Regeneration

Revised plan for new Hale Community Centre and Library submitted to Trafford Council

By David Prior at

A new planning application relating to the delayed Hale Community Centre and Library has been submitted to Trafford Council.

A partnership between Altrincham-based Hillcrest Homes and the Hale Community Trust originally won the tender to build a new 6,000 sq ft community centre and library on the site of the current bowling green back in 2015.

A year ago we reported that the plans would be revised in the light of feedback relating to parking, noise, building architecture and the environment.

And now a revised application has been submitted which the Trust said had “overwhelming support from local residents and community groups”.

An artist’s impression of the revised community centre and library, as viewed from Ashley Road

The new community centre and library would be funded by the sale of the current library site on Leigh Road and Addison Road, for residential development by Hillcrest.

Changes to the building include the adoption of an Arts and Crafts appearance, in keeping with other buildings along Ashley Road.

The material palette has also been softened, with green oak timber detailing and a rosemary tile roof complementing brickwork.

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The community centre and library would be built on the site of the current Hale Village Bowling Pavilion

The building’s overall size has also been reduced “without compromising the functionality or flexibility of the space offered”, allowing existing trees either side of the building to be retained. Further trees will be planted to replace those removed for construction.

In addition to housing the new library on the first floor, which can accommodate 17,000 books, the new centre has been designed to provide a multi-purpose event space alongside a cafe, which can be enjoyed by the whole community.

Ground floor accommodation provides a lounge for bowling club members and a dedicated space for a seniors’ group who meet daily at the existing bowling club.

And a flexible open plan community café/event/exhibition space can also cater for events and exhibitions, together with a new kitchen.

A visual showing the retail part of the redevelopment of the existing Hale Library

Grahame Elliott, Chairman of Hale Community Trust, said: “We have overwhelming support for this scheme from local residents and community groups and it was important that our consultation was transparent and inclusive.

“We have taken care to address concerns and believe the new planning applications have benefitted enormously from the comments and suggestions put forward.

“The new flexible community space and library will provide a unique and welcome new focus for local residents, businesses and community groups in Hale. We will ensure that the facilities provided will be high quality and accessible so that the whole community benefits from the new proposals.”

The new Community Centre and Library will be funded by, and is reliant on, the development of the existing Hale Library site into residential housing.

Part of the proposed residential redevelopment of Addison Road

In a separate application, six semi-detached three-bedroom homes are proposed, fronting onto Addison Road, with a mixed-use building in the same architectural style fronting onto Leigh Road and providing a ground floor retail space with two two-bedroom apartments above.

Following feedback, the design for these properties has also been revised to incorporate architectural details more characteristic of Hale, and the size of the properties has also been reduced.

James Payne, Hillcrest Homes managing director, added: “We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to provide their feedback on our proposals. We’ve emerged with a stronger proposal that does justice to this special location and will be an attractive addition to the streetscape, whilst providing the high-quality new homes that are much in demand in Hale.”

A public exhibition of the new proposals is being staged at Hale Library on Leigh Road from April 23rd.