Development partner chosen for former police HQ site

Trafford Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have selected a development partner for the former police headquarters site on Chester Road in Stretford.

The Council and GMCA have chosen developers FEC to work with them on plans to build over 700 much-needed new homes – including affordable housing – on the 3.57Ha site.

Trafford, which has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the landowners, GMCA, selected the developers following a thorough and competitive procurement process which started in 2022.

The scheme forms part of Trafford Council’s Civic Quarter Area Action Plan for Stretford. In addition to new housing, the site aims to provide a hotel, leisure uses, new shops, offices and community facilities, all in a sustainable location with excellent public transport links.

The project aims to provide 25 per cent of affordable housing on the former Chester House site, in line with the Council and the GMCA’s joint commitment to deliver more good-quality affordable homes, including through the regeneration of brownfield land. The scheme is also part of the Council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2038.

The site was formerly the HQ of Greater Manchester Police before the force moved to a purpose-built facility in Central Park, Newton Heath, in 2012.

Cllr Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “There is a shortage of quality and affordable housing in Trafford and we are totally committed to tacking this huge issue. This scheme, if approved, will provide hundreds of much-needed homes for residents and make strides towards our carbon neutral policies.

“The proposed development is part of our Civic Quarter masterplan which has given us a fantastic opportunity to develop local amenities, improve community use of the areas and to build more housing.”

Tom Pool, Investment Director at FEC, said: “Trafford’s Civic Quarter represents one of Greater Manchester’s most ambitious and high-profile regeneration programmes. We’re incredibly proud to be able to partner with Trafford Council and use our experience working in joint venture with local authorities to bring its vision to life. As a team of local specialists it’s a privilege to now be delivering more than 15,000 new homes within Greater Manchester, and we look forward to working with the local community in Trafford as part of our commitment to long-term, strategic investment. We can’t wait to get started.”

The JV hope to put forward a planning application for the site in Autumn 2024 and the proposal will then be considered in detail by the planning committee in due course.