PLANNING chiefs have given the green light to create an Altrincham Market-style food hall in the heart of Urmston.

A hybrid application for the construction of three, five-bedroom houses in Primrose Avenue and outline permission for the redevelopment of existing Urmston Market Site in Railway Road was approved by Trafford Council’s planning committee last night.

Luxury developers Villafont sought to renovate the site with a new market proposal which will ‘exploit the popularity of local markets, as already demonstrated by the new Altrincham market’.

The food hall would include a central dining area with shared tables, surrounded by a number of bars and food stalls.

There will also be a covered area for the provision of a “retained and improved” artisan market. The Market Co started running a monthly artisan market at the site back in June.

Developers also want to erect three, three-storey new homes to generate funds for the market scheme.

They would be built on a piece of land between Greenfield Church and a terrace row of houses on Primrose Avenue and would have two car parking spaces per home.

A total of 14 objections were submitted against the application.

“The houses are enormous,” said neighbour Mr Greenhalgh, who spoke against the application at the meeting.

“They are five bedroom monsters and you could potentially have nine people in there.”

He said the houses were “unduly overbearing and intrusive” and raised concerns they could be used as multiple occupancy, block light to other buildings and result in parking problems.

Paul Carr, on behalf of the agent, spoke in favour of the application.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Urmston,” he said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for the town to create investment.”

Cllr Daniel Bunting opened the debate. “The revamp of the market I think is an excellent redevelopment for Urmston,” he said.

“Altrincham market is a thriving location, which has done a huge amount of good for not only its own trade but drawing people into the area. I can think of no reason why that success can’t be replicated in Urmston.”

He moved to approve the application.

Cllr Nathan Evans seconded the motion, saying: “The old market model has died nationally and they have to be reinvented.”

Dr Karen Barclay called it “an exciting redevelopment”.

“A really reinvigorated market will bring a fantastic vibrancy to Urmston,” she said.

Cllr Dolores O’Sullivan said that parking and congestion was a concern and Cllr Laurence Walsh said he wasn’t impressed by the design of the houses.

“But you have to look at the regeneration of Urmston,” he added.

“The market is quite sad and it needs a boost. It is going to improve the area no end and it is a price worth paying for with these houses.”

Chair Cllr Vivienne Ward said she has been a resident of Urmston for the past 40 years and always thought of the market as being at the heart of the town.

“I don’t think it will be to the scale of Altrincham,” she added. “But I think it is going to be a super development.”

The motion to approve the application was unanimously passed.