PLANS to build a car park offering 300 spaces on greenbelt land in Altrincham have been approved.

Manufacturing firm Cartwright, which employs 864 people from its Broadheath sites, has been given permission by Trafford Council to build the facility.

The new car park will be located on land once owned by the Ministry of Defence, off Dairyhouse Lane, near the Broadheath industrial estate.

Members of the council’s planning committee discussed the application last week.

Agent Donna Barber said there is a ‘critical’ need for a car park in the area.

She said other businesses, such as JCB, are also ‘suffering’ because of the lack of parking – and described it as a ‘major’ problem.

“It is important these companies are allowed to operate efficiently, but they can’t if staff are late for work because they can’t find a parking space,” she said.

Cllr Sean Anstee welcomed the application — and said lack of parking has been an issue for years.

“It is a major concern — and I believe this application goes some way towards resolving it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cllr Daniel Bunting agreed there was an issue, but disagreed with how it should be resolved.

He said: “Cartwright was given permission to build a car park on its own land, but didn’t go ahead with it because it wouldn’t look nice.

“I accept the lack of parking is a problem — and there needs to be a solution available to fix it — but I don’t believe this is the right one.

“I also don’t believe there are sufficient  enough reasons to allow this on greenbelt land.”

Planning officer Rebecca Coley said permission had not been granted for a car park to be built on Cartwright’s property.

Meanwhile, Cllr Geraldine Coggins said she didn’t agree with using greenbelt land to house a car park.

“The more we accommodate drivers, the more congested the roads get,” she said.

“I think we need to look at alternative measures.

“More than 60 per cent of its workforce lives within 10 miles, but a very low number of employees cycle.

“I think so much more can be done before we sacrifice our greenbelt.”

However, Cllr Karen Barclay disagreed.

“I’m absolutely delighted to welcome this scheme,” she said.

“I’m particularly impressed with how the consultation was carried out.

“It is always hard to lose greenbelt because it’s very precious and we want to retain it.

“But we do value Cartwright ­— and we need to let this firm thrive.”