Trafford approves reduced Altair plans

Developer Nikal said building work would begin on its £150m Altair scheme in Altrincham by the end of this year.

Trafford Borough Council has approved revised plans for the mixed-use scheme, submitted by HOW Planning on Nikal's behalf.

Planning approval for an earlier application was secured in August 2008 and a revised application was submitted in November 2009 to include plans for a hospital and healthcare facility. The revised scheme incorporates all the land uses approved by the existing consent, with a reduction in scale and mass in response to feedback from the local community. Nikal is one of three short-listed parties bidding for the new Altrincham General Hospital and healthcare centre for Trafford NHS Trust.

Jonathan Wrigley, development director of Nikal, said: "This unanimous approval of our revised application is not only a valuable endorsement of Altair, but of our approach to the sensitive development of this scheme.

"Altair is a massive step forward for Altrincham's regeneration, creating a thriving new quarter which will stimulate inward investment and ensure it's a great place to live, work, invest and visit.

"We took a view on including the hospital in our planning application. This in no way reflects any certainty as to whether the hospital comes to Altair, but if we are fortunate to be chosen then this consent means we can build immediately."

John Suckley at HOW Planning added: "This scheme has been specifically designed to complement the existing town centre and the revised plans further enhance this objective. Feedback from local residents has been taken on board and the revisions to the application not only reflected this, but also provides a major community benefit with the new hospital and healthcare facility."

Altair will include 70,000 sq ft of retail, 31 residential units, 90,000 sq ft of offices and a 125-bed hotel. The town's ice rink, home to Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team, will also be redeveloped.

The development will take five years to complete.

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