On Monday night a public consultation event was held at Stalybridge Civic Hall over the proposals by the Millson Group, which is planning to construct new one and two-bedroom apartments in the town.
The prospective plot to be redeveloped, off Stamford Street and bounded by Old Street and the River Tame, has long been regarded by Tameside council as an ‘important riverside site’.
The main building, which dates back to the 1960s, was occupied by Stalybridge Clinic until it moved onto Waterloo Road in 2004, and is ‘incongruous’ within the town’s conservation area, officers said.
Bosses had imagined it could be redeveloped with uses ranging from offices, to a hotel, residential properties, or for leisure. A previous application had been approved for 44 apartments on the former clinic site.
Under the latest plans put forward by the Millson Group, as directed by the landowner Gerard McDermott, the original cobbled road of Old Street would be reinstated.
The site would include a number of retail and hospitality units and the implementation of a Riverside Walk from the War Memorial to the town centre.
According to the consultation documents, the design would be split into two blocks with block one – which would be four storeys high – on the area of the former clinic, and the second three-storey block sitting on part of the former car park.
Each block would have under-croft parking and provide units on the ground floor which would be fore ‘ independent coffee shops for local use and to encourage tourism and local night time economy’.
It is imagined that there would be a ‘focal plaza’ with a small courtyard and outdoor seating for each retail unit facing onto the river.
“As a long term resident and business owner in Tameside, our client wishes to develop a Riverside Walk for the Stalybridge community through the development of the land,” the Millson Group states.
“Landscaping has played a key part in the development proposals for the site, including retention of trees and existing ecology with well considered planting proposals to further benefit the site and the sense of place between the town centre and the war memorial.”
The site also includes an area of public open space containing a number of ‘significant’ trees. These trees would be retained under the proposals for the new scheme, with an umber of small trees to be provided in the woodland area.
Tameside council’s report evaluating uses for the site adds: “The integration, enhancement and extension of the riverside walk and area of public open space will need to be an essential part of any development proposals.
“The council wishes to stimulate imaginative development solutions, which maximise the potential of this important site, whilst respecting the surrounding urban heritage and riverside setting.”
A planning application has not yet been submitted to the local authority for the redevelopment. Residents can give their feedback through the consultation website at www.stalybridgeclinic.com.