CAMPAIGNERS have claimed victory in the battle to prevent a Sale Moor car park from being developed.

They are celebrating after council chiefs said this week that they won’t sell the free car park at Warrener Street to developers.

They have underlined their commitment to retain the car park by promising to re-surface it early next year.

The pledge came after more than 3,000 people signed a petition organised by Trafford Heritage Society, calling for the car park to be preserved.

THS members, who believe the car park is vital for the prosperity of the village, welcomed the council’s statement as ‘an early Christmas present’.

THS said: “This is a real victory for the people of Sale Moor, and the huge support they gave to the campaign led by Trafford Heritage Society.

“The news that Warrener Street car park, and the special character of Sale Moor shopping centre, are safe until next year is an early Christmas present for the people of the village.

“We must not forget the excellent coverage given to the THS campaign by the Messenger.

“We are grateful to Trafford MBC for finally acceding to the wishes of more than 3,000 people who signed the Trafford Heritage Society petition.

“We are optimistic that Cllr Mike Cornes’ statement signals the beginning of a new policy for Sale Moor, consistent with the Sale Moor covenant which THS launched last week.

“Should Trafford Council deviate from this new course, they will find THS in the front line against any attempt to oppose the wishes of the people.”

The Sale Moor covenant calls for councillors to agree to a range of conditions, including a moratorium on any development of the car park at Warrener Street for at least 30 years.

Fears that the car park would be replaced by a food store were sparked off in August, when traders and residents discovered the council had invited companies to submit proposals to develop the car park and adjoining properties.

Cllr Mike Cornes, the council’s executive member for economic growth, said he had acted to allay any fears that the council is planning to sell the car park for use as a food store.

He added: “It’s right that sites in council ownership are occasionally assessed to see if they are best serving their local area and, understandably in the case of Warrener Street car park, this has generated speculation about its future use. “However, in order to reassure people that free parking will remain on this site and to show our commitment to Sale Moor, we will ensure that the car park is fully resurfaced early next year.

“I hope this will be a clear sign that we have no intention of losing this car park.”