MAJOR plans for two villages in Trafford have been approved, despite a threat of legal action and an outcry from Conservative members.

For Hale, the plans include planting more trees, installing more art, expanding the village green areas (including the clock tower area and bowling green), reducing the speed limit to calm traffic flow through the village, uniform shop fronts, new seating areas, new cycle parking and new walking and cycling routes.

For Sale Moor, the plans include changing traffic routes to establish Northenden Road as the main high street, build new homes, create a new village square, widen and improve footpaths, segregate cycle lanes, install a new seating area, plant more trees and improve street parking.

One Green Party member said the plans don’t go far enough but Conservative members say they had never received so many e-mails in opposition to plans before.

Cllr Nathan Evans, Tory group leader, said the council could face legal action over its consultation process due to ‘the strength of feeling’ against the plans, particularly in Hale. He argued people were not aware enough of the proposals.

Labour members of the executive say they went ‘above and beyond’ statutory requirements with a number of meetings in Sale Moor and Hale.

But Cllr Denise Haddad (Conservative, Hale Central) queried response levels to the consultation there, saying 642 responses from a population of more than 15,000 people was ‘not representative of the Hale community, insisting there was "evidence of overwhelming opposition to [the] Hale plan in its current state".

Chris Manka, north west regional chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is a deeply disturbing decision by Trafford Council, who continue to steamroll ahead with a wildly unpopular plan to make changes that large swathes of the community simply do not want nor asked for."

Hale Liberal Democrat campaigner Will Frass added: “The council is all set to charge ahead paying large sums of money to narrow Ashley Road, without properly engaging local residents and businesses.”

But Cllr Michael Welton, (Green, Altrincham), said: “Particularly in Hale, there seems to be a lobby that will never be satisfied.”

Cllr James Wright, Labour executive member for development, described the plans as "a small step in the right direction".

Cllr Andrew Western, Labour council leader, said the original plans for Hale and Sale Moor had been amended in light of comments received during the consultation process.