THE council's planning committee this week approved proposals for the demolition and redevelopment of Stretford Mall.

At a meeting on March 10, all but one member of the planning committee came out in support of the proposals, which were submitted by Trafford Council themselves and developer Bruntwood.

Included in the plans is an idea to demolish some sections of the Mall, and to remove the roof from other sections, to create a commercial area with independent bars, restaurants and retailers, as well as the area of one and a half football pitches in open spaces.

There are also plans for up to 800 apartments and townhouses, 25 per cent of them affordable.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Chester Road, the council and Bruntwood Works hope to demolish the Lacy Street car park and the ex-Royal Mail sorting office to create a canalside destination for the residents of Stretford, the rest of the borough and beyond.

A number of concerns remain around the proposals, such as the significant amount of accommodation, parking and pressure on public transport and other services.

These were aired by members of the planning committee, plus a resident of Wellington Street who also spoke at the meeting.

However, there was a consensus change is needed at the Mall, which opened in the late 1960s.

In his speech, which summarised the opinions of several other members, Cllr Barry Winstanley said: "I think Stretford Mall has had it's day. It was great 40 years ago, but it's time for something new."

Responding to the approval, Andrea George, town centre and consumer brands director at Bruntwood, called it a 'milestone'.

She said: "Undertaking such an extensive consultation period with the local community allowed us to create a masterplan that provides for the people of Stretford and its surrounding areas, so we are very pleased that it has been given approval, allowing us to start the process of breathing new life into the town centre.

"It is fantastic to have achieved this milestone so that we can now move ahead with our plans and start delivering a positive evolution of Stretford for its people."

Despite the approval, details such as the appearance and scale of different aspects of the redevelopment still need to be approved in separate applications. The first of these is to be submitted soon, according to Bruntwood.