CPG wins Handforth Dean approval, but Orbit must wait

Consolidated Property Group has won approval for each of its proposals at Handforth Dean Shopping Park from Cheshire East’s strategic planning board, but Orbit, which intends to develop further retail at its neighbouring site, was refused and now depends on a public inquiry’s verdict.

Named as landowner Cheshire East’s preferred developer for the Earl Road site in 2015, CPG’s intention is to build out phrases two and three of the park, comprising 240,000 sq ft of retail, four restaurants and three cafes.

It also applied to extend retail space within its first phase, which is dominated by a flagship Next store and was sold last week to Aviva Investors for £15.8m.

Martin Ridgway, group managing director of CPG, said: “We are delighted with the outcome, which has taken many months of negotiation with the council’s officers. We also welcome the thorough debate amongst members at the committee and especially the manner in which they addressed the many issues relevant to the applications.”

CPG’s plans were originally recommended for refusal by officers ahead of April’s committee, due to concerns over employment levels. Consideration of the plans was deferred to today, as it was decided that both CPG’s scheme and Orbit’s should be reviewed together, to better assess cumulative impact.

Orbit’s proposal to demolish offices and warehousing to make way for seven retail units was refused in February 2016. Following Orbit’s appeal, a public inquiry was confirmed, which is to start in June.

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