Key Properties wins approval in Openshaw

Manchester City Council has approved plans for 161 homes to be built on the Edge Lane Business Centre site in Openshaw, east Manchester.

Subject to a Section 106 agreement, the plans include houses being built on a 10.6-acre site that currently contains a number of buildings used for storage, totalling 198,540 sq ft of floor space, and a smaller office building which is vacant.

Consultancy Barton Willmore acted on behalf developer Key Properties, a joint venture between St Modwen and Kuwaiti fund Salhia Real Estate, to secure planning approval.

St Modwen has worked closely with New East Manchester on the scheme which includes detached and semi-detached houses.

Michelle Taylor, regional director at St Modwen, said: "Openshaw is benefitting from significant investment and our approved plans will build upon recent regeneration initiatives at Toxteth Street and Ashton Old Road.

"We are maintaining employment on the site in the short to medium term and in due course we will deliver a diverse range of much-needed, modern housing to complement the other forthcoming regeneration schemes in the area."

A council report said information supplied with the application showed that from November 2010 a total of 172,222 sq ft of office space was still in use by businesses.

The application relates to part of the former GEC Alstom Works site. The north and east of the site is bounded by Edge Lane and Fairfield Road, while the south is the boundary wall and car parking area associated with the redevelopment of part of Dransfield Properites' £40m Openshaw District Centre and the newly opened 80,000 sq ft Morrison's supermarket. To the west of the site, residential properties run along Wheler Street.

Tameside Council has expressed concern over the loss of the employment site but the planning officer's report said the continued regeneration of Openshaw District Centre includes further employment opportunities for local residents.

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It’s not continous production, and decent proper jobs which this Alstom site carried out and had, but short term building of houses, yet again on industrial sites. It’s crazy, but to be expected, but this pre 2007 idea has to stop, along with the google earth pass time, a guessing game of which factory is next to go, and be replaced by the snail trail of housing in the wrong area. A new modern facility replacing the old building/s, is really what is needed, unless these facilities are going further out of town. Councils want rates over proper industry, don’t they.

By Val