Planning Setback for £100m Mobberley Scheme


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Planning Setback for £100m Mobberley Scheme

Multi-million pound proposals which would have safeguarded up to 200 jobs in Cheshire have been set back after being turned down by council planners.

Regeneration specialist LPC Living proposed to invest up to £100m in the iconic Ilford Photo site in Mobberley which has produced black and white photographic products for more than a century. The main focus of the scheme was the creation of a state-of-the-art HQ for existing tenant, HARMAN technology, which would have allowed the company to massively reduce their operating costs and continue operating as one of Cheshire East’s largest employers.

LPC’s masterplan for the site also included up to 360 affordable and family homes, 15,000 sq ft of office space for new businesses and a range of community benefits. More than 20 acres of inaccessible land adjacent to the site would have been opened to the public to include a sports pitch, community growing space and children’s play area.

The developer, which is owned by the Pervaiz Naviede Family Trust, had also set aside more than £735,000 to create new school places and up to £400,000 to invest in a range of road improvements.

The planning application was refused on the basis of concerns over the impact of aircraft noise on the proposed new homes.

Peter Elton, managing director at HARMAN Technology, said: “The Ilford Way site has been our home for over a century but in recent years has become too large for us. This opportunity to reshape our facilities would have helped us to continue as Mobberley’s largest employer as well as creating a contemporary headquarters more suited to our needs.”

Simon Ashdown, director at LPC Living, said: “This scheme would have acted as a catalyst for Cheshire East to deliver a significant number of much-needed homes on a brownfield site and retain a prestigious manufacturing business within the borough.

“While we’re disappointed by this decision we will take on board the planning committee’s feedback and look at how the masterplan can be amended to better meet the needs of Mobberley whilst still addressing the requirement of our tenant to save on costs, modernise and become more sustainable for the future.”

A number of changes had been made to the masterplan since the first public consultations were held last July. As well as a reduction in the number of houses originally suggested for the site, a two-storey office building was recently proposed to encourage new employment opportunities in the village.

In addition, consultation with the local community showed almost two thirds of respondents supporting HARMAN’s desire to stay in Mobberley.

The scheme was refused by a majority of just 4 votes by Cheshire East’s Strategic Planning Board on 12 November 2014 and follows officers’ recommendations to approve the scheme.

Savills acted as planning consultants to LPC Living with Manchester-based MPSL acting as architects on the scheme.


© Pervaiz Naviede Family Trust & LPC1 Ltd. 2014. All rights reserved.

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