooms, which it said would be more accessible to transport modes other than private car.

Last week, the business made a further representation, repeating its views and disagreeing with a report by Nexus, the council’s retained consultant, which has examined all the sites concerned.

According to documents prepared for committee, “Nexus has considered all the identified sites within the area of search within or at the edge of centre or potentially well connected in respect of their relationship to a defined centre and it is concluded that none of these sites are both available and suitable to accommodate the proposed development.”

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