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.
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.