Parts of Alderley Park could be released for housing

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Following the announcement by AstraZeneca of their plans to reduce the scale of their operation at Alderley Park to around 700 jobs by 2016, Cheshire East Council has been working alongside the company to try and maximise the potential of the site as a specialist employment facility.

In order to enable the delivery of this vision, the Council has confirmed it may be necessary to allow a wider range of uses on some areas of the 400 acre Green Belt site, including housing.

Cheshire East Council are preparing a prospectus to outline the future policy for the development of the Alderley Park site which is intended to provide guidance for potential investors, given that the AstraZeneca site is being marketed before the Local Plan's Core Strategy is adopted.

The Cabinet are being asked to endorse the Alderley Park Development Prospectus at their meeting on Tuesday, 7th January, which states that "Given the scale of Alderley Park and the significant costs associated with bringing forward the science park, it may be necessary to release parts of the site for higher value land uses such as housing, to ensure the science facility is financially viable in the long term."

In March 2013, AstraZeneca announced its intention to relocate its R&D activity from Alderley Park by 2016. The effects of the relocation are expected to be significant, according the draft prospectus it has been estimated that the negative economic impact on the local area will be around £245 million per annum.

In response to AstraZeneca's announcement, a task force was established to mitigate the effects of the closure on Cheshire East and the wider North West economies, and to secure a sustainable economic future for the site. The Alderley Park Task Force is jointly chaired by Chris Brinsmead, Life Sciences Business Adviser to Government, and Clive Morris, AstraZeneca Vice President and includes representatives from the key local stakeholder groups, including Cheshire East Council; Manchester City Council; University of Manchester and David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield.

It is the intention of CEC that a Masterplan or similar document is developed and adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to provide clear guidelines for potential future investors. Together with the Core Strategy this should set out a detailed framework of what development will be acceptable on the site in terms of location, land use and design.

Complementary land uses will be defined in the proposed SPD, however it is envisaged such opportunities could include: residential, retail/food and drink uses (limited to a size which would be necessary to serve only the needs of the other occupiers); industrial and storage uses related to life sciences as well as company headquarters and research and development.

The draft prospectus states that future development opportunities should be focused on areas within the Previously Developed Land boundary and suggests that part of the South Campus "offers a truly distinctive, high quality build opportunity", "if higher value land uses are determined to be necessary to deliver the development of the life science cluster".

Click here to view the draft 'Alderley Park Science for Life Development Prospectus' which the Cabinet will consider on Tuesday 7th January.

Alderley Park, AstraZeneca, Cheshire East Council


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

Sarah Lane
Friday 3rd January 2014 at 4:43 pm
Well that would be tragic but nothing would surprise me any more with this obsession to build on every bit of land. If this happens and sadly I guess it will it will be very sad.
Nicola Elliott
Friday 3rd January 2014 at 6:50 pm
I think Alderley Park would be put to better use as a continued employment source..... No Jobs, no need for more houses !
I'm not convinced Cheshire east know what they want to achieve with the plans they make or the plans they try to avoid.
Better open discussion wouldn't be a bad idea because the local plan forum is joke to use and very limited
Ricky Lee
Friday 3rd January 2014 at 7:05 pm
Turn the park into a 'Public Park', let everyone enjoy it.
Sarah Lane
Friday 3rd January 2014 at 8:05 pm
Ricky. Now that would be wonderful. Can you imagine how great that would be. Could have some nice tea rooms and a restaurant. Play area and walks. It could still bring in employment then. Row after row of square boxes is a depressing thought.
Fiona Braybrooke
Friday 3rd January 2014 at 11:54 pm
Well let's look at how it would impact on the current Green belt? If they allow building up on the site it means we can protect more precious sites of green belt that is current up for grabs that would have a higher impact on the area. If we go for damage limitation I think it fits the bill. Or they go for land of Adllngton road and off the current A34 Alderley bypass which will always be up for grabs.
We can not depend on AEPC to protect our Green belt as they are too focused on eradicating a piece of heritage on Heyes Lane to be bothered with this kind of an issue
Frank Keegan
Sunday 5th January 2014 at 12:56 pm

Green Belt is green belt; if you support residential development at Alderley Park, it will not mean that any of the Green Belt around Alderley Edge will be saved. The only responsible stance is to oppose any residential development of green Belt land.

Alderley Park was granted exceptional permission to develop the site, in order to protect the employment within one particular and specific company. It seems to me that the argument has now changed to say that if Residential Development is allowed, it will help develop new Bio Sciences on site. Then, it will be, if Retail supermarkets are allowed, that will help the Residential and therefore the bio sciences.

Whatever happened to the theory, “if the site is good enough, the businesses will come”.

AEPC is actively working to protect green belt from having 1,000 houses at Ryleys Farm site, 250 houses at land behind Beech Road, and residential development at several small sites along Wilmslow Road. It is the settled policy of AEPC that AEPC will create a car park beside the Festival Hall, and in so doing, will create a new allotment site at Lydiat Lane. That car park will allow the opportunity to address the various parking areas which are dangerous at the present time.

AEPC is also protecting the “heritage” of having Medical Facilities within the village boundaries; without the Parish Council intervention to deliver a Medical Centre, ALL of the patients would have had to travel in order to consult a GP. Frankly, I think the relocation of a dozen or so local taxpayers to a separate allotment site is a very small price to pay for the benefits which will accrue to the village.
Fiona Braybrooke
Tuesday 7th January 2014 at 6:38 pm
Heyes Lane Allotments are part of the heritage of Alderley Edge. That is a fact. It was gifted to the residents of Alderley Edge in 1917 by the De Trafford Estate. It has a covenant on it which should stop this kind of development ever happening.
So why are you so focused on eradicating this?
You quite clearly do not feel it is important and you are not listening to the views of residents in Alderley Edge
Where are your facts and figures that show the requirement?
How much will this cost and who is paying for this?
Stephen Clarke
Wednesday 8th January 2014 at 9:48 am
Sorry to be tangental to the main thrust of this, but could you explain why there cannot be a new car park built on the site of the existing wastefully sited surface car park next to the railway and the 'new' post office? It could be two storey, with a basement level, and would therefore accommodate most of the huge increase in car numbers in the centre of the village, and as such generate a large revenue. Making people use the narrow roads around the Hall to access parking, (even if they know how to find it), when all they want to do is buy a sandwich, thereby increasing the volume of traffic in that area will, I fear, lead to frustration, impatience, & accidents.
Frank Keegan
Wednesday 8th January 2014 at 11:27 pm

3 storeys on South St would cost serious money to build. Current income is £36,000 before costs, and 3 floors would probably be £80,000. Three floors would not produce 150 spaces, more like 100 spaces, because of turning circles etc. Cost of financing the building would be around £120,000pa and extra income would be £44,000 - so it is not the large revenue generator you might think.
Martin Dixon
Saturday 11th January 2014 at 2:08 pm

I am not sure your figures stack up regarding the 3 story car park. If there are currently 50 spaces and that is increased to 100, surly the revenue doubles. Also, why does it cost £120k pa to finance an £80k investment?

How does this scheme compare with the financials for the allotment scheme? Frank, you do seem a bit reluctant to disclose this information. I am sure there are many people who would want to know.
Frank Keegan
Saturday 11th January 2014 at 2:49 pm

I allowed double income plus 10%, to be generous, ergo £80k. I also assume a 3 storey structure to an acceptable standard would cost £1.5m, which would cost 8% EIP. EIP is a mortgage repayment system which Councils use (Equal Instalment Payments) and 8% would cost £120k, so it would be paid off over 25 years.

The costing for the Allotments scheme will be included in the costings for the Med Ctre, which are being worked on. As soon as they become available, they will be a matter of public record.