Revised Altair design

Nikal confirms hospital plans for Altair

HOW Planning has submitted a revised planning application for the Altair development in Altrincham town centre on behalf of Exige Developments, part of the Nikal group.

Nikal is one of three parties bidding for the new Altrincham General Hospital and healthcare centre for Trafford NHS Trust. Vinci Construction UK hopes to build the new hospital on part of the current Altrincham General site. Citybranch is bidding to build the new hospital on Railway Street.

HOW Planning, led by Gary Halman, secured approval for Nikal's major mixed-use retail-led development in August 2008.

In March 2009, Nikal, owned by paper tycoon Alan Murphy, bought out the shares of joint venture partner David McLean following the developer's collapse.

The revised plans incorporate all the land uses approved by the existing consent, but with a reduction in scale and mass to respond to feedback from the local community.

Jon Suckley at HOW Planning said: "This scheme has been specifically designed to complement the existing town centre and the revised planning application will further enhance this objective. The feedback from local residents has been taken on board and the revisions to the new application not only reflect this, but will also provide a major community benefit with the proposals for a new hospital and healthcare facility."

The six-acre development was designed by Ian Simpson Architects and will include 31 homes, 90,000 sq ft of offices, 70,000 sq ft of retail, both food and non-food, and a 125-bed hotel.

The original plan was for 160,000 sq ft of retail and 50,000 sq ft of offices.

The popular ice rink, home to Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team, will be redeveloped from its temporary home, provided several years ago by Nikal, into a permanent facility.

Work is due to start on the new development in late 2010 with a three to five-year development programme.

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