Trafford Council must adopt influential Altrincham plan after residents and businesses vote YES in referenda

By David Prior at

Residents and businesses have voted in favour of Trafford Council’s Neighbourhood Business Plan for Altrincham in a referendum held by the Council on Thursday.

Voters were asked whether they wanted the Council to use the Neighbourhood Business Plan for Altrincham when deciding on planning applications for the area.

In the business referendum the turnout was 46.1%, with 95.7% voting in favour of the Neighbourhood Business Plan and 4.3% voting against.

In the residential part of the referendum, 84.6% voted yes and 15.4% voted no to using the plan. The turnout was 14.7%.

Tony Collier, chair of the Neighbourhood Forum which developed the plan, said it represented a reward for four years’ work.

The plan includes development of a main shopping area, new retail development, housing, car parking and community facilities. Covering six areas, including the old hospital site on Market Street and the Regent Road Car Park, the plan will enable new development to further boost the town.

Executive Member for Housing and Strategic Planning, Cllr David Hopps, said: “The plan developed by the Altrincham Town Centre Neighbourhood Business Forum brings together a well-considered combination of business, residential and community use to the area that will continue to make the town centre thrive.

“The Council is committed to developing all our town centres so that they are great places to both work and live in, and desirable places for people to visit.”

The Forum had said the Council had reneged on an understanding that as many local residents as possible should be involved in the final vote as to whether it should adopt the plan’s policies.

But the Council said the plan had been evaluated by an independent examiner.

Chair of the Neighbourhood Business Forum, Tony Collier, added: “We are absolutely delighted after four years of hard work that the Plan received a ‘yes’ vote and will be adopted by Trafford Council. It was encouraging that despite the complicated registration processes for businesses to register to vote that over half of them did take part, with 96% voting yes.

“Whilst turnout overall, particularly amongst residents was disappointing, we expected that this might be the case due to the length of time the referenda process has taken and the Council’s chosen boundary. Regardless of these issues however those who did take part gave their support to this important plan which is crucial to the continued regeneration of Altrincham town centre.”