Handforth shopping park set to get a lot bigger


Handforth Retail Park is set to get a lot bigger following the Strategic Planning Board's approval of three applications this morning.

Two of the three schemes were recommended for refusal, on the grounds that they would result in the loss of employment land at a time when the Council is actively allocating additional employment land as part of its emerging local plan.

However, members of the committee went against the planning officer's recommendation and gave the green light for a large number of retail units along with restaurants, cafes, drive-thus and parking to be built on Council owned land adjacent to the existing Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Next stores.

Alderley Edge based developer Consolidated Property Group (CPG) can now go ahead with the second and third phases of their Handforth Dean Shopping Park which will involve approximately 25 retail units and create about 950 jobs.

CPGs third application for an extension to the recently constructed Next store (which CPG sold last week for £15.8m), Phase 1 of the £160 million scheme, was also approved.

This includes the demolition of the existing conservatory and garden centre so that two independent retail units can be built. which would create an additional 40 jobs.

Martin Ridgway, Group Managing Director of CPG, said "Delighted with the outcome which has taken many months of negotiation with the Council's officers. We also welcome the thorough debate amongst Members at the Committee and especially the manner in which they addressed the many issues relevant to the applications."

All three of CPG's planning applications will be referred to the Secretary of State and subject to the necessary clearance construction work could satrt in late 2017 with the restaurants trading by summer 2018 and the retail units by summer 2019.

A fourth application from Orbit Development's for a retail development on the adjacent site was refused on the grounds that it would result in the loss of employment land.

Orbit applied to demolish the existing warehouses at the junction of Earl Road and Epsom Avenue and replace them with a parade of six units and a standalone unit. Orbit says the development will create 290 additional jobs.

At the time of publication we are awaiting a comment from Orbit.

Orbit's application is a resubmission of planning application 15/0400M which was refused by Cheshire East Council's Strategic Planning Board in February 2016 on the grounds that the loss of employment land is considered to significantly outweigh the benefits of the proposal.

Orbit Developments have appealed against the refusal of the previous scheme (reference 15/0400M) for five retail units and two restaurants, cafes or takeaways along with 240 car parking spaces - claiming that the scheme is an acceptable form of land use in a sustainable location which will deliver significant benefit to the local economy and local employment prospects.

Orbit's appeal hearing will commence on June 13th.

CPG Development Projects, Handforth Dean Shopping Park, Orbit Developments, Planning Applications, Strategic Planning Committee


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

Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 24th May 2017 at 2:10 pm
I hope this is being tied in to having proper bus links, and ramped access at Handforth Station in a 106 agreement or some such. Just what is needed to make the A34 still more congested and take business out of town centres which generally have better public transport links. Or perhaps it is part of our bid to join Transport for Greater Manchester so that the tram can be extended out this way too?
Andrea Barton
Wednesday 24th May 2017 at 3:44 pm
Sky-high rates are the factors that most damage city/town-centre business. Retail parks provide parking & good sized stores in close proximity to each other, not to mention the jobs that will be created. Town centres have to re-invent themselves to provide something different, not only are they competing with retail parks but also on-line shopping.
John Clegg
Wednesday 24th May 2017 at 8:27 pm
It's not sky-high rates as much as rents.
Town centres don't have to re-invent themselves; they have shops which we all agree that we want. It's a bit simplistic to ignore that it's property companies often in which our pensions are invested - who set the rents often at some made-up, ephemeral market rate.
Ian Cook
Wednesday 24th May 2017 at 10:07 pm
Generally the council don't care if a city centre or out of town shop is open/closed - rented or vacant, they still get their council tax paid since they changed the rules in their favour.

That's why they rejected the application to demolish the warehouse....they are still getting paid !
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 24th May 2017 at 11:46 pm
I expect that Orbit will appeal the decision. I also expect that Orbit will win the appeal. Why? Because phase 1 of the CPG's Development (the Next Store) was built on land that was identified as "for employment use" in the existing Macclesfield Local Plan and in the same document phase 2 and 3 are also on land classed as "for employment use" .

Retail stores (A1: Planning Classifications) are a form of employment. May be not as much as offices or manufacturing (B1 / B2 Planning Classifications) but still employment

For definition of A1, B1, B2 etc planning classifications see http://bit.ly/2rSdalK
Nick Jones
Thursday 25th May 2017 at 3:47 pm
..... So keep putting the yellow lines down in our town... that keep the visitors and workers away ... and demonise commuters for daring to try and park ... AND DONT COMPLAIN when this enterprise is built and town centre shops close...Cheap yellow paint, Cheap Displacement fix, Myopic Diagnosis ...Expensive consequence...!
Estelle Lewis
Friday 26th May 2017 at 9:59 pm
Please remember that not all citizens want to travel to 'town' to shop, be it Manchester or Stockport. Being an ex retailer with several outlets, I can sympathise with the exorbitant rent and rates but one thing no one else here has mentioned is the car parking fees. To shop in a town one has to pay 2 or three hours parking fee which adds to the weekly shopping bill. A consideration when one has a family. I know most supermarkets have free parking but general stores/markets don't (ask Stockport stallholders, a once thriving market). I believe car parking in Manchester is horrendously expensive......I for one look forward to a larger shopping facility at Handforth Dean purely and simply because it is just one stop along the A34 bypass from my home
Dave Cash
Saturday 27th May 2017 at 2:30 am
Estelle, how long before Handforth Dean et al introduce parking charge Notices?
I rarely drive to Stockport or Manc to shop.
My home town is Wilmslow, so even if I had to spend £2 on parking/wk for £50 groceries/wk, is that unacceptable for most?
Fiona Doorbar
Sunday 28th May 2017 at 6:45 am
Hopefully we might get an Aldi.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 1st June 2017 at 5:51 am
More places to worship the great god retail on a Sunday.