PLANNING | £60m Weir Mill tops Stockport planning agenda
Capital&Centric’s 253-home redevelopment of the listed mill is tipped for approval, alongside the 64,000 sq ft fourth phase of Muse Developments’ Stockport Exchange office scheme.
Planner: Avison Young
The developer proposes transforming the site to create a £60m residential scheme, retaining some of the historic mill buildings and constructing two new-build elements.
The new-build elements would be located either side of Stockport’s famous viaduct and would rise to seven and 14 storeys, providing 166 of the 253 homes.
The former East Mill and West Mill buildings would be converted to provide the remaining 87 apartments.
Of the apartments, 144 would have one bedroom, 106 would have two bedrooms and there would be three with three bedrooms.
Other buildings retained include the 6,000 sq ft West Shed, which would be converted into a bar, restaurant, or coworking space. The Wheelhouse is earmarked to provide an additional 3,400 sq ft of commercial space.
In total, there would be 24,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation within the Weir Mill development.
The Chestergate building, a pair of courtyard buildings, and the Weaving Shed would be demolished under Capital&Centric’s plans.
Weavers Square, an outside space for markets and events, would be located underneath the grade two-listed viaduct and would feature retained cast-iron columns from the site’s former weavers shed.
West Courtyard, another of the development’s outdoor spaces, is described by Capital&Centric as “a post-Covid green oasis”.
The developer bought the site from Maryland Securities in May 2020 and lodged a planning application for the project the following January.
The project has divided opinion. Some are happy to see the derelict mill repurposed, while others claim the new build elements impact negatively on views of the viaduct.
Objections received from the Victorian Society and Ancient Monuments Society mean that, should Stockport Council’s planning committee vote to approve the project on Thursday, it would be referred to the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove.
Gove would make the final decision on whether to approve the scheme or call it in for review.
In recommending the redevelopment of Weir Mill for approval, Stockport Council planning officers said the project would deliver “considerable regenerative benefits to a key strategic site…that has been a key regeneration objective of the council for many years”.
The officers’ report added that the scheme “is heavily reliant on grant funding and remains only marginally viable”.
For this reason, the contentious 14-storey new-build element is required because the scheme would be “totally unviable” without it, the council said.
Stockport Exchange Three
Developer: Muse Developments
Architect: Ryder Architecture
The 64,000 sq ft office is latest element of the £145m Stockport Exchange to come forward.
Having already delivered a 1,000-space multistorey car park, a 115-bedroom Holiday Inn Express hotel, and two offices totalling 120,000 sq ft, Muse is seeking approval for a third office and another car park.
Now, Muse is progressing Stockport Exchange Three, a six-storey office designed by Ryder Architecture.
The latest phase of the project, which also features a 400-space multi-storey car park, will benefit from £4.2m from the government’s Getting Building Fund.
The decked car park is to sit next to the 1,000-space multi-storey park delivered as phase one of Stockport Exchange, which was funded by Canada Life.
Stockport Exchange is the redevelopment of the former Grand Central area of the town into an office-led, mixed-use scheme that will comprise 375,000 sq ft of workspace once complete.
Occupiers at Stockport Exchange include Music Magpie, BASF, and Stagecoach.