Stretford AAP

Stretford future ‘still blank sheet’ as council progresses masterplan

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

An outline planning application for the overhaul of Stretford Mall is expected by the summer, although developer Bruntwood said the process was still “a totally blank sheet of paper” at a consultation event this weekend.

The latest round of consultation held by Bruntwood and joint venture partner Trafford Council looked at possible uses for Stretford Mall, bought by the partnership as part of a wider £50m deal last September, as well as the importance of connecting the site to surrounding highways and public realm.

Among the options being put forward for the mall are ways to attract more independent local businesses to the area; improving lifestyle and leisure offerings; and possible residential development, along with offices and commercial.

Speaking to Place North West, Bruntwood director Andrew Cooke said responses from the public had ranged from calls for the mall to be totally demolished, to it being saved and more independent retail uses incorporated, as well as potentially residential alongside it.

The development of Stretford Mall is being brought forward as part of the wider Stretford masterplan, with the council and Bruntwood also considering the future of other town centre sites, such as Station Approach, the waterfront, King Street and Barton Road.

Responses to earlier consultations show public demand for a “major need” to renovate the town centre.

Stretford Mall

In order to bring forward the wider Stretford masterplan, the council is creating an an area action plan for the mall and surrounding area, similar to its approach for the Civic Quarter masterplan.

The action plan area includes what is being shaped as four neighbourhoods; Victoria, Stretford House which includes the Mall, St Ann’s and Lacy Street.

The area action plan is a formal process, requiring several stages of consultation and sign-off from a Government planning inspector, but it enables the masterplan to have a strong legal standing, allowing the council to use compulsory purchase powers if needed to bring forward development.

The grade two-listed Essoldo building and its surroundings are included in the masterplan. The Essoldo has been vacant since 1995, and the council has previously signalled its plans to use CPO powers to acquire the building in order to refurbish it.

Bruntwood and the council bought Stretford Mall in September from M&M Asset Management. M&M had already embarked on a major overhaul of the plot, demolishing around 61,000 sq ft of vacant retail space and bringing in a popular foodhall.

Trafford Council is bidding for funding from Government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund, which could see it awarded up to £25m for Stretford.

Bruntwood is working with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Exterior Architecture.

Your Comments

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The food hall is lovely, and good to see some pubs opening up on the site too. The rest of the shopping centre is possibly the most down-trodden and depressing place I’ve visited in many years.

By QS

Very engaging consultation at the weekend.

Not sure an Area Action Plan is the way forward though. The time and resource used to prepare it would be better spent facilitating actual development proposals.

By Stretford Resident

The outside of the mall is doing well with the food hall and some pubs but would like some more shops like a bakery and a vegetable shop also supermarket .

By Elizabeth Rowles

Get more shops

By Anonymous

We need a wider range of shops not just clothes shops. A butchers, a cake shop maybe anther supermarket. Aldis is OK but with it being outside ppl just come to shop there and don’t bother going into the mall anymore

They don’t go in there because there are no really good shops. You could have a play area.
You could open the escoldo as a cinema or small restaurant complex
An indoor market would be good too

By Girda Hartley

Useless council. Get things moving !!! In a normal work environment you lot would all be sacked for incompetence.

By Dave

Could Trafford Council please consider putting up speed cameras on Barton Road, from the Robin Hood junction down to Stretford House. I live on this stretch of Barton Road and see far to many drivers take off at speed from the traffic lights.

By Philip

Rents to high for the shops and outlets don’t go there now nothing to shop for in there

By Dave scholes

Renovate the street up to the Tram. Coffee shops and other juice bar type places would look great. Cinema should be sold and used by the residents of stretford. Mall obviously needs some thought due to the Trafford centre providing a much larger facility to shop. Extend the gym? More independent shops?

By Kate Dickinson

More shops are needed in the Mall and should be encouraged by lower rates. Higher rates forced out the other shops. Stretford is a great place for families and used to provide a large variety of shops in a central venue. The Mall could be great again with the benefit of careful planning and management.

By Jean Ritchie

Narrow Chester Road for a start. I have been reading this week that MCC are considering making the city centre pedestrian only at the weekend. Many other areas are also looking at prioritising pedestrians to encourage foot traffic to shops and also importantly, health benefits. And here we have Trafford Council seemingly having the people who live here dropped down to second or third class gladly placing cars to number one spot. You want more roads? You want wider roads? Trafford Council has it – come to Trafford and drive to your hearts content.

The reason why the precinct (I refuse to call it ‘The Mall’ it’s like putting lipstick on a pig) is bobbins is that it’s shut when people are not working. Great idea eh? Lets open it when the majority of the consumers with disposable income are at work and close it when they get home? I know it’s not a huge detour out of the way but why should I have to walk ROUND the precinct down grotty King Street in the dark to get to the Food Hall? Madness.

By sbt65