Trafford Council has held a fresh consultation into Sale Moor’s Warrener Street car park, a site long mooted for development. Place North West attended the consultation event to find out the next steps for the area.
The site in the centre of Sale Moor village was first earmarked for redevelopment in late 2015 when a 17,400 sq ft Aldi superstore was proposed by Kirkland Developments; this was granted planning permission the following year. However, this approach was rejected by then-leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Sean Anstee, based on feedback from community groups.
Instead, the council agreed to bring forward a mixed-use project on the site, including a health centre, 16 homes split between apartments and semi-detached houses, and improved parking facilities. This was approved at a meeting of the council’s executive in June last year following a public consultation.
Now, a fresh consultation on the site has been held by council officers, with the council gauging public views at an event on 6 December, held at Sale High School. This was attended by more than 30 local residents.
The approach from the council has been to sound out residents’ views with no firm options on the table: forms distributed at the event asked attendees to rank their preferences for the site based on what they would like to see, whether that be mixed-use, residential, retail, or ultimately leaving it as car parking.
The site is complicated by the refusal of two neighbouring landowners to sell: these are the car wash site and a private house and garden to the rear, which are understood to have quoted prices well above market value if they are to sell. This restricts the council to only being able to develop a smaller plot which currently houses the car park.
Doing nothing and leaving the site as a car park is a very real possibility, with the council potentially waiting until the neighbouring land might come available to offer an expanded development opportunity.
Residents in attendance put forward a number of different options that they would like to see; one of these was a circa 5,000 sq ft Co-operative or similar store on the plot bordering the car wash and where Marsland Road joins to Northenden Road. The village currently has no ‘chain’ mini-supermarket, although there is a Tesco Express on Norris Road and a One Stop in Sale Moor.
Other key issues raised around the site is the road access, which would have to be via Warrener Street. The road layout in the village has been heavily criticised with the one-way system often leading to congestion; options that could be put forward include more shared space, similar to how vehicles and pedestrians interact in town centres such as Poynton.
Following the consultation, Trafford Council is likely to draw up a development brief to sound out potential partners and to source ideas for the site.
Returning to the health centre proposals appears to be unlikely given a lack of appetite from Trafford CCG, which has recently been stung by its failure to secure tenants at Altrincham Wellbeing Centre, an 80,000 sq ft scheme which remains largely empty months after opening.
Meanwhile use – like using the site to host food markets and events – could be an option while the council considers what to do with the site, but Warrener Street remaining as a car park is also a distinct possibility. To the rear, residents also suggested the introduction of some community green space, although most of this land is still in private ownership.
A timeline on when a decision will be made on the site has not yet been set by the council.