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.