CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a tower block containing 433 flats on the former B&Q site in Old Trafford have been thrown out by council chiefs.

They fear the 13-storey building would be too high for the area ­— and impact neighbouring Trafford Town Hall and Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC).

Site owner Accure Capital sought permission to build Trafford Place on the derelict plot at Great Stone Road.

However, after lengthy debate, members of the council’s planning committee rejected the scheme.  

Speaking on behalf of LCCC chief executive Daniel Gidney branded the application ‘inappropriate’ during Thursday’s meeting,

“This proposal would be detrimental to the future of the club in terms of its scale and massing,” he said.

“A residential development of this size, adjacent to the ground, would be overbearing- and would impact the club significantly.

“It could also, potentially, put future test matches at risk.

“The development is inappropriate in terms of its location and scale ­— and I would urge for it to be refused.”

Speaking on behalf of Accure Capital, Stephen Webster said his firm bought the site in 2015 and, since then, has been working on plans to develop it.

“We have conducted a public consultation, which resulted in overwhelming support for the scheme,” he said.

“This is a build-to-rent development where its residents will have the flexibility to choose from a one-bed to a three-bed apartment.

“It will be a well managed professional development in a borough that is desperate for new homes to rent.

“And, for the record, I would never do anything to harm the cricket club.”

Cllr Linda Blackburn said the development would provide real homes for real people.

While Cllr Aiden Williams said he was ‘alarmed’ the developer was offering to provide just 44 affordable homes in a development of this size.

Cllr Liz Patel said it was very unusual for council officers to list so many reasons to refuse an application.

“Therefore, I have to agree with them that this is a poorly designed scheme with so many unanswered questions,” she said.  

“Yes, the way forward in planning terms is to use brownfield sites first, but not just for the sake of it, or at any cost.”

“This is a lacklustre design on a significant site ­— and, in my view, it needs to be improved,” she added.

Members voted to refuse the application.