THE developers behind a multi-million pound scheme earmarked for Altrincham have won a crunch planning battle - and now they say it's 'all systems go' for the development.
A compulsory purchase order (CPO) has been granted to force ATS Euromaster off its site on Oakfield Road.
That means a major obstacle has been removed from the path of a proposed £100 million redevelopment - known as Altair - of the Oakfield Road car park area.
The Altair project comprises a hotel, leisure facilities including an ice rink, homes, offices, shops, restaurants and cafes and a 500-space underground car park.
There would be around 2,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs on completion of the scheme.
Developers Nikal claimed last year at the public meeting into the CPO that it was essential to demolish the ATS Euromaster garage and neighbouring Bridge Inn pub for the project to go ahead as planned.
The pub has just been demolished after it was recently bought by Trafford Council and now the way is clear for the garage to be removed.
Nick Payne, managing director of Nikal, said the CPO had 'opened the gateway' for work to begin on Altair next year - and the development could be in place by 2016.
The scheme wwould be linked to a major upgrade of Altrincham Interchange, bringing the total investment to £120 million - and he believes these developments are a key part of efforts to breathe new life into the town.
"This is incredibly good news and it is now all systems go.
"It will be the biggest development in Altrincham for some considerable time and it is sorely needed."
He explained that as the scheme had lost out in its bid to build a new Altrincham hospital, the plans would have to be amended, which would probably see the number of homes increased from 30 to 150.
It was hoped to complete most of the work in one phase - it that was the case it could be completed in two and a half to three years. The timescale would be four years if it was completed in phases.
Trafford executive councillor Mike Cornes said: “I am extremely pleased that we have confirmation of the CPO which will enable the council to assembly fully the Altair site so that the ambitious development can proceed. This multi-million pound scheme, being delivered by our partners Nikal, will transform the look and feel of Altrincham, bringing huge benefits to the town centre.
"These are exciting times for Altrincham, and local people can be assured that the council is dedicated to securing a bright future for the town. We are working closely with business and community groups as part of the Altrincham Forward group to ensure the town can re-establish itself as a first class destination.”
ATS Euromaster declined to comment.