Quinta Grafton Centre
Quinta has put forward these proposals for the Grafton Centre

Altrincham and Bowdon sites on Trafford agenda

Charlie Schouten

Trafford Council is continuing the search for partners to bring forward three sites in Bowdon and Altrincham, including off Stokoe Avenue, the Grafton Centre, and a site next to the Cinnamon Club, as it looks to appoint a new internal team to lead on development opportunities.

A report to the council’s executive next week highlights the three sites; one in Bowdon, and two in Altrincham.

The first is at the Jubilee Centre in Bowdon, the existing community centre which sits next to the Cinnamon Club events venue. The council describes the existing building as “outdated and in need of ongoing repair and investment”, with an opportunity to “maximise the site potential to release land for residential development”.

A brief is due to be issued by the council to find a development partner for the site; options could include housing and the construction of a new community centre, but with the condition that parking facilities for the Cinnamon Club and nearby houses is kept in place.

At Stokoe Avenue on Altrincham’s Oldfield Brow, the council is looking to bring forward plans for the former allotments, which have largely remained untouched since closing around 30 years ago.

The council-owned land is being promoted for housing development, while there is also the potential for the site to house a new base for the Trafford Rowing Club along with community facilities. However, to bring forward development on this land, an adjoining strip of land designated as public open space will need to be acquired.

The Grafton Centre, purchased by the council last year, also continues to move forward with the council receiving a number of expressions of interest for the scheme.

Companies to put their names forward so far include partnerships between Novo Property Group and Project3 Architects; Bruntwood; Patrick Properties; Step Places and architect AEW; Sixtwo Architects and Real Estate Developments; and a team of Quinta, View Associates, and Recom.

Trafford Council first started the search for its development partner for the 81,000 sq ft site in August this year, calling for “visionary but workable ideas to breathe new life into the centre”; development partners are expected to be invited to tender in the coming weeks.

To support the delivery of all three sites, the council is looking to hire a new development team, sitting within the place directorate headed up by Richard Roe.

Responsible for taking forward all council development activity, including delivery and management of external contracts, the team will be headed up by a programme director on a salary of £100,000.

The programme director will be supported by a development manager at a salary of £85,000; along with a project manager and commercial manager, both on a salary of £70,000; and a design manager with a salary of £65,000.

Trafford Council said: “Establishing a development team will reduce the overhead cost of development by reducing the use of external development management resources. The team will also provide capacity to accelerate the pace of development on council sites”.

The council’s executive is due to meet on 28 January.

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