Wharf Road Altrincham Feb 2019

Altrincham apartments return to committee

Charlie Schouten

MCR’s scaled-back proposals for the site on Wharf Road will return to Trafford Council next week, 12 months after a larger scheme of 99 apartments was refused.

The developer is planning to build a brick-clad scheme of 44 apartments off Bridgewater Road, along with five three-bed townhouses; the development ranges between two and five storeys. MCR is proposing a 20% provision of affordable housing, below Trafford’s requirement of 40%, which the developer argued would make the scheme unviable.

Parking provision is one-for-one with 57 spaces for occupants; this includes five electric vehicle charging points, five accessible spaces and eight for visitors. Leach Rhodes Walker is the architect.

The latest proposals for the site have been significantly scaled back since last year, when a 99-apartment scheme of up to nine storeys was refused by the council due to overdevelopment concerns and the associated impact on local transport infrastructure.

Despite the revisions, made when the scheme was resubmitted in February this year, concerns from residents and local councillors still remain.

Wharf Road Altrincham July 2019

A CGI of the development, viewed from Halford’s car park

Two Green councillors, Cllrs Coggins and Jerrome, have flagged issues over the development’s size and its affordable housing contribution. In a written representation, Jerrome said: “Residents have expressed clearly that they are not opposed to the use of this brownfield site to increase housing stock.

“However, they feel the size of this development doesn’t match the surrounding area and will cause many problems. It is a small area with tightly-knit roads and already suffers from acute problems with access, local infrastructure and provision of services such as doctors, schools, and transport amenities. Many residents feel this isn’t the right development.”

The scheme is due to back to Trafford’s planning committee next Thursday with a recommendation that members should be minded to grant the proposal, subject to a legal agreement; this should include 10 shared ownership properties on site, and a viability review mechanism.

In a report ahead of committee, planning officers praised the design of the scheme arguing it would “result in an improve street scene on this part of Bridgewater Road with a high-quality contemporary designed building”.

“The scheme will deliver a sustainable development including 49 new residential units on a brownfield site, a significant contribution to the council’s housing land supply figures and targets for delivering residential development on brownfield sites”.

Planners concluded there was “no clear reason for refusing the development” and added all other issues, including highway safety, had been found to be acceptable.

Nick Lake, asset manager of MCR Property Group, said: “We are encouraged by the recommendation to approve this scheme. In drawing up our final plans, we responded directly to the feedback from local residents and the planning committee.

“As a result, we have worked with our project partners to create a development that will bring much-needed new-build homes to Altrincham in a way that is sympathetic to the whole community. Our revised plans have seen us halve the number of apartments and, subject to approval, we’re confident this development will inject further life into this desirable canalside location.”

The professional team also includes Savills as planner and Enzygo as transport planner and ecological consultant. Trafford Council’s planning committee will decide on the project on 11 July.

Wharf Road Alty

The previous proposals, refused around 12 months ago

Your Comments

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Much improved

By Raj

Just feel a more competent developer would have had this approved and would have started on site. Reputation so important for local authorities these days.

By Saj

Great Improvement and will hopefully be approved.It would be good to see this built as per the cgi without any ‘value engineering’.

By Taxed

a good design and good density well done LRW. The nimby green councillors don’t get it. If we don’t increase density then you end up with urban sprawl and threat on green belt and open countryside.

By CJ

No doubt if MCR are building it, it will be a disaster, just ask the residents of Acre House in Sale!!!!

By LC

I hope this development gets the go ahead. Unfortunately the residents objecting have been very aggressive and I hope it doesnt cause problems for the new owners

By Pam

The ‘Nimby’ Green Councillors understand the location extremely well, and recognise that it is not suitable for this density of development given the tight layout of local streets and the already frequently congested Navigation Road one way system, hemmed in as it is by the A56 and the level crossing. They are not alone as it is also opposed by the Conservatives. The developer could indeed have been building by now, as there is local support for a project in keeping with the other housing on this and surrounding streets. But their desire to pack so many inadequately sized flats into the site has inevitably turned local opinion against them.

By Michael Welton

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