Plans for new business park on former Green Belt approved

Outlines plans have been approved for an office development at a new business park located on land to the west of the A34 Bypass.

The site for the new 'Wilmslow Business Park', which is currently agriculture land, lies south of Wilmslow High School and north of The Royal London site.

The site forms around half of the wider Wilmslow Business Park, the southern half of the D-shaped area of land covering an area of approximately 4ha, which was removed from the Green Belt in 2017 and has been allocated for employment use in Cheshire East Local Plan.

The northern part of the site will remain as existing which is fields and is unaffected by the proposed development, however design features have been incorporated in to the Illustrative Masterplan to enable the northern part to be developed in the future.

The initial plans are for the erection of up to 17,162m2 of office floorspace across 8 units, which are a mixture of 2, 3 and 4 storey buildings, and ancillary amenity space along with 572 car parking spaces and a cycle hub.

Access to the site will be via a new junction from the north bound carriageway on the A34 bypass, which was was granted planning permission in October 2017.

The Illustrative Masterplan shows a potential 'campus-style' development surrounded by green spaces and cycle routes. The buildings are expected to be highly glazed, though the layout and appearance of the buildings will be subject to tenants' individual requirements and further planning applications.

Speaking at the Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, 26th August, Cllr David Jefferay said "In some ways this is the same as the Royal London application we considered last year. My view on that one was that Wilmslow doesn't need it and it's likely to be damaging to the town by drawing office space away from the town centre but I was advised at that meeting that that wasn't a material planning condition so I won't pursue that one.

"This application has got a couple of advantages over the Royal London one in that they've met the allocation for parking standards on the site rather than a massive over excess so it will be less attractive for drawing businesses away from the town centre so I'm quite happy with that. The other advantage it that the entrance is off the bypass so it is less likely to encourage traffic to go through the town centre, I like that.

"So on balance I don't think the town needs it but I actually really like the scheme that the architect came up with, the indicative scheme, and at the pre-application meeting the architect speaking was really quite inspiring. I've got good confidence, if they're still involved, it's going to be a really nice high quality scheme.

"I suspect I'll have more to say at received matters as there's environmental effects and floodwater but I'll be going with the officer's recommendation so I'll be happy to second this."

Cllr Patrick Redstone added "I also feel positive about this development. It does seem well thought out and well designed and provided we put in the flexibility of alternative uses within B1 I think it's probably sustainable as I don't think either that this will be built as offices.

"I think the day of the day of office parks has probably gone. I would also support this provided the issues regarding ecology can be sorted out."

All members of the committee present at the meeting voted for the outline plans so the application was approved unanimously.

Detailed matters relating to layout, scale, appearance and landscaping are reserved for future approval.

The plans, submitted on behalf of A & HD Wain, can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 19/4759M.



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

Andy Brown
Friday 28th August 2020 at 5:59 pm
Given how the majority of office based roles are now working from home you'd have to be absolutely mad to put money into building a business park.
Vince Chadwick
Friday 28th August 2020 at 9:42 pm
Be aware that this shambolic Tory government has added an easing of planning regulations to such idiocy as voting not to maintain our post Brexit food, environmental, and employment protection standards, while presiding over the highest per capita world Covid death rate together with the biggest Covid-related reduction in GDP in Europe.

According to County Councillor David Jeffaray posting on the Wilmslow website, these new rules now mean "the 'office' classification that this land was given has now been lumped together with all sorts of other commercial businesses. Consequently, there is a risk that developers could apply to use the land for a different use in the same category".

So what will eventually be built on this site?