A 14-storey apartment block proposed as part of Capital & Centric’s £60m scheme would negatively impact views of the grade two-listed Stockport Viaduct and should be refused, according to the conservation group.
To support its objections to the developer’s Weir Mill project, Stockport Heritage Trust submitted a petition to the local council with 3,000 signatures opposing the plans for a 253-home scheme designed by architect BDP.
The height and massing of the tower, one of two new-build elements contained in the proposals, would “obstruct important views of the viaduct, especially when considered alongside cumulative effects of adjacent high-rise development”, Stockport Heritage Trust said in its submission to the council.
While the trust said it “accepts the need to enable development to help fund the repair and rehabilitation of Weir Mill”, it claims alternative sites, including some within the council’s Town Centre West development zone, could be used to “facilitate a more benign Weir Mill development”.
However, Richard Spackman, development manager at Capital & Centric, said the new-build elements were essential to ensure the viability of the project, which also includes the restoration of former mill buildings.
“Developing a complicated site with historic listed buildings right next to the River Mersey and the viaduct makes viability a real challenge,” he said.
“Taking on board feedback from local heritage groups we have chosen a design that protects the views of the viaduct as far as we possibly could. Without intervention, historic buildings like Weir Mill will be lost forever.”
Capital & Centric bought the site from Maryland Securities last May, and lodged a planning application for its redevelopment in January following two rounds of public consultation.
Spackman added: “Our plans will bring these beautiful buildings, which were built before the viaduct, back to life and open the site up to the public but to deliver all this we have to have some new build development,” he said.