In March, Manchester Science Partnerships, a consortium led by Bruntwood, announced plans to develop new life science facilities at the 400-acre Alderley Park in Cheshire | CGI by Planit-IE
MSP first announced its plans for the 400-acre site at MIPIM in 2015 CGI by Planit-IE

Alderley Park plans set for go-ahead

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The redevelopment of the 400-acre Alderley Park in Cheshire into “a world-class life science facility” is due to receive planning consent next week.

Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning committee will meet on the 24 February to discuss an outline planning application for the site, submitted by owner Manchester Science Partnerships in December.

MSP acquired Alderley Park, formerly occupied by AstraZeneca, in March 2014. Cheshire East Council took a 10% stake in the site.

The planning application proposes 400,000 sq ft of office and labs for life science occupiers in addition to more than 1m sq ft of space which already exists on the site. When MSP submitted to application December, it said it was targeting 7,000 jobs within the park.

The plans include up to 275 new homes, up to 60 of which may be retirement homes. The housing will help to generate the necessary investment required for the science campus.

A village hub will offer complementary uses such as shops, and a gastro-pub, alongside a 100-bedroom hotel. A 150,000 sq ft multi-storey car park will provide 534 parking spaces.

As part of the proposals sport and recreation facilities will be open to the public for the first time. The local community will be able to use the existing footpaths, woodland and heritage parkland, which will create links to the surrounding public footpath and bridleway network through National Trust land around Alderley Edge.

Planning officers have recommended that the development be approved, subject to section 106 agreements and sign-off from the Secretary of State.

A report ahead of the planning committee meeting said: “Following AstraZeneca’s announced departure from Alderley Park, a series of important interventions have taken place to ensure that the impact of disinvestment is managed and mitigated.

“The proposals demonstrate a continued commitment to the parks development as a world class hub for the Life Sciences.

“The proposals will provide high-quality and flexible purpose-built facilities in the short-term for both new and existing companies at the BioHub, thus ensuring that that talent and skills associated with AstraZeneca can be re-deployed on site before becoming dissipated.”

MSP is a Manchester-based public-private partnership and the UK’s largest science park operator. MSP’s shareholders are Bruntwood, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester, Cheshire East and Salford City Councils.

The planning application was submitted on behalf of MSP by HOW Planning. The science campus was designed by BDP Architects, with the south campus vision created by Planit IE. Vectos provided advice on highways and transport, and Resolve Public Affairs assisted MSP through the consultation with the local community.

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