Trafford Council planning committee yesterday approved revised outline plans for Nikal's £70m leisure-led development in Altrincham town centre.
Altair would cover 4.5 acres next to the new transport interchange and contain a new 43,000 sq ft leisure centre, 96,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants, coffee shops and cafes, a 7,400 sq ft bowling alley, 150 new apartments and townhouses, as well as 35,000 sq ft of office space and a car park, the size of which would be confirmed prior to development.
Planning consent for the original larger design was granted in 2008. Nikal subsequently bought out the interest of joint venture partner David McLean following its collapse into administration as the financial crisis hit.
Nick Payne, managing director of Nikal, said: "We've had a vision to regenerate this brownfield site for many years and it's tremendously exciting to be taking the next steps with the support of the council.
"It's a promising time for Altrincham; the refurbishment of the interchange is underway, there are new plans to revitalise the marketplace and now Altair. All these schemes will help rejuvenate the town and bring people and trade back into the area, as well as creating new jobs. In particular, Altair will focus on enhancing Altrincham's hospitality offering, creating a vibrant leisure area, linking sport with eateries.
"We've designed Altair so it will provide much needed linkages between the different areas of Altrincham, helping to enhance trade and dwell time for residents and visitors. The new office space will attract further investment from businesses currently situated outside the town and borough and the apartments and townhouses will create new housing opportunities not seen in the area."
Over the next few months, Nikal said it will ask local residents for their input on the types of occupiers they would like to see in Altair.
The planning consent is for indicative layout only and Nikal would have to get detailed designs approved in a reserved matters planning application before construction could begin.
There are no prelets agreed on the scheme.
Payne added: "Altair is being built by Altrincham people, for Altrincham people. I'm proud to be part of something which is going to create a lasting positive impact for the area. It will enhance what Altrincham already has to offer and create a new, safe and vibrant location for local people and families to enjoy and relax in."
HOW Planning prepared and submitted the planning application for Nikal. Elizabeth Lees, senior planning and environmental consultant at HOW Planning, said: "This is a great result which will help to the ongoing regeneration of Altrincham town centre. The plans have been very well received and I think everyone is looking forward to seeing the new development take shape."
Work on site is expected to begin in early 2014 and be completed by 2017. Ian Simpson Architects designed Altair.