Last year, the developer appealed against the council’s non-determination of its plans for 333 homes on the former B&Q site on Great Stone Road. Consultant WSP has now lodged a 115-page statement of case ahead of the hearing later this year.
Accrue Capital’s plans feature the creation of a residential scheme close to Old Trafford Cricket Ground, comprising three blocks varying in size from four to nine storeys.
O’Connell East Architects designed the Old Trafford project.
Among the arguments laid out by WSP in favour of the scheme are that:
- Trafford cannot prove a five-year housing supply
- The development is supported by principles laid out in the Civic Quarter Area Action Plan
- The scheme would provide much-needed affordable homes in the area.
“The impacts associated with the scheme do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits,” WSP states.
“Indeed, the benefits of the scheme significantly outweigh the adverse impacts identified.”
WSP’s statement also says that the project has an estimated GDV of £11.4m and that, should the appeal be allowed, construction could begin at the end of Q1 2022. Based on that timeline, completion is scheduled for 2024.
Trafford Council rejected the project last year, citing seven reasons for refusal including:
- Poor design – “its form, layout, height, scale, massing, density and monolithic appearance are inappropriate in its context and would result in a building which would be significantly out of character with its surroundings”
- Adverse impact on Lancashire County Cricket Club and the Longford Park Conservation Area.
The authority is in the process of drawing up its own statement of case. No date for the hearing has been set yet but it is understood it should take place before the end of the year.
Once the hearing is over, the planning inspectorate could make a decision within six weeks.
The October refusal was the second time Accrue’s plans had gone before Trafford’s planning committee.
In March 2019, a larger iteration of the project featuring 433 flats was turned down, prompting the developer to scale back the scheme.
After the 2019 rejection, the council announced its willingness to look at using compulsory purchase powers at the site to deliver a leisure centre.
According to the Civic Quarter Masterplan, the former B&Q site is suitable for a development of four storeys, with possibilities including parking, a leisure centre and “possibly a mix of higher value uses”.
However, in January the council rowed back on this following a review of its leisure centre strategy.
It is now understood that a residential development is the most likely outcome for the plot, as outlined in the council’s Civic Quarter Area Action Plan.