Brown Street Hale June 2019

Hale residents continue Brown Street objections as start nears

Charlie Schouten

As the £6m development prepares to start in the coming weeks, Hale residents have maintained their opposition to the affordable housing scheme, with a number of angry objectors making their feelings known at a public consultation.

Working in partnership with Trafford Council, developer Novo is looking to build 22 homes and a multi-storey car park on the site next to Hale’s railway station, which is currently used as surface car parking.

More than half of the homes are designated for affordable tenures, ahead of the normal obligations for a scheme of this size, which is 40%. Six of apartments are for shared ownership and are available to everyone, while a further six are shared ownership and will be available for over-55s.

While the scheme secured planning permission in December last year, the developer has been working with Network Rail, highways, and United Utilities to optimise the site before construction can begin.

A contract has been agreed with CPUK to deliver the project, and work is expected to start in the coming weeks, with completion set for Christmas 2020. Both the multi-storey car park, which features 67 spaces, and the apartments will be delivered concurrently. Project3 is the architect.

The developer held a public consultation yesterday to give residents more information on the project before construction begins in an effort to engage with the local community. However, many residents have maintained their objections to the project; ahead of the planning application last year, 250 letters of opposition were put forward.

At yesterday’s event, a number of residents gathered to make their feelings known to the developers, with an angry cohort claiming the scheme “looks like a prison” and was “a monstrosity”. One resident asked “why [the project] is being built in front of my house”, while another claimed objectors were “not hostile, we just don’t like it”.

After discussing the scheme with representatives from Novo, two residents stormed out of the event after berating the developer, claiming they were “done talking”.

These echo objections put forward last year; accusations levelled at the scheme had included the fact it includes “fancy flats not affordable homes”, despite 55% of the homes in the scheme being for shared ownership; the council has also been accused of “selling assets for short term financial gain without considering the long-term losses to the community”.

Another objection states: “Altrincham was once busy and vibrant, a combination of the Trafford Centre and sale of the land used for free parking led to it declining massively to what it is today: a sad and bleak place filled with ‘to let’ boards. It is hoped history will not repeat itself with Hale”.

Other objectors pointed to a “lack of public consultation”, although events were held on August 22 last year ahead of the application, while yesterday’s consultation was not a statutory requirement by the developer or the council.

Speaking to Place North West at the consultation, Ben Fearns of Novo said: “I think we have to be transparent. We’re very aware it’s a contentious application that has split opinion, but there are many benefits to the scheme and we have had a lot of engagement [with the local community]”.

Local councillors had also previously objected to the project, but are understood to have been briefed by Novo on the latest developments around Brown Street ahead of yesterday’s consultation. It is understood no councillors attended the event, nor did representatives of the Hale Civic Society, which also objects to the scheme. Planning officers and councillors backed the scheme last year, with the planning committee voting seven to six to approve; six Conservatives voted against while six Labour members and one Green voting in favour.

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Not all residents object to the scheme, try to have a serious conversation with the objectors though and you will get shouted down. The objectors arguments are nonsense. As for to let signs in Altrincham, most are gone, the town is very much booming now. As for parking, nobody in Hale or Altrincham walks anywhere, nobody gets a bus, people drive everywhere even if they live nearby, this has to stop. Knutsford is the same.

By Hale Resident

These people have to remember the houses they live in were once new…if they do not like it go buy a farm house with no neighbours not live in a busy suburb of a big city. Everyone deserves housing. Typical NIMBY attitude and I’m glad Trafford Council take a pragmatic view. They are not even proper social rent housing, it’s just shared ownership – there really is no issue at all here except for the usual moaners and groaners.


This is a politico-economic problem. I borrowed money to invest and live in a Hale property and now members of the lower caste are encouraged to move into my neighbourhood. High prices have served well to keep the lower caste out. However, this is about more than money. England is a multi-caste multi-cultural society, but I want to live within my own caste and my own culture. If I wanted to live among a lower caste or within a different culture, I could go and live in xxx, right? But I do not and that is also why I chose to live in Hale. Politicians are pledged to serve their electors, not betray them.

By James Yates

This adheres to GMSF density policies on TOD which GM needs to start taking seriously. It’s a walkable, highly connected site and will replace the blight that’s there already. It’s a sensitively designed scheme. NIMBYs bore off.

By Sensible Density

James Yates, you do know is 2019 (??) and England does not and never has had a ‘caste’ system.
I find your comment incredibly offensive.

By James Yates the Second

James Yates – listen to yourself. You’re own….cast?

See, it isn’t just the developers I moan about within this industry. Half the people who turn up to public consultations are just as greedy, selfish and short sighted. Absolute mentalist. These are our NIMBYS ladies and gents. A thin mask of heritage, transport concern, affordable housing – but we all know it’s often just there to hide bigoted and backwards opinions covering their own backsides.

Get it built. As has been pointed out, fair density and TOD. It’s commendable as far as these developments go.

By Daveboi

James Yates …… Caste ?! WTF ……. Incredibly sad comment…… I guess you think your ‘caste’ should only sit at the front of the bus too?

By Bo

James Yates comments echo the real thoughts of half the people in this country. This is what most people objecting to schemes like this mean when thay say out of character with the area.

By Dan

It has planning , get on and get over it. I doubt Hale will ever be bleak other than be filled with a small proportion of dubious bigots

By Taxed

“Sad and bleak place”…? Altrincham has recently been awarded “best high street in England” and has a real buzz around the market so people really do talk “twaddle”… try visiting some towns in South Yorkshire, then they’d know “sad and bleak”

By John Barrett

Does anybody else get to the comments section and hope that a “James Yates” has said something stupid that makes you feel better about yourself? Having moved to the area from, dare I say it….Lancashire, should I now be worried about a mob of James Yates’ with pitch forks and torches to oust me back to where I belong?

By Laughing

Altirncham is far better than Hale, and that really winds up Hale people.

By Liam

I was in a bar in Hale years ago when a fight broke out, someone turned to me and said, that’s the problem, you get the Wythenshawe lot round here.

By York Street

I was in a bar in Wythenshawe years ago when a fight broke out, someone turned to me and said, that’s the problem, you get the Hale developers trying to convert our boozers round here.

By Gareth Hale

Well I’m disgusted at some of the comments on here, yes Hale and Hale Barns has changed over the 30 plus years since I was there. Mass produced monstrosities in “mock tudour” are everywhere now. One postage stamp apartment block for shared ownership and the place goes balistic……glad I moved away.

By Moved to Spain

You need more houses in Spain, there are families living in flats over there, not healthy

By Bt

James Yates, have you confused this site with The Daily Mail?

What a pathetic and moronic post.

By James Yates The Third

Dan is right. James Yates wouldn’t give a monkey’s if these were being built in Salford or Levenshulme. It is typical middle class nimbyism. Altrincham is Manchester’s equivalent to North London Luvviedom. They are all for social housing as long as it is miles away from their million pound basement flats.

By Elephant

The caste system does exist and exits amongst people who have emigrated to this country. I once sent an Asian man to an Asian doctor for a nightshift medical. He returned from the examination in tears and saying he could not go home to meet his family as he had been shamed because he was examined by a member of a lower Asian caste – Go figure!!!!

By Alan