CONSTRUCTION has begun at the Square, Hale Barns, with the new Booths supermarket expected to open early in 2015.
At a groundbreaking event last Thursday, the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Dylan Butt, executive member for economic growth and prosperity, Cllr Michael Hyman and ward councillor, Bernard Sharp, joined developers Laurence Martin of Development Securities, Adam Gross of Citybranch and Graham Booth, MD of Booths to celebrate the start of the development.
Construction at the site is due to be completed by October next year, with the flagship Booths store set to open the following March.
The £30 million scheme will also include a cafe, 10 to 15 shops and 24 luxury one and two-bedroom apartments.
Mr Martin said: “They’re going to be aimed mainly at first time buyers and down-sizers.
“There are a lot of what can be called ‘empty-nesters’ who would probably like to down-size, but would also like to keep a foothold in the area.”
The scheme was held up for two years because three businesses – Hale Barns Post Office, Admirals fish and chip shop and Hale Barns Tandoori – refused to move out.
However, after a public inquiry in February, secretary of state Eric Pickles rubberstamped planning inspector Mel Middleton’s recommendation to grant compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for the three businesses, allowing for construction to begin.
It had been feared Hale Barns would be left without a post office provision, but Cllr Hyman and Mr Martin told Messenger they believe the former post master has taken over the Best One store, also on Hale Road, and hopes to open a Post Office counter within the shop.
Cllr Hyman said: “I am really hopeful that a solution can be found, I certainly feel that it is important that this community is served by a post office.”
Ward councillor, Bernard Sharp, said: “This has been my dream for years and years. Residents have wanted to see progress for so long and now finally they can see it.”
Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Dylan Butt said: “We are eventually about to see the rebirth of our village centre in Hale Barns.
“As a local councillor, I along with my colleagues have always supported the much needed development of the Square which would be appealing to the majority of local residents and become a landmark for Hale Barns to be proud of for years to come.”
Councillor Michael Hyman said: “This is great news for Hale Barns and I am pleased that construction is now underway.
“The Square will create over 100 jobs and provide a new place to shop, eat and socialise. I look forward to its completion and enjoyment by many people.”
Graham Booth, director of Booths Supermarkets said: “We are delighted to be opening a new store in Hale Barns, building on the success in the region of our Media City store.
“After many years of aspiration, we have finally got the green light to begin to create a store in Hale Barns that we hope will provide the very best locally sourced produce in this prestigious location.”
Laurence Martin, project director, Development Securities PLC added: “The redevelopment of The Square has been eagerly awaited by local residents and with construction now underway, we look forward to delivering The Square for many to enjoy.
“So far, interest in the retail and restaurant units is strong given that there is limited new, high quality space available locally and we are confident that we can deliver a fantastic new destination for Hale Barns that revitalises the town centre.”