Shepherd Developments and Manchester-based 5plus Architects have secured planning permission from Trafford Council for the redevelopment of its town hall.
The decision will now be referred to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, and if approved will then be referred back to the council for the chief planning officer to ratify the decision.
The design aims at delivering a 60% reduction in desk allocation and covers 96,000 sq ft in total.
The £22m project will be based around four distinct components:
- The refurbishment of the existing Grade II-listed town hall, including the historic council chamber, and the creation of meeting, conference, training and dining facilities, including a restaurant and coffee-bar, for both employees, as well as the wider community
- 45,000 sq ft of new open-plan office space which is accommodated within three, two-storey wings
- A new public reception and conference facility which fronts Warwick Road
- A two-storey internal street which all three of the above components are hung
Landscaping and seating, across a sunken garden and three courtyards, will also aim to create an informal public realm environment, particularly over the summer months, enhancing the appearance and character of the location.
Cllr Matt Colledge, leader of Trafford Council, said: "Trafford Town Hall requires an immediate programme of significant repairs if it is to remain operational. Redeveloping now will prevent the building going into further decay which would necessitate greater expense down the line and will provide us with an opportunity to make millions of pounds worth of savings, money that will be used to support front line services. The planning application approval means we are now one step closer to being able to begin work on this crucial project."
Building work is due to commence in the summer and will be completed in 2012.