The Railway pub on Great Portwood Street in Stockport town centre is to be demolished to make way for a 16,000 sq ft retail unit, after planning permission was granted for the scheme.
Plans will see both the Railway pub and the existing Carpet Right store demolished to allow developers Morbaine to speculatively build a store on the site opposite the Peel Centre.
While councillors disapproved of plans, during a meeting of Stockport Council’s Planning and Highways Committee, they reluctantly had to grant permission for the scheme as there was no legal basis for refusal. Councillors have been implored to work with the pub’s landlord to help relocate the Portwood pub to elsewhere in the borough. No proposed occupiers have been suggested for the scheme, which also led to concerns from some representatives that the scheme may lay empty due to changing trends in the retail sector.
Plans for the scheme were first submitted to Stockport Council in Autumn 2020 and propose a new retail unit to be built on the site of the Railway pub and Carpet Right store, accessed from Great Portwood Street, which developers argue will enhance the site and “act as a gateway into the town centre.”
The unit will comprise a 10,000 sq ft ground floor, with 6,000 sq ft mezzanine, alongside associated parking spaces and landscaping. It is estimated that the project could add £900,000 a year in turnover for the site as a whole.
Developers, Morbaine, are specialists in developing sites for larger retail uses, having worked on realising stores for major supermarket chains. Morbaine had previously been granted permission for a 10,000 sq ft unit on the site in 2005. Sainsbury’s had also proposed a 70,000 sq ft store on the site in 2011; however withdrew plans.
The Harris Partnership is the architect on the scheme and prepared the planning submission on Morbaine’s behalf.