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Lancashire and Tesco get green light

Great news for the west of the city

Published on March 14th 2011.

Lancashire and Tesco get green light

IT'S a go ahead.

A Judicial Review has dismissed the action of Derwent Holdings in denying the legality of the planning permission process that led to the redevelopment of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Gorse Hill, Stretford, Old Trafford are going to get all the presents of redevelopment.

Given a successful bid, the city region will host Test Match cricket which means £10m to the area just during those matches. This isn’t only about the near future it’s about the long-term future of the area.

And of Manchester. And of the NW.

We keep the prestigious event. We keep the big cricket club. We keep going forward.

“This is the vision of sport driving regeneration of the area,” said Jim Cumbes of Lancashire. “£1.6m has been spent on planning and advice. Other grants have suffered while the crippling amount of money was leached by the judicial review and other actions. Remember there were four times more letters of support than against this. Derwent Holdings appeals and strategies have been thoroughly useless.”

Jim Cumbes before the Judicial Review last week: he must have had a premonition Tesco site circled, LCCC to the rightJim Cumbes before the Judicial Review last week: he must have had a premonition 

He pauses and then adds: “This sends a message to the ECB that we are serious. If you weigh up the options then we have a huge chance of Test cricket and the Ashes.”

As we've said previously: Will a successful destination supermarket and a revitalised cricket ground be better long-term for Stretford, Gorse Hill and Old Trafford, than the crumbling edifices of the Stretford Mall and the present LCCC? Would they increase prestige, boost image and bring in more jobs? What's the big picture in an age where we've, as a country, already allowed scores of ridiculously sized stores from various companies, not just Tesco, to be built all over the place?

At Confidential the answer is obvious. Build the store, improve LCCC, give the residents the excitement change brings whilst ensuring the city region maintains all its international sporting choices.

Finally, as reported last week, given that the Derwent Holdings White City Retail Park development was scuppered recently in terms of a landmark food store - the real reason why Derwent Holdings wanted the judicial review - a negative decision for Lancashire and Tesco would have led to nothing happening for years. No new jobs, no movement, nothing. This is really a very good decision for Greater Manchester.

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34 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Eddy Cut and PatseMarch 10th 2011.

"What's the big picture in an age where we've, as a country, already allowed scores of ridiculously sized stores from various companies, not just Tesco, to be built all over the place?"
So what you are saying is that because bad planning decisions have been made in the past then that legitamises this one?

Eddy Minority SportMarch 10th 2011.

What is a 'destination supermarket'?

AnonymousMarch 10th 2011.

Poor old Stretford town centre - ruined/obliterated in 1970 by a supposedly futuristic mall and the widening of the A56 with its grim pedestrian underpasses. And now left high and dry by all the newer giant supermarkets and retail parks.

What a soulless place the town now is after all these improvements. It is so bad it could almost be in East Manchester, not Trafford.

Mike CordingleyMarch 10th 2011.

I've posted a response to your article and the news story at the http://www.gorsehill-labour.co.uk website (http://www.mikecordingley.co.uk/wordpress/?p=609)

Jonathan Schofield - editorMarch 10th 2011.

Thanks for that considered response Cllr Cordingley. Issues of congestion are important but there are routes around the proposed Tesco in terms of through traffic. As for the locals. I'm one of them. I live in Old Trafford, albeit in the Seymour Grove area. I'm bringing three kids up here. The traffic is a price worth paying (and we are talking an area used to it since we have Manchester United) for economic activity. Wealth will spread. There are boarded up car showrooms along Chester Road which will now fill. Jobs for locals are inevitable. The High School will benefit from working with the store and the cricket club. As for Stretford Mall, councillors and civic leaders have really had their eye off the ball with this one. The place has been allowed to slide to a level whereby another Tesco is largely irrelevant. Action should have been taken on this years ago. The same goes for the parade of shops at Gorse Hill. Right now, rather than more Judicial Reviews more rows, it's time to move on.

Mike CordingleyMarch 10th 2011.

I tend to agree with you on Stretford Mall. In terms of impact, it'll have more effect on the two Asda at Trafford Park and Hulme and possibly on Chorlton (although Chorlton has its own uniqueness which will protect it to a large extent - nevertheless it's on Chorlton's doorstep). Having said that, this is an extremely large Tesco and it dwarfs all the other stores. Does that provide an additional attraction? I don't know. I wouldn't want to go there for a newspaper and jar of coffee - you'd walk a mile in store. As far as Stretford is concerned, I've long argued that it needs a fresh look. Personally I would start asking the universities to look at imaginative solutions - it should not be given over to councillors or council officers. Neither has the expertise or the imagination and I'm the first to admit it.

Dominic TorrisiMarch 10th 2011.

As a Gorse Hill resident I wholeheartedly welcome the development. Although a huge Tesco isn't ideal, it's the best option on the table for the area and I believe it'll have a huge positive impact. It can't be denied that there's going to be more traffic congestion, but as we already suffer with commuting and match day traffic that has no beneficial affect on the area, at least with the Tesco we'll get some benefit of out it.

Stretford Mall's biggest problem isn't the new Tesco, it's the Trafford Centre and the continued lack of investment in the place. Do we realistically believe it'll ever get the kind of investment that Altrincham and Urmston have had recently? The same is true of the shops at Gorse Hill. With the exception of the Co-op, it's nothing but takeaways and rough pubs.

The No Mega Tesco campaign's agenda was all about Chorlton and nothing to do people living locally. The people of Chorlton should be more concerned about the two Tesco Express stores in the area that'll have more of an impact on local shops than the new Tesco.

Derwent Holding proposition of a Sainsburys at White City wouldn't have had less of a damaging effect than the Tesco proposal will and it wouldn't have the positive impact of the LCCC redevelopment.

I'm disappointed that the local MP and councillors appear to spend more time opposing the development than actually listening to the people who elected them and dealing with their concerns. There are huge problems in Gorse Hill with crime, anti social behaviour, litter and mess everywhere and nothing's being done about it. I'm afraid to let my son out round the streets because of all the dog mess and broken glass everywhere, it's just dangerous and a health risk.

Mike CordingleyMarch 10th 2011.

I hear what you're saying Domt. By all means contact me via email, or give me a call on 865 9228. I do get around the streets of Gorse Hill and I'll be cycling through Nansen St / Top Field area tomorrow on the way to town. We have been active in trying to get the council to clean the area sufficiently and I believe we've made progress. In particular my colleague Councillor Walsh has been especially active in getting the area behind PC World cleared and landscaped. But we are prepared to listen.

Lord Justice Eddy No NeedMarch 11th 2011.

Jonathan - i have the greatest respect for you but you are way off on this one.
"Wealth will spread." Have you been to Eccles since Morrisons moved? Wealth has spread for sure - but only one way - from the town centre into Morrisons. Or Altrincham town centre since the new Sainsburys and Tesco opened across the railway.? The same will happen here.
"There are boarded up car showrooms along Chester Road which will now fill" - what makes you so confident that a new supermarket albeit a 'destination' one (whatever that is) and a few badly attended cricket matches once in a while will reverse the global decline in new car sales? Ive said it before and ill say it again - the scheme stinks and the process by which it was approved stinks too.

Howzat!March 11th 2011.

Just what we wanted!

Another Tesco.

Playing fields built over.

An enormous amount of money spending for a few days of cricket each year. Ok, I can accept this one - but not at the expense of the other two.

The Tesco bandwagon rolls on......

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 11th 2011.

Eddy, this area is different from your Morrisons area. More of an access route. Busier. The showrooms may fill (only may, admittedly), the Gorse Hill shop parade will still struggle of course. The world has changed and it's a shame we didn't control supermarkets earlier - if we ever had the will. This plan is more than just about a supermarket as well. Nor does the way it arrive at stink - hence the judgement from the judge who thought it ticketty-boo. Also Stretford High School is getting sports facilities on the same side of Great Stone Road in Gorse Hill Park. Economic activity is a good thing. More jobs than will be lost will be created. And I'm convinced that Chorlton can sleep easy at night - indeed this decision may stop another large supermarket opening within the suburb.

Mike CordingleyMarch 11th 2011.

You've hit on another bone of contention with this development with the impact on Gorse Hill Park football pitches. These are used primarily by Gorse Hill Juniors. Whilst Stretford High sees advantage in building sports facilities in front its buildings, it does mean greater use of the pitches in Gorse Hill Park. In fact it's been mooted that all weather pitches would be its favoured outcome.
You can make a presentational case that all weather pitches would be a community resource, but in reality it would mean the eviction of Gorse Hill Juniors as the FA stipulate traditional pitches. That would be a huge loss to the local community if it transpires.
Meanwhile, Stretford Sports Centre continues to fall behind. As a Sports Led Eegeneration, the council has failed to leverage any sports regeneration from the scheme, and its been impossible to avoid the conclusion that Lancs CCC have been given an easy ride. There's no new money going to the school; they're getting funds released that were assigned to them six years ago for the sale of the initial plot to Tesco.
My greatest criticism is that the council have been soft touches and leaving aside the pros and cons of the supermarket, we should not have been left with the outcome that the school and community are in a dog fight over part of what is still Gorse Hill Park.

carabuMarch 11th 2011.

I can only hope that this development is beneficial to the community but I can't help feeling that putting hopes of redevelopment of an area into the hands of supermarkets and big business is rather foolhardy. Is there nothing that the local council and community can do themselves to improve this area? Maybe community businesses and concerns where the majority of money could be kept in the community, and the community is the main concern, rather than the profit margin of a large faceless corporation.

EdwinaMarch 11th 2011.

Jonathan Schofield could you please explain to me my route around the Tesco as a resident of Gorse Hill their is no alternate route we're hemmed in by Bridgewater Canal, the railway line and Chester Road. Talbot Road is not an alternate route. It's fine for you in Seymour Grove (far enough away from the associated air pollution and with alternate routes to get home). What was an unacceptable supermarket development has 'magically' become acceptable after a huge injection of cash. I am disappointed by the total bias of ManCon from the start - where are the investigative journalists these days. And when will someone (Jim from LCC I'm still waiting) quantify the benefit to the local community 250 minimum wage jobs at Tesco for 20 million is not a good deal for anyone.

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 11th 2011.

Edwina we balanced the benefits and found that the economic benefit outweighs the negatives. 1) We are a magazine not a newspaper - therefore our articles don't have to have such Olympian detachment, but can be comment-led by the writer. 2) Journalistic balance doesn't mean you would have had writers agreeing with your position. 3) I interviewed Derwent and LCCC and spoke to the Chair of Governors of Stretford High School and (it should have been today, but I got stuck in some research) will publish next week a story about this protracted planning appeal. 4) Alt route: Kings Road, Quadrant, Great Stone Road, Talbot Road. 5) I have yet to encounter much of a bias against the decision amongst locals apart from those who think Tesco is the devil and automatically turn against it as a default mode.

GJHMarch 11th 2011.

Chorltonites get over yourself and consider the wider area.

Anyway, you have had a morrissons for forever.

Christopher BryanMarch 11th 2011.

Trafford resident here too.

I find it amusing that this is being called a "sports-led regeneration" project. If it was primarily a sports-led regeneration project then why aren't LCCC paying for the bloody thing instead of Tescos? This is a supermarket development with a tacked on renovation of some existing facilities.

I'm not sure what immense benefits are being expected as a result of some test cricket every once in a while. This area has Manchester United, one of the biggest sports companys/brands in the world, turning over hundreds of million pounds with 70,000 people attending matches every other week and look at the appalling state of the area around it. The area is pretty much on its arse. If something like Man Utd can't have much of a positive impact on the area what do you think an extra stand at LCCC is going to achieve?

Christopher BryanMarch 11th 2011.

Can I just add that I'm in no way anti-Tescos either. I also think test cricket will be a good idea. It's just that it's all had to be spun into something else other than just another Tesco with a bit of regeneration because of the previous Sainsburys application being denied.

The process does stink.

Mike CordingleyMarch 11th 2011.

I agree with pretty much everything you say until you suggest this is an area on its arse. That is not the Gorse Hill I have known all my life. In fact the 1990s regeneration of the neighbourhood still looks pretty good with new trees becoming established. I'm not saying it doesn't have some problems, better use of green space and cleaning up along railway line/Bridgewater Canal. In common with most of Stretford and Urmston, the pubs are too big and too far between, which means they're much more territorial estate pubs than you'd get in other parts. That's always been a problem round here - I blame Methodism rather than Marx.
It isn't an awful place and it's certainly not down.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2011.

I have no problem with Manchester Confidential being in favour of the LCCC/Tesco plan. It is disappointing though when the editor is so quick to disparage those with a view contrary to his.
He writes '5) I have yet to encounter much of a bias against the decision amongst locals apart from those who think Tesco is the devil and automatically turn against it as a default mode. '
I'm from Stretford, don't hate Tesco, but do have legitimate concerns at what has happened. Without the massive cash bribe from Tesco there is no way this inappropriate development would have got past the planning committee.

JonMarch 11th 2011.

I'm an Old Trafford resident, with no opposition on moral grounds to any supermarket, however I can say that a) shopping in these mega supermarkets is a thoroughly miserable prospect, I would have far preferred the smaller supermarket proposed by Derwent as a consumer (and as somone who DOES worry about traffic. It took an hour to get across White City yesterday); and b) the process DOES stink. £20m pounds going into a privately owned company, from another privately owned company, but raised by selling off public land? How does that work? and c) lets just imagine that there are some people who couldn't care about cricket, and even less about the terrible Gigs they have had at OT (yes Arctic Monkeys, I'm talking about you!) living in the world; but who do care about public spaces, community sports facilities, being able to buy a pint of milk in less than 30 mins. How does this proposal help that 'minority interest group'?

Christopher BryanMarch 11th 2011.

Yes my comment was perhaps a bit strong. The 1990's regeneration is holding up well. Outside of the residential areas though it's all pretty grim.

lila2609March 11th 2011.

"Build the store, improve LCCC, give the residents the excitement change brings whilst ensuring the city region maintains all its international sporting choices."

Sadly, this is rather patronising, what sad little lives you must think we Gorse Hillers lead that the arrival of a supermarket is going to be a highlight. I'm not sure when the last time you looked was but another rather large scale "destination" sports venue has been in the area for many years, last time I looked this hadn't done us any favours. The arrival of Tesco will increase traffic, wipeout what few small scale independent shops we already have and remove yet another green area from the few we have.

Mike CordingleyMarch 11th 2011.

I imagine we're talking about both sides of Chester Road. That's a tough one as it could be argued that the problem extends pretty much all the way down into Sale and beyond. Primary routes seem not to have the attraction to businesses they once had and tend to fall into decline. So we have a surfeit of Take-aways. We could argue for planning restrictions on the number of these Take-aways but there's no guarantee that other businesses will take up the slack. I can see why from the point of view of the Chester Road frontage, a new Tesco might be seen as an improvement compared to the urban scrub that's been there for a long time. All ideas are genuinely welcome; I think we get into all sorts of problems when councillors believe they hold the answers.

Incidentally, I did ride through Gorse Hill this morning as promised to Dominic and have to say the residential streets were remarkably clean. I know Man U have not had a home game for a while so it's an untypical period but I couldn't find anything to accuse the street cleaning teams of.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2011.

Cllr Mike Cordingley, are you the same Mike Cordingley who was at Urmston Grammar school for boys from 1969 onwards?

Mike CordingleyMarch 11th 2011.

That's me. Yes I was that rascal.

Mike CordingleyMarch 11th 2011.

Why, do I need to return some library books?

(who are you?)

Tim RumleyMarch 11th 2011.

Sad day for Gorse Hill - more congestion, more local cash leeched out of the community to the Tesco shareholders, £20million that could have saved jobs donated to a private cricket club, and also sad there are so many Tesco apologists in the area?!
In 3 miles of my house just behind PC World there are probably a dozen supermarkets - do we really need another? Selling the same crap as all the others! Sad day for Gorse Hill

AnonymousMarch 12th 2011.

Just a fellow pupil Mike.

By the way, well done on keeping those 1970s flowing locks.

Harry HodgsonMarch 12th 2011.

How would the £20m have saved jobs. It would have surely just disappeared into bureaucracy?

Mike CordingleyMarch 12th 2011.

I probably need a new photo. It's four years old. A lot more grey. And I've retired the afghan coat from the hippy market.

Fiasco - every little hurtsMarch 12th 2011.

Tesco are the mighty bully boys of their day, they will trash anything that gets in their way in the pursuit of profit. End of. Sadly Trafford has succumbed with a 21m sweetner to the cricket ground. How could they? Soon enough there won't be any more land left to build on at all, we are losing many patches of spare land as it is, losing valuable habitats, green spaces, mature trees etc, but Tesco don't give a damn about that, they bulldoze their way with their wallets and hey presto! another monstrosity on your doorstep youv'e not been consulted properly about seven days a week and the associated congestion, minimum wage etc...why wont people vote with their wallets and not buy from these grotesque superstores? It all amounts to the same c*** measuring contest and their desire to overtake Walmart as the world supermarket leader oh and satisfying greedy shareholders.... they will pursue this at any cost.....its the age of morally corrupt unfettered capitalism which is failing as a model!! Its down to the people we have the real power in choosing not to buy from them!! They all forget this!! only if local government,consumers and the monopolies and mergers commission replacement (of which i can't remember just now!)all came together and opposed these plans we'd have a chance at stopping these incredibly damaging eyesores in the first place.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2011.

What a load of rubbish the post above is.

Bullies don't offer people millions of pounds to make people agree to their plans!

The public, via the council which represents it, was under no obligation to accept Tesco's offer and nobody will be under any obligation to go into the new Tesco store.

carabuMarch 16th 2011.

Just what is wrong with hating Tesco? Why is it that disliking this particular corporation seems to mean that your opinion is worth nothing? They are a powerful force in this country whether you believe that is for good or evil and therefore surely its only right to analyse them.

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