Trafford Council has bought the vacant magistrates’ court on Washway Road in Sale to bring forward a residential-led project as the redevelopment of the town centre continues at pace.
The council has snapped up the site from its previous owners, understood to be Homes England, for an undisclosed fee, and is looking to demolish the building to free up the site for a residential-led development.
The court was transferred to Homes England, formerly the Homes & Communities Agency, at a value of £3.25m in October 2016.
Exact proposals are still being worked up by the council, but the site is considered a prime site for residential development given its proximity to the town centre, Washway Road, and the metrolink.
The building has been vacant since 2016 following a series of closures announced by the Government. Cases at the court have since been moved to Manchester and Salford magistrates’ court.
It was sold after it was found to cost nearly £600,000 a year to run, but was in use only 27% of the time.
Homes England issued a notice to demolish the building in September last year, but this was never progressed.
It is the latest development to come forward in Sale town centre after developer Maloneview submitted a planning application to build 202 homes, 30,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, and a six-screen cinema. This proposed project will replace a large portion of the existing shopping centre, The Square.
Cllr James Wright, executive member for investment, regeneration and strategic planning, said: “The magistrates’ court is another excellent investment opportunity, generating a financial return which will be used to support our front line services.
“We are delighted to have been able to secure this site, which is a mark of our determination to continue regenerating the borough’s town centres. There is now a fantastic opportunity to create a residentially-led development that will increase footfall and spend in the town centre, as well as providing quality homes in a very desirable location.”