Parish Council objects to plans to extend hotel carpark in Handforth Greenbelt

Handforth Parish Council has objected to plans to extend a hotel car park which lies within the Greenbelt in order to meet current demand and prevent continued parking on the local highway network.

Manchester Airport Propco Limited has applied to reconfigure the car park at the Hallmark Hotel on Stanley Road to deliver a more efficient layout and extend the car park to south east.

The proposed scheme will provide an additional 178 spaces, increasing the total number to 410 spaces.

Handforth Parish strongly recommends refusal of the application on the following grounds "The Parish Council believes that the site lies within the Greenbelt and is subject to NPPF restrictions on any development within the Greenbelt. The Parish Council do not consider the provision of park and fly for Manchester Airport a significant use for destruction of any further Greenbelt land in Handforth. The Parish Council also note that the application would be contrary to policies H9 and H12 of the Handforth neighbourhood plan, as the application involves removal of important mature trees and hedgerows. The application does little to address surface water management in an area which has recently suffered from difficult flooding conditions."

The 88 bedroom hotel, which includes a leisure club and conference suites which can hold up to 500 delegates for major events or weddings, offers guests a Park and Fly package, whereby they can park their vehicle on-site at the hotel for either 7 or 15 days.

A car park occupancy survey was undertaken on Saturday 3rd August 2019, over a 15-hour period between 7am and 10pm, which the applicant says demonstrates that the car park is operating over capacity on the day of the survey, with a peak occupancy high of 106%. The results also show that parking occupancy does not fall below 78% throughout the day. On the day of the car park survey 82% of the bedrooms were occupied and 160 guests had Park and Fly packages.

The application states "The proposed car park layout will provide the hotel with a sufficient level of parking to meet demand from all on-site facilities offered. Furthermore, the proposals will formalise the car park layout to a standard in line with current design standards."

"During the peak periods, the informal layout of the car park leads to sporadic parking, with hotel guests parking wherever they can fit their vehicles, which raises both operational and safety concerns. In addition to this, vehicles were recorded by the survey CCTV cameras parking on the adopted road running parallel to Stanley Road, which is not subject to any on-street parking restrictions."

A resident of Stanley Road has also objected to the plans stating "I do not believe that the expansion of the car park is for the benefit of the hotel guests but rather the hotel making monetary profit from any activities that take place at the mosque. This will cause unnecessary traffic along with noise and disturbance. I purchased my property on the basis that it is in a green belt area and the expansion goes against the nature of the area."

Whilst a resident of Chamberlain Drive in Wilmslow has written in support of the application stating "Existing on site parking is inadequate. There have been times when the venue is busy that visitors have not been able to park and have had to leave and go home.

"With the demolition of leisure and recreaction facilities in Summerfields Wilmslow there's increased demand for a value priced alternative and Hallmark Gym meets it to keep members fit and hethy. It's hugely disappointing then that at times, parking doesn't exist. Public transport doesn't provide a suitable alternative so please extend with an eye to sustain ability and the existing woods."

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council Planning Portal using reference 19/4834M.

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Planning Applications
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Comments

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

Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 4:02 pm
Would be a good idea if the traffic wardens were out and tickets issued for parking on pavements and obstructing cycle lanes and the money going towards improving parking but more so illegal parking
Justin Handby
Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 4:06 pm
Good, the expansion would serve no benefit to the local area and community other than depriving it of yet more green belt land. Regularly drive past this half empty car park so I find it very convenient they did a survey in the middle of the summer (height of airport travel season and wedding season). I also find one of their stats very interesting, an 88 room hotel yet 160 guests used the fly and park on that day??? So basically they dump their cars there for 2 weeks and Hallmark get the financial benefit (no income to CEC or the local community as they won’t spend any money here) and they want us to give up green belt for it? Jog on.
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 5:46 pm
Hotel should not be offering park and fly option to guests if it restricts the ability to park for other visitors or guests - goodness knows there are enough park and fly options around Styal and Heald Green without sacrificing further greenbelt for a private company's profit opportunity. No benefit to community at all. Perhaps hotel can do a deal with one of the numerous private parking owners for a discounted rate with hotel stay?
Marcia McGrail
Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 6:14 pm
So what parking facilities did the hotel submit in their original planning application? Did they not obtain proper usage reports? Or just pick a number out of a hat? Huuummm...seems to be a case of underestimate to get it through planning, then 'o, dear looks like we need some more space. Well, it's only an old field and some scraggy trees, so will easily get through planning if we word it right.'
It's that excruciating dripdripdrip effect towards the concretising of the whole country that these developers rely on planning departments failing to see (or care about).
Sally Hoare
Wednesday 29th January 2020 at 9:52 pm
I struggled to park at the hotel when volunteering to give blood sometimes. The car park spaces could be increased within the current area if it were used more efficiently.
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 30th January 2020 at 10:27 pm
I have would have no objection...... "to reconfigure the car park at the Hallmark Hotel on Stanley Road to deliver a more efficient layout".

However, I would have an objection to "extend the car park to south east."

There is currently no record of the parish council's comments on the CEC planning portal.

I hope that the planning officer is made aware of them before he makes his decision. And that he makes reference to the Handforth Neighbourhood Plan when doing so.

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