A petition calling for an apartment building to be scrapped from the proposed redevelopment plans for Weir Mill has been submitted to Stockport Council after gathering 3,000 signatures.
Organised by the Stockport Heritage Trust, the petition calls for the a new-build 14-storey apartment block to be removed from plans as it would obstruct views of the viaduct from the town centre. The group do not object to other parts of the scheme, including the refurbishment of the historic Weir Mill itself. In an update on the 38degrees petition website following the submission to planning officers, the group said:
The 14-storey tower would obstruct iconic views of the Grade II* listed viaducts, especially when combined with the existing Regent House, the planned Interchange development, and future plans for offices along the hillside to the railway station. Equally important are views of Stockport’s historic town centre and key landmarks seen from trains passing over the viaducts that would also be lost.
“While the Trust accepts the need for enabling development to help fund the rehabilitation of the Grade II listed Weir Mill, it objects to the 14-storey eastern tower. There are ample vacant sites within the Council’s Town Centre West development zone, including some owned by the Council, that could be provided by the Council and/or the Mayoral Development Commission to facilitate a more benign Weir Mill development without impacting the viaduct.”
Despite objections, the developers, Capital&Centric, received largely positive feedback during public consultations on the scheme before a planning application was submitted. The scheme comprises two new buildings on either side of the viaduct, which along with the existing mill buildings will house a total of 253 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. In addition, 24,000 sq ft of commercial space to create a new riverside community in Stockport town centre are also included in plans as part of a wider regeneration of the area.
In comments made to Place North West, Capital&Centric development manager, Richard Spackman, said that the development had been designed to be as sympathetic as possible to its historic surroundings; however, the building, which is subject to the petition, was necessary to ensure the financial viability of the scheme.
The Weir Mill scheme is part of the £1 billion town centre regeneration plans being delivered by Stockport’s Mayoral Development Corporation and is one of the first projects to come forward in the new Town Centre West regeneration zone, which will deliver 3,500 new homes and amenities, 1,000,000 sq ft of employment, retail, leisure, health and education space, and create over 5,000 new jobs.
Stockport Council is expected to decide on the the development in spring 2021, with the scheme expected to complete in two years.