Royal London applies to build another car park


Royal London, Wilmslow's largest employer, has submitted another planning application for a new car park on the Alderley Road campus site, which is is situated in the Cheshire Green Belt.

The proposed permanent car park would be on the site of the current temporary car park and provide 126 car parking spaces.

In November 2012 Royal London were granted permission to use some land at the site as a temporary car park for approximately 104 vehicles. That area of land was an existing gravel laid car park which they had previously been granted temporary planning permission for in 2009. The permission granted in 2012 stated that the temporary car park be returned to a grassed field on or before December 2015, unless a further application has been submitted and approved by the Local Planning Authority in the meantime.

Like the temporary car park that it replaces, the proposed new facility will not be visible from outside the Royal London site.

Royal London has already submitted a planning application for a permanent car park. This separate application, submitted in December 2014, is to create 90 additional parking spaces on land which is currently an open grassed area at the front of the Alderley Road campus. The new car park would be adjacent to the existing Lodge car park and close to Alderley Road. This planning application, reference 14/5536M, is still to be determined.

Royal London, Head of Procurement & Facilities, Neil Kilshaw said: "We have been discussing our plans with the Council. Once it becomes clear which of our two planning applications the Council favours we will withdraw the other application.

"Royal London already has an ambitious Green Travel Plan which encourages car-sharing and there is a regular shuttle bus to and from the station. However, the company is expanding rapidly and we need to provide permanent parking spaces for our people, many of whom travel from other parts of East Cheshire and beyond. "

In March 2015, Royal London announced plans to create an additional 450 new jobs at its campus on Alderley Road. The intention is to accommodate the new roles by building new, modern office accommodation on land owned by Royal London to the east of the existing campus.

The business currently employs around 900 full time staff in the town and wants to increase numbers to around 1,350.

The Royal London site was identified in the Local Plan for mixed use development, delivering 75 dwellings, 17-24,000 sq m of employment space and a hotel.

This latest planning application for a new permanent car park is not yet available on the Cheshire East Council website, so once it is added I will update this article with the planning reference.

Updated: 4.30pm on Tuesday 4th August.

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 15/3488M. The last date for submitting comments is 26th August and a decision is expected by 24th September.

Planning Applications, Royal London


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sandy Martin
Tuesday 4th August 2015 at 3:16 pm
No I am not happy about an additional car park…. Why, when they still have office's and space to let, which has been empty for well over 12months! now all of a sudden, when they happen to have a lot of GREEN BELT land at the back that they want to cash in on, they put in an placation for another car park, how convenient
There is no reason what so ever for them to expand the car park… I would like to see
figures relating to 450 jobs, what are they, and where will these people be based? I would like to see a traffic census,
Its a smoke screen, making them seem like they are looking after the employment in the area.. yet all they want to do is build on GREEN BELT, and make money, they are not interested in the welfare of Wilmslow….Waters did enough to bring new employment into the area, we don't need the Royal London doing the same, well I say NO….and SAVE OUR GREENBELT
Prentice James
Tuesday 4th August 2015 at 9:48 pm
As a Wilmslow resident and someone who has worked for Royal London for 35 years I feel compelled to set the record straight on this one.
- Royal London has been in the town since 1987 and from the very outset has worked with the local council to ensure its offices have minimal impact on its naturally beautiful surroundings. It deliberately designed and built an office which is hardly noticeable even as you drive past its entrance.
- It continually encourages staff to join its green commuter initiatives and has done everything it can to accommodate its expanding workforce within the existing car parking facitites - if the company were to poach the allocated spaces of unlet office space on the site - would that office space ever be let? Furthermore it has a planning and letting obligation to provide office spaces with a minimum number of car park spaces per employees - so these spaces are not up for grabs just because the office space is unfortunately unoccupied at the moment.
- Do we want more cars on residential side streets or limited to the confines of the employing offices? I live on a Wilmslow avenue congested and blighted by the daily influx of commuter parking.
- The land contained in the new application has been used as a temporary car park at various times (with appropriate Council permission) since 2009 - yes it is green belt, but its location at the rear of the site has to be preferable to a visible new car park along the main road frontage of the office.
I am proud to both live and work in Wilmslow and hope that Royal London continues to be a welcomed and major employer in the town long in to the future.
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 5th August 2015 at 2:45 pm
What sort of world does Sandy Martin live in?! His (her) rabid comments, including "Waters did enough to bring new employment into the area, we don't need the Royal London doing the same" just reveal a total lack of understanding that towns will die unless they grow. Palpable demise would probably not be in his/her lifetime but people with those views don't think about the needs and preferences of the next and subsequent generations.
Stuart Kinsey
Wednesday 5th August 2015 at 7:03 pm
Emotive words such as "rabid" do no credit to the writer. It will be facts and technical planning issues which decide whether Royal London gets planning consent .. or not. Royal London and their staff have to recognise that even a superb employer with their well planned & maintained site must respect the fact that their plans refer to land which is in the Green Belt and will remain in the Green Belt until an adopted Cheshire East Local plan decides otherwise. As the design, access and supporting statement to the application makes clear, the car park will be part of a campus containing two “Designated Heritage Assets” and that fact alone merits special consideration. The arguments for exceptional circumstances applying to the application are yet to be considered by the CEC Planning Committee. It is not nimbyism that makes me challenge the facts in this case ... it is the principle of whether the Royal London land should remain as Green Belt. The debate on this one has some way to run.
Jeff Broadley
Wednesday 5th August 2015 at 10:02 pm
Well done Royal London at least applying to provide parking for their staff.I wish more Wilmslow businesses would follow suit rather than leaving their staff to park in residential areas. If they can't provide the parking areas why don't these companies subsidise their staff's parking fees so that they don't upset the residents of Wilmslow by parking outside our homes after all its proved that there are still available spaces in the car parks.
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 6th August 2015 at 3:34 am
Prentice: Your attempt "to set the record straight on this one" is factually incorrect.

You state that "The land contained in the new application has been used as a temporary car park at various times (with appropriate Council permission) since 2009".

The first application to use the land in question as a temporary car park was made in 1997 ) Application number 97/1417P). Further applications for the continued use as a temporary car park were made in

1998 : Application number 98/1532P

2000 : Application number 00/1738P

2002 : Application number 02/2043P

2004 : Application number 04/1066P

2009 : Application number 09/0571M

The decision notice for the 2009 application (which can be found at, stated two conditions on the approval.

1. The use here by permitted is temporary.It shall discontinue and the land returned to its former condition as a grassed field on or before 13 May 2010 unless in the meantime a further application has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The land shall be restored in accordance with a scheme of work submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

2. The use of the car park shall be phased out in total accordance with the details specified in the letter submitted by Lambert Smith Hampton dated 28th April 2009........

Royal London Group did not comply with either condition and continued to use the carpark unlawfully for more than a year.

When the council was made aware of this it imposed an enforcement order and had the temporary car park closed. Royal London then made another application for a temporary car park on the same piece of land which was approved again with restriction (Application 12/2631M). The reason for this new application for a permanent car park on the same piece of land is due to the restrictions imposed on application 12/2631M.

And as a side note Royal London also unlawfully used the land as a temporary carpark between June 2005 and May 2009

I mean no disrespect or condescension. Only to set the record straight.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 6th August 2015 at 8:03 am
There has been an advert for office space to rent at the entrance to Royal London for as long as I can remember. In the event of these 450 new jobs materialising, could they not fill the vacant offices, rather than building new ones?
Stuart Kinsey
Friday 14th August 2015 at 9:44 am
I think we might find that Royal London are listening to Pete Taylor! In the meantime, thank you Stuart Redgard for the additional historic information re the Royal London car park saga.

There are now three applications in hand for car parking at Royal London. Two (alternative) applications for additional permanent car parking and the latest for an extension to the permission for the temporary car park. All are for sites which are within the Green Belt and will remain so until the site status changes by means of the adoption of a new Cheshire East Local Plan. The applications propose inappropriate development within the Green Belt. The exceptional circumstances claimed in the applications are not proven and an alternative solution is available which I now know is being considered by Royal London. They are as keen as their neighbours (and other critics) to find the right solution and Cheshire East Planning team need to have an open mind on alternative ideas too.

Macclesfield Hospital had a massive parking problem and a substantial part of their solution was to use decking within their existing site. This could work for Royal London. Those who are interested should look at the documents for permission granted under application 12/1254M.

In the meantime, those who want to defend the Green Belt can only oppose the applications. I would much prefer that RL withdraw the two applications for permanent car parks until after adoption of the new Local Plan. Under those circumstances granting another consent for the (final) temporary cark park (say 2 years), with strict conditions including consideration of the decked car park, would be equitable. Surely, CEC will have an adopted Local Plan by 2017?!
Lisa Reeves
Thursday 20th August 2015 at 4:31 pm
Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee will be discussing the two Royal London planning applications at their meeting on Monday 24th August, agenda here
Lisa Reeves
Tuesday 29th September 2015 at 6:49 pm
This planning application is scheduled to be considered by the Northern Planning Committee at their meeting on Wednesday, 7th October starting at 10am in The Capesthorne Room at Macclesfield Town Hall.

It is recommended for approval on the grounds that "The overall positive economic benefits of the proposals, the lack of better alternatives, in combination with the history of numerous temporary permissions, are considered to provide very special circumstances that justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt."
Jack Pink
Tuesday 29th September 2015 at 8:43 pm
Fantastic news