Trafford Council is readying compulsory purchase powers in order to buy the former B&Q site on Great Stone Road from Accrue Capital, as part of the delivery of the Civic Quarter masterplan which is set to see a fresh wave of public consultation begin next month.
The B&Q site has been vacant since 2016, and was acquired by Accrue as part of a wider portfolio from B&Q owner Kingfisher. Accrue brought forward proposals for an £80m residential development on the site, which were rejected last March, amid vocal opposition due to density, and complaints from neighbour Lancashire Cricket Club due to the height.
According to a report to Trafford Council’s executive which meets later this week, the council and joint venture partner Bruntwood are still tabling CPO powers as an option to gain control of the site, as despite negotiations taking place since April, “to date it has not been possible to reach agreement with the site owner on an acquisition”.
The report continued: “At the present time there is no indication from the landowner that they are progressing deliverable proposals for the redevelopment of the site consistent with planning policy.” As part of the Civic Quarter masterplan, the B&Q site is identified for car parking, a leisure centre, and “possibly a mix of higher value uses”, with preferred height of up to four storeys.
At the time of the planning rejection, Accrue hit back at the council and expressed “frustration” over the lack of engagement on the 433-apartment project, however the company has not appealed the decision.
While the council has signalled its willingness to use CPO powers if necessary, it stressed that it would only step in once “all reasonable steps” had been taken to conclude the deal with Accrue.
The B&Q plot falls under Trafford’s wider Civic Quarter masterplan, which in 2019 was extended to take in additional sites including Greater Manchester Police’s data centre off Boyer Street, the Club 300 Bingo, and Audi workshop opposite Trafford Bar Metrolink stop. This masterplan includes plans for a civic square which will focus on the junction between Talbot Road, Brian Statham Way, and Warwick Road.
The masterplan was made by Feilden Clegg Bradley, Planit-IE, Avison Young.
While the masterplan has been consulted on and approved as a supplementary planning document in 2018, the council has since decided to bring the scheme forward as a development plan document. The masterplan in this form is set to be implemented by 2021 as it needs to go through consultation and scrutiny from a planning inspector, however work can still continue of specific projects during this time.
The development plan will follow similar lines to the previously-approved masterplan, however according to the council is the more “robust” route to ensuring its aims for the Civic Quarter are to be delivered.
At the cabinet meeting this week, Trafford Council is set to approve the Civic Quarter area action plan to go out to public consultation, which then feeds into the creation of the development plan document.
Alongside the B&Q site, the 135-acre Civic Quarter includes the former Kellogg’s site, Lancashire Cricket Club and the Town Hall
At the Kellogg’s site, the Bruntwood and Trafford JV is proposing up to 200,000 sq ft of offices and education space; 750 residential units; a primary school of up to 75,000 sq ft; a 48,000 sq ft local centre; an hotel with 100 bedrooms; and a 6,500 sq ft energy centre.