The council acquired the Grafton Centre in 2018. Credit: Google Earth

Grafton Centre refugee apartments to progress 

Trafford Council wants to convert part of the Altrincham retail centre it acquired for £11m in 2018 into emergency accommodation for people fleeing Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The local authority’s planning committee is set to approve the proposals when it meets next Thursday.

Designed by View Associates, the scheme will see disused retail space within the 80,000 sq ft Grafton Centre converted into nine homes accommodating up to 51 people.

Five of the units proposed will be two-storey houses and the other four will be single-storey apartments.

The scheme, which will be funded through the Local Authority Housing Fund, also proposes replacing the roof, which is made of RAAC.

Enabl is advising the council on its plans.

The homes development forms a small part of a potentially much larger redevelopment of the Grafton Centre.

Trafford Council was close to appointing a joint venture between Bruntwood and Novo Property Group to revamp the 80,000 sq ft Grafton Centre but pulled the plug on the plan when Covid hit.

The authority is now planning a “partial redevelopment” in 2025/26.

By commissioning a future feasibility study for the partial redevelopment of the Grafton Centre in 2025/26, the council hopes to “further understand the emerging town centre trends, and the broader economic recovery post-pandemic”, the report states.

Over the last three financial years, the complex has made losses of £26,000, £234,000, and £122,000.

The council projects an £8,000 loss for 2022/23 before a return to profit in 2023/24.

The Grafton Centre includes a 91-bedroom hotel run by operator Travelodge. Travelodge’s lease on the building runs until 2037.

Your Comments

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clearly need to be housed, but is this really the best solution. Surely in the whole of Trafford, there is more suitable accommodation than asking families to live on a busy high street next to takeaways.

By Molly

I can imagine there will be uproar on the area and the biggest concern will be the potential risk of the centre devaluing property prices in the area.
Just as there was when Aldi wanted to put a store in the area, but judging by the amount of locals who have embraced the Aldi and Lidl stores , then those concerns seem to be unfounded.

By Anon

It’s really quite an impressive and imaginative scheme this. I wondered about people having to live in dark former stockrooms, but looking at the plans, a lot of thought has gone into layouts and all the rooms having daylight.
Only concern would be if residents end up having to stay for indefinite periods given immigration hold-ups and lack of affordable provision locally to move on to, and if so whether the roof of a shopping centre would be the right place for households of up to 8 people on a longer term basis.
Still, it looks like Trafford trying to do their best with available resources.

By Rotringer

Why can we not find and build houses for our homeless

By Anonymous

Great news. Will really enrich this part of Manchester.

By Anonymous

They’ll need many more than just this at present inflows. Hope they have plenty of resources to build them.

By Anonymous

This is totally against the Trafford Council approved Local Neighbourhood Plan which states that all developements within the Altrincham town centre have to have an “active frontage”. A residence is NOT and active frontage. Trafford Council have really made a mess of their purchace of this site since 2018. Never once have they consulted local people as to what they would like to see happen. Again they are trashing around trying to hide a very bad purchase decision whilst at the same time trying to find central gfoverment fund scheme to draw money from. What a shambles they are.

By Leslie

Why can’t it house our British homeless there’s enough of them on the streets

By Anonymous

I am sorry but this is not what I pay council tax for. Roads, schools, social care, etc, etc first

By Sheila

People who are born in the area can’t even afford to live in the area. If there was affordable housing available in Altrincham for first time buyers I would see no issue. But the fact it’s highlighted in the article about lost revenue of this premises now your going to write more money off is just beyond me!

By Jake

Altrincham needs to get out of Trafford


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