Plans to redevelop the village’s existing library and build a new community hall next to Hale bowling green, proposed since 2015, have been given the green light by Trafford Council.
Hillcrest and the Hale Community Trust agreed to purchase the site of the existing library on Leigh Road from Trafford Council around four years ago, and an application was submitted in January last year by architect Calderpeel and Hillcrest.
This proposed demolishing the library and replacing it with eight homes and a retail unit, and building a new library and community centre next to Hale bowling green, to replace an existing pavilion. However, this was withdrawn in February, with a fresh set of two applications put forward in April.
The community centre is set to house a library, a multi-purpose events space, and a café. There will also be provision for a lounge for bowling club members, who are currently based in the existing pavilion on the site, which is accessed via Cecil Road.
This community centre will be funded by the redevelopment of the former library site into houses; this part of the application has also been changed, although will still include six detached houses, two apartments, and a retail unit fronting Leigh Road.
Both applications have now been approved by Trafford Council, allowing the project to progress after a four-year wait.
Ahead of Trafford’s planning committee, the scheme had been backed by 195 letters of support from residents, while local councillors Cllr Patricia Young, Cllr Denise Haddad, and Cllr Alan Mitchell; Cllr Young argued the project had been “totally supported by the residents and businesses in Hale” and added the existing library was “not fit for purpose”.
However the proposals were not without their objections, with letters to the council arguing there was “a conflict of interest for council members and those sitting on the board of directors of the Hale Community Trust to be supporting [the] application”, while the scale of the proposed community hall was also criticised.
Grahame Elliot, chair of the Hale Community Trust Board said the planning approval “reflects the determination of the trust to ensure that the public library service is protected for local residents”.
“The approved plans will also enhance local community services with plans for a new community event space and café along with improved facilities for bowling club members, residents, senior citizens and community groups,” he said.
“HCT has worked hard with local residents, community groups and businesses to ensure the plans for both the existing Hale Library site and the proposed new library development reflect the needs of local people. It will continue to ensure local residents are involved in the development process.
“Under the proposals the new community centre and library will be built before the existing library is demolished to make way for the planned residential and retail units.
“Once legal contracts are signed, HCT will be able to announce the start on site and anticipated completion dates.”