Trafford Place 2
The Accrue scheme as viewed from the road bridge over the Metrolink line

Developer hits back over £80m Old Trafford apartments

Charlie Schouten

Accrue Capital has signalled its frustration over Trafford Council’s potential refusal of its 433-home scheme next to Old Trafford Cricket Ground, arguing development on the brownfield site “should be welcomed with open arms”.

The developer’s plans to build apartments on the former B&Q, bordered by the Metrolink and the cricket club on Great Stone Road have come in for some fierce criticism ahead of going to planning committee later this week.

A series of objections have been put forward by residents, local landowner Bruntwood, and Lancashire County Cricket Club.

The Cricket Club has been particularly vocal, going as far as taking out an advert in the local paper to argue against the development; its criticisms focus on the height of the scheme, and an argument that it could put the ground’s Test cricket status at risk.

Ahead of the committee meeting on Thursday, planning officers have fallen on the side of LCCC, arguing the scheme should be refused by members based on its “poor design”, a lack of affordable housing, and the impact on LCCC, Trafford Town Hall, and the Longford Park Conservation area.

However, Accrue has now hit back, focussing on a lack of brownfield housing delivery within Trafford, and expressing “frustration” over a lack of engagement from the council.

A spokesperson from Accrue Capital said: “We are naturally disappointed by the recommendations of the planning report, however we hope that the bold vision of the scheme to deliver crucial new homes for the area on a derelict brownfield site will be recognised and embraced by the planning committee when it considers the application.

“We are particularly disappointed that despite extensive consultation with the planning department, there were a number of issues raised in the report which we had not been made aware of until this point. This is frustrating as several of the matters raised are easily resolved.

“In relation to issues raised over massing and height, the conclusions of the report are entirely subjective. The design of the building is sympathetic to its surrounding and substantial technical modelling shows no significant adverse impact on nearby residents. It also shows no detrimental impact on Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

“Trafford Council has expressed a brownfield first approach to new homes and maximising density on brownfield land can significantly reduce pressure on existing Green Belt being required for housing.

“It is also the ninth worst performing council in England out of 311 in terms of housing delivery. Therefore, a well thought through development such as this, on a brownfield site, with an investment of up to £80m in the area, delivering 433 new homes should be welcomed with open arms.

“We remain unsure why the council is pursuing this agenda but hope that the committee shares our vision.”

Trafford’s planning committee meets on 28 March. The planning officers’ report lists nine separate reasons for refusal: “The proposed development would represent poor design as its height, scale, layout, density, massing and monolithic appearance are inappropriate in its context and would result in a building which would be significantly out of scale and keeping with its surroundings. This would have a highly detrimental impact on the street scene and the character and quality of the area.

“The proposed development by virtue of its height, massing, scale and layout would result in a poor level of amenity and unacceptable living standards for future occupiers of the development, by virtue of inadequate daylight, sunlight and outlook in both apartments and amenity areas.”

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Sounds like a T May statement. Risky move being so outspoken before a committee. Won’t exactly help getting the planners onside!

By T May?

In my humble opinion pointing out the possible shortcomings of an authority in public never helps to win friends & influence on a planning committee

By Tannoy

Possibly the worst CGI I’ve ever seen.

By PropManc

Try again with a more appropriate density and considerate parking provision and you might be in with a chance. It isn’t that the site is unsuitable for housing, but that the scheme is unsuitable within its context. CGI just clips the roofs of the 2 storey family homes that are located opposite this site and cleverly disguises the scale of the development from the bridge.

By Rachel

And with yet another residential development I feel the need to ask two questions given the location of this site 1. Where are the occupiers of these 433 homes going to park their cars? 2. What thought has been given to the impact on local roads? Unless he developers and council looking to find occupiers that exclusively use public transport it seems that this is going to cause utter chaos when it is occupied.

By DL

Save it for your grounds of appeal, Accrue.

NINE reasons for refusal? LPA’s holding back and saving surmountable issues as reasons for refusal late in the day is absolute cowardice, yet we see it from case officers time and time again. Inspectors need to punish the snides at appeal with unreasonable behaviour costs awards against them if they can’t work proactively with applicants.

By brownfield first, my arse

For once I actually agree with the council on this one….a much better use for the site would be to build actual houses. Whether anyone would buy houses that close to the cricket ground or if there would be enough profit in it for the developer is another matter.

By Anonymous

It looks dreadful. They have clearly agreed to high a figure for the land if they are proposing that density. This is not central Manchester.

By Acelius