Public inquiry into £30m revamp at the Square, Hale Barns

Public inquiry into £30m mall revamp

Artist's impression of the proposed Square revamp

Artist's impression of the proposed Square revamp

Planning inspector Mel Middleton looks around the Square with traders Dhiresh Makdani Savas Panayiotou, and Koyas Miah, with Derek Lowe from Trafford Council, and surveyor Michael King

First published in News
Last updated
Messenger Newspapers: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A MULTI-million pound scheme to redevelop Hale Barns' shopping centre hinges on the outcome of a public inquiry that was held in Altrincham this week.

Property company Development Securities' plans for a £30m revamp of the Square shopping centre have been held up for two years because three businesses have refused to move out.

The three traders - Hale Barns Post Office, Admiral Fish and Chips and Hale Barns Tandoori - claim they are standing firm to protect their livelihoods and the interests of their customers.

On Tuesday, a public inquiry was held at Altrincham Town Hall, followed by a site visit by planning inspector Mel Middleton the following day, to decide whether to grant compulsory purchase orders for the three businesses.

Development Securities – which is being supported by Trafford council - claims it needs vacant possession in order to demolish the 1960s centre and build a new shopping mall. The planned centre includes a new Booths supermarket and café, space for five to 10 shops, 24 flats and 200 car parking spaces split over two levels.

Senior regeneration officer at Trafford Council, Clare Taylor-Russell, told the inquiry the planned centre would help to regenerate the area.

“It will play a vital role in reversing the decline of the centre. I believe there is a compelling case to grant the order.”

But the traders claimed the centre had been allowed to decline to pave the way for the development.

Sub postmaster at Hale Barns Post Office, Dhiresh Makdani, said he had been unable to find any suitable alternative premises in the area.

He said his post office is a ‘lifeline’ for his customers, and 2,000 of them signed a petition a couple of years ago calling for the facility to be saved. Despite this, he claimed the council has failed to deliver on promises to help retain the post office.

He said: “The post office provides a vital service to the community, including pensioners. It has always been the focal point of the village.”

Savas Panayiotou, from Admiral fish and chip shop, said: “We find ourselves at a big disadvantage having to stand up against the council and a multi-million pound business.

“It feels like a battle between David and Goliath.”

Counsel for Trafford Council, Hugh Richards, claimed e-mail evidence of meetings between agents for the traders and the council showed the issue for the protesting businesses was not about relocating, but simply the amount of compensation they could get.

The scheme to redevelop the Square was approved by Trafford's planning committee in March 2011, after development plans for the Square had moved back and forth through the planning process for five years.

in 2008, a much larger scheme was finally approved despite a high profile campaign by the Hale Barns Residents Response group to block it.

But this scheme was shelved after anchor store Waitrose pulled out in favour of opening a store in Broadheath.

A decision on the compulsory purchase orders is expected within two to three months.

Comments (5)

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4:49pm Thu 7 Feb 13

chapellanecharlie says...

I realise the Postmaster is unhappy, but have you looked inside the place? What a tip, and his opening hours don't encourage people to shop there. It ain't what it used to be! More the pity...
I realise the Postmaster is unhappy, but have you looked inside the place? What a tip, and his opening hours don't encourage people to shop there. It ain't what it used to be! More the pity... chapellanecharlie
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Rozzer says...

How about having a public enquiry about Partington shopping centre, with a view to compulsory purchase it. Or does it not matter because it is Partington and also it would mean taking on Peel Holdings.
How about having a public enquiry about Partington shopping centre, with a view to compulsory purchase it. Or does it not matter because it is Partington and also it would mean taking on Peel Holdings. Rozzer
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Samtron says...

"Sub postmaster at Hale Barns Post Office, Dhiresh Makdani, said he had been unable to find any suitable alternative premises in the area."

No mention of the fact the lease has already expired on the Post Office unit and Mr Makdani is refusing to leave. Also no mention of his laughable demands for a 15 year lease at a peppercorn rate in the new development!!
"Sub postmaster at Hale Barns Post Office, Dhiresh Makdani, said he had been unable to find any suitable alternative premises in the area." No mention of the fact the lease has already expired on the Post Office unit and Mr Makdani is refusing to leave. Also no mention of his laughable demands for a 15 year lease at a peppercorn rate in the new development!! Samtron
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Sun 10 Feb 13

dipperdapper says...

as far as im aware work will start on partington shopping center some time in march, but wouldnt surprise me if there was yet another delay, the problem is with co-op ive heard, rbs is relocating to the old library, charcoal grill next to the garage unsure what will happen or where antonys chippy will go, but until a solution is found there will be delays and the longer the delays the bigger chance of peel getting fed up
as far as im aware work will start on partington shopping center some time in march, but wouldnt surprise me if there was yet another delay, the problem is with co-op ive heard, rbs is relocating to the old library, charcoal grill next to the garage unsure what will happen or where antonys chippy will go, but until a solution is found there will be delays and the longer the delays the bigger chance of peel getting fed up dipperdapper
  • Score: 0

9:34am Mon 11 Feb 13

chapellanecharlie says...

rozzer and dipperdapper should fight their own battles and not climb on the back of the Hale Barns problems. Keep out of matters that don't concern you!
rozzer and dipperdapper should fight their own battles and not climb on the back of the Hale Barns problems. Keep out of matters that don't concern you! chapellanecharlie
  • Score: 0

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