Extension agreed on development agreeement for multi-million pound scheme (From Messenger Newspapers)
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Trafford Council and Nikal continue to fine-tune £100m Altair scheme for Altrincham
COUNCIL chiefs insist a multi-million pound scheme for Altrincham town centre is still on track - after they approved a six month extension to the development agreement.
Developer Nikal now has until March to fine-tune its plans for a proposed £100m development - known as Altair - on the Oakfield Road car park area.
Facilities earmarked for the Altair project include a hotel, leisure facilities including an ice rink, homes, offices, shops, restaurants and cafes and a 500-space underground car park.
The scheme is also linked to the planned £19m makeover of Altrincham Interchange, as Nikal has agreed to contribute £1m to TFGM (Transport for Greater Manchester)to fund a bridge linking Altair to the interchange.
Nikal had also proposed that Altrincham’s new hospital would be a central feature of the scheme.
But they suffered a bodyblow last summer when health bosses chose an alternative site and developer for the long-awaited scheme - developer Citybranch will build the hospital on Railway Street in Altrincham.
The failure to land the hospital contract has led to the council and Nikal discussing how to amend the plans, and they are also looking at how the scheme will dovetail with other initiatives - being led by the Altrincham Forward group - to revitalise the town.
The original development agreement between the council and Nikal expired last month, but council chiefs have agreed to extend it until March 2013.
Trafford Council’s chief executive, Theresa Grant, said: “It is vital that we don’t rush decisions regarding the most appropriate way to progress to ensure the finished scheme achieves its full potential and provides the best possible facilities and opportunities for local residents and the wider area.
“It is thanks to the excellent partnership working with Nikal that our discussions have been so productive and I am encouraged to see these continue.
“All involved are committed to providing Altrincham with a landmark, 21st century development which will give the town centre an enormous, much-needed economic, leisure and retail boost. More than this, we are determined to ensure it provides Altrincham town centre with a development that is the envy of the region.
“By working towards this together, we can not only enhance the opportunities and facilities for residents, shoppers and visitors of all ages, but secure Altrincham a prosperous future as a key regional destination.
“By extending the development agreement with Nikal until March 2013, we are ensuring all avenues and options are considered carefully before final decisions are made within this time and that key people involved are consulted.”