Engineering company MAN Energy Solutions has reached an agreement in principle to transfer ownership of 43 acres of land near its Hazel Grove headquarters to national charity, the Land Trust.
The agreement will preserve Mirlees Fields and enhance it as a local asset, creating Hazel Grove’s largest public green space. The move will be contingent of MAN Energy Solutions securing planning consent for developing 11 acres of its privately owned land around its headquarters to deliver up to 200 new homes and 10 acres for open space.
In total it is proposed around 53.47 acres of fully accessible public open space would be created through the proposals, with revenue from sale of land to a housebuilder reinvested into the business.
The Land Trust has committed to working with local stakeholders and interest groups on developing a community-led vision for the site with endowment funding of over £1 million provided by MAN Energy Solutions which would be invested by the Land Trust to pay for the upkeep of the site in perpetuity.
Whilst there are currently some rights of way across the land, the proposals would allow for unfettered access on all of the land to families, children, walkers, runners and cyclists and provide greater flexibility in the way the land can be used by local schools, scouts and cubs and other youth groups as well as staff and patients at nearby Stepping Hill Hospital.
The agreement with the Land Trust follows an extensive consultation process undertaken on the proposals over the last 12 months with residents, community groups and elected members following the launch of the project website.
In addition to the agreement with the Land Trust to transfer the land and the provision of a generous funding package, the community consultation process led by MAN Energy Solutions has resulted in further improvements to the proposals, including ecological enhancements resulting in a Biodiversity NET Gain of 13% and the provision of 50% affordable housing within the housing development.
Louise Durose, General Counsel for MAN Energy Solutions, said:
“We welcome the agreement in principle with the Land Trust and look forward to submitting our planning application to Stockport Council in the coming weeks to create a fantastic new public amenity for the local community and much needed new homes in Stockport.”
Euan Hall, Chief Executive at the Land Trust said:
“We are very pleased to be involved with this project at Mirrlees Fields where we can help to secure a sustainable future for a valued area of local green space. We are looking forward to working with existing stakeholders and new residents to develop a vision for the future which preserves and enhances its existing assets and delivers long term economic and social value for the surrounding community.”
The project is supported by a professional team of consultants including Avison Young (Planning Consultancy), 5Plus Architects (Master-planning) UK Networks (Community Engagement) and Barnes Walker (Landscape Architecture).