Decision delayed on Green Belt airport car park

Cheshire East has knocked back Manchester Airport Group’s 800-space car park on Green Belt land near Styal with its planning committee asking the airport to show it has a “plan B” before it can be approved.

The 318,000 sq ft site is within the Green Belt and works would include the demolition of 48 and 52 Moss Lane to create an 800-space expansion to the airport’s parking provision.

With the airport becoming increasingly congested, planning officers had given the scheme a recommendation to approve, due to its impact on the reduction in drop-offs and taxi journeys to the airport, the current limitations of public transport, the lack of capacity in existing car parking facilities over summer, and the reduction of third-party off-site car parking.

There would also be green landscaping, a footpath, and ecological mitigation measures to minimise the impact on the Green Belt.

Despite the site being within the Green Belt, it does also fall within an Airport Operational Zone, a designation it has had since 1995, and was described at committee as “the last piece of the jigsaw” to be completed, meaning airport-related development would be unlikely to spread beyond this point.

However, committee members were not swayed by the recommendation from planners or by Andrew Murray, planning manager at Manchester Airport, who spoke at yesterday’s meeting.

In a motion put forward by Cllr Andrew Gregory and seconded by Cllr Paul Findlow, councillors said a decision should be delayed given members were “not satisfied it was the only alternative” and called for the airport “to come back and give the committee more information” on its “plan B” for other car parking site.

Nine councillors voted to defer the application with one voting against and one abstention; a date to discuss the proposal again has not yet been set.

Your Comments

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Surely the Airport could simply leave the Green Belt alone, and build multi storey car parks on their existing swathes of land rather than pouring tarmac over every field in the neighbourhood?

By Biggles

Yet another bewildering example of the Planning Committee flying in the face (pardon the pun) of Officer recommendations – unbelievable.

By David Sleath

Biggles, well spotted. However, the cynic in me says that if you want to develop swathes of undeveloped green belt for purely commercial gain and have n hope in getting consent, the best way to do it is put forward an argument to develop the land for a specific use and then a few years later suddenly, as if by magic, find another more pressing use for it. Its far simpler to get approval to develop on parking areas than green belt. Just the hypothetical musings of a cynic.

By D

Maybe consider using other areas that are already car parks and make them multi-storey or simply create better public transport links to help take cars off the road and to alleviate congestion. Create more train routes, more regular bus journeys and to more local towns within the area. There’s no need to use green belt land for the purpose of car parking.

By Tom

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