Initial proposals to transform town centre eyesore revealed

Initial proposals to redevelop a prominent town centre site have been unveiled to members of the public.

Annabelle Tugby Architects, a local architecture practice based in Styal, have been working with Property Alliance Group on the proposal for a 4 star hotel and restaurant to replace the 'eyesore' that is Tescos and the former sports bar on Alderly Road.

Susie Fairbank Angus said "Being just down the road from Wilmslow, we feel invested in the future of the area. The Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan pinpointed the Tescos Alderley Road site as one that is in need of development and therefore we think it is a great opportunity for a high quality piece of architecture to be part of the wider masterplan for the area.

"Over the past month we have met with members of Cheshire East Council, Wilmslow Town Council, Residents of Wilmslow and Transition Wilmslow to discuss the site and proposal which we have found to be very informative throughout the process so far."

A public consultation, held at Wilmslow Library on Tuesday 10th December, was attended by about 100 people who were able to view the scheme, which included a model and sketches.

Susie added "At this point our proposal is only at the initial feasibility stage so the design is by no means final, therefore we wanted to get as much feedback as possible! We showed a physical card model and sketches of our initial proposal (images above) which helped to communicate our ideas to the public. We found the model was a great way of encouraging the visitors to engage with the scheme and give us their thoughts and ideas.

"We really enjoyed meeting and talking to so many local people, and we hope that those who came along found it to be interesting."

Below is an overview of the feedback they gathered:

  • It was agreed that it's a great opportunity to create a high quality building in Wilmslow and hopefully will be a catalyst for other high quality developments to arise in the area.
  • The proposal of a hotel and restaurant was well received and the design was regarded as being a big improvement on the existing eyesore!
  • There was an overall opinion that the proposal has a good opportunity to improve the surrounding public realm ; something that we are keen to focus on.

The following are the main queries and their responses

Parking

  • Some people were concerned that the proposal of a hotel could add to the issue of car parking in Wilmslow. We appreciate this and are aware of the excess of traffic and parking problems that the centre currently has.
  • Town centre hotels do not usually have dedicated car parks and it is expected that any requirement from the hotel users for car parking will fall overnight when car parking isn't such an issue in Wilmslow.
  • It would be great if, as the WNP states, public transport links could be improved to reduce the reliance of cars working towards a greener future.

Hotel Viability - Is a hotel right for the site?

  • The interested hoteliers have done their research and concluded that Wilmslow is a great location for a hotel.
  • A hotel would improve the growing visitors economy of the area, bringing more people and business to the local shops and restaurants of Wilmslow.

Susie explained "We now hope to build on the feedback received and work towards developing an elegant and well considered design. This remains a once in a generation opportunity to upgrade this key site in Wilmslow as a result of the lease coming to an end on Tescos, with a scheme that will improve this eyesore and help set the agenda for new developments in Wilmslow."

They intend to submit a planning application in the new year.

Tags:
Alderley Road
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Vince Chadwick
Saturday 14th December 2019 at 7:33 pm
I applaud the proposal to redevelop the eyesore that is the present site, but come on, this proposal isn't visually any better than what's there now - maybe even worse.

It is brutalist! It's a mish-mash of un co-ordinated unimaginative boxy structures above what looks like threateningly dark spaces. It has all the elegance and subtle design of a 1950s military barracks.

Where's the imagination? Where is the creativity? If the architects can't come up with something that lifts the soul in this prime town-centre site, get architects who can! Whatever is built there will there for a long time. Let's get it right!
Jeremy Levy
Tuesday 17th December 2019 at 4:03 pm
What a fantastic project, this would really enhance the town centre and be a real boost to the local economy.
I sincerely hope this development gets the support it deserves.
Claire Brown
Tuesday 17th December 2019 at 6:04 pm
Boring and unimaginative. I agree with earlier comment.
Why do we only think about restaurants, coffee bars, and now hotels? Can't we have something cultural instead for example? Why not an art gallery, or a theatre, or both? A development that has a few activities and experiences not just some dull hotel to attract yet more people not from the area. Something for the community.
Deborah Slade
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 7:02 am
Firstly, if Tesco is going to vacate the premises what is going to happen to the Post Office?

Secondly, is Wilmslow so much of a destination that a new hotel will be viable?

This site would be a good place for an indoor market in the mould of Altrincham and now Stockport.
Gordon Massey
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 7:06 am
I agree with other comments made, come on, of the great designs and opportunities available, that’s what the architects come up with, where’s grand designs when you need them.

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