Stockport hat factory redevelopment secures consent

Proposals by developer Lane End to convert the Battersby Hat Works in Offerton into 144 homes have been granted planning permission by Stockport Council.

The project on what is currently known as Offerton Industrial Estate includes the demolition of several industrial buildings and the redevelopment of two larger buildings on the site, fronting Hempshaw Lane.

The former hat works – described as “unusually intact” – will be converted into 45 homes, including 16 apartments, 15 houses, and 13 mews homes, while a feature water tower will also be retained.

There will also be 99 new-build homes, with a mix of 48 two-beds, 33 three-beds, and 11-four beds, alongside seven two-bed mews houses.

Working in partnership with housing association Stockport Homes, 55 of the houses will be brought forward for market sale, while 79 will be for shared ownership and 10 will be for affordable rent.

The site is still in use as commercial space, meaning that slightly more than 106,000 sq ft of employment land would be lost to the borough. As of mid-March, 34 of the 54 units were occupied by small businesses. Around 40,000 sq ft is vacant, and a further 13,000 sq ft let at below £720 per year.

Although the premises are described as in generally good condition, the accommodation is described as low quality and only of appeal to local occupiers, with any commercial development likely to be hampered by poor access for HGVs and noise limits due to the proximity of housing.

PRP Architects have designed the scheme, with Urban Green working on landscaping. The professional team also includes Nexus Planning, Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Croft Transport Solutions and Roger Hannah & Co, which completed the employment land review.

The plans have been scaled back and the heritage element increased in comparison to an earlier scheme submitted in August 2017, which comprised 149 units in total.

Richard Harrison, Lane End managing director, said: “We are delighted with the planning decision and are looking forward to breaking ground on this iconic scheme, our third large scale development for Stockport Homes in the local area.”

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By Norma Livingstone

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