Bredbury Gateway Road View1B
The scheme was scaled back after a spat between Stockport and Tameside. Credit: AEW Architects via planning documents

Quorum appeals Stockport’s Bredbury Gateway refusal 

Dan Whelan

In March, Stockport Council blocked the developer’s plans to expand the industrial estate by building 1m sq ft of employment space in the Green Belt. 

Now, Quorum Estates has lodged an appeal against that decision, which was handed down against officers’ recommendations. 

Simon Pemberton, director at consultancy Lichfields, submitted the appeal on behalf of Quorum. 

Speaking to Place North West, he explained that the appeal was based on the need for employment development and the economic benefits of the project, predicted to create around 2,000 jobs close to regeneration priority areas. 

He added that Stockport’s brownfield first approach to development would result in the loss of some employment sites across the borough that would need to be replaced. 

The inquiry is expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022 and last for seven days. 

The development, known as Bredbury Gateway, would span 76-acres between Bredbury Industrial Estate and the River Tame. 

The site has long been earmarked for redevelopment, highlighted as an area to be released from the Green Belt in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. 

Bredbury New Aerial View V2 C (1)

The inquiry will be held later this year or at the start of next. Credit: AEW via planning documents

Stockport pulled out of the GMSF last year amid concerns about Green Belt release. 

Prior to Stockport’s decision to turn its back on the joint strategic plan, Quorum’s proposal to expand the industrial estate was the subject of a row between the authority and neighbouring Tameside Council. 

The estate lies on the border of the two boroughs. 

Quorum’s original £80m proposal was to build 25 units ranging in size from 10,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft, increasing the park’s footprint by 1.2m sq ft. 

Tameside Council had raised concerns over the large scale of the scheme, designed by AEW Architects, and the environmental impact it could have on the Tame Valley. 

Following engagement with planning officers and local residents, Quorum shrunk its proposal by more than 20% at the end of last 2020, to allow for a larger area of green space and a woodland buffer between the boroughs. 

The updated proposals sought detailed permission for two employment units totalling 429,000 sq ft, and outline consent for the remaining 574,000 sq ft with all matters reserved. 

Having placated Tameside, Quorum failed to convince Stockport Council’s planning committee about the merits of the development. 

At the time, a spokesperson for Quorum said Stockport needed to decide if it was open for business and investment or not. 

Your Comments

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It will be interesting to hear what the councillors who took the crazy decision to pull out of the GMSF say if this is successful, it will certainly blow their brown field first strategy out of the window.

By Anonymous

Just get it built.Too many jobs at stake.It seems to me that political games has resulted in this impasse .Open for business? If not somewhere else gets the jobs.

By Robert Fuller

This scheme and their supporters fail to take seriously the enormous impact it will have on Denton… The TA doesn’t even mention it in a passing wind yet they still think that all HVGs will be able to get under the low bridge on Ashton Road to access the M60… no chance they use Denton like all the other HGVs that use the site. Its alright though, air quality in Tameside doesn’t matter as it doesn’t impact the residents of Stockport. Completely the wrong location without considered mitigation!

By Aevis

Delighted to see Quorum appealing against this decision by Stockport.

My understanding is that the members went against the officers recommendation for approval, which will be difficult to argue against at the forthcoming Public Inquiry. I hope they win and that the inspector has the guts to award costs against the members to stop this kind of nonsense.

Stockport has a shortage of quality employment sites and desperately needs this one to have a competitive offer. Moreove,r it will lose a number of its existing employment allocations to housing under the ‘brownfield first’ agenda thanks to the stupidity of the Tory and Lib Dem members for voting down the GMSF, the consequence of which was to have another 5,000 homes foisted on the borough.

Given that the unholy alliance of local MPs, Wragg and Gwynne have openly campaigned against this development, it will be interesting to see if they be prepared to back up their claims by making themselves Rule 6 parties and offering themselves up for cross examination? Now that would be worth watching!

By Grumpy Old Git

Well done to Stockport.

In the middle of a biodiversity and climate crisis, the only way forward is a ‘brownfield’ approach.

Stockport is open to business but only if it’s done in an environmentally friendly, climate-considerate way.

By Tyler