Hillcrest Homes and Hale Community Trust have submitted new planning applications for Hale Community Centre and Library and a select development of homes on Leigh Road and Addison Road.
The partnership won the tender to develop a new Community Centre and Library after the existing Hale Library was earmarked for closure and the site offered for redevelopment by Trafford Borough Council.
The proposals seek to both preserve and enhance the village’s library services, along with meeting space utilised by many local community groups, by relocating them to a new purpose-built and self-sufficient ‘community centre’ on the site of the existing Hale Village Bowling Green pavilion. The development of the new Community Centre and Library would be funded by the sale of the current library site for residential development by Hillcrest.
Following an extensive period of consultation, the partnership has revised its original proposals to take on board many of the comments provided by neighbours, the local community, stakeholders, statutory consultees and planning and conservation officers at Trafford Borough Council. It now firmly believes that the submitted schemes reflect the desires and existing and future requirements of the local community.
For the proposed Community Centre and Library building, significant changes to the previous proposals include the adoption of an arts and crafts appearance, which is in keeping with other buildings along Ashley Road. The material palette has also been softened, with green oak timber detailing and a rosemary tile roof complementing brickwork.
The building’s overall size has been reduced without compromising the functionality or flexibility of the space offered. This reduction in size facilitates easy access to underground utilities whilst allowing existing trees either side of the building to be retained, creating an attractive ‘frame’. Further trees will be planted to replace those removed for construction.
In addition to housing the new library on the first floor, which can easily accommodate 17,000 books and use of computers and WiFi, the new Community Centre has been designed to provide a high quality, multi-purpose event space alongside a cafe, which can be enjoyed by the whole community.
Ground floor accommodation provides a lounge for bowling club members and a dedicated space for a Seniors’ Group who meet daily at the existing bowling club. The proposals also accommodate a new range of uses to benefit the wider Hale Community. A flexible open plan community café/event/exhibition space can cater for events and exhibitions, such as local art shows or large community group activities. Adjacent to this are two meeting rooms with moveable divisions that can host a diverse range of small or large events depending on the requirements of Hale’s many community groups, businesses or private individuals. Accompanying these new spaces is a high-quality kitchen for the preparation of food and drink on a daily basis, and also for special events.
Says Grahame Elliott, Chairman of Hale Community Trust, “We have overwhelming support for this scheme from local residents and community groups and it was important that our consultation was transparent and inclusive. We have taken care to address concerns and believe the new planning applications have benefitted enormously from the comments and suggestions put forward.
“The new flexible community space and library will provide a unique and welcome new focus for local residents, businesses and community groups in Hale. We will ensure that the facilities provided will be high quality and accessible so that the whole community benefits from the new proposals.”
The new Community Centre and Library will be funded by, and is reliant on, the development of the existing Hale Library site into residential housing.
In a separate application, six semi-detached three-bedroom homes are proposed, fronting onto Addison Road, with a mixed-use building in the same architectural style fronting onto Leigh Road and providing a ground floor retail space with two two-bedroom apartments above.
Following feedback, the design for the properties has also been revised to incorporate distinctive architectural details characteristic of Hale and which will further preserve and enhance the character of the area. Design adaptations include a reduction in the ridge height and gable roof pitch and the addition of hipped roof and brick corbel detailing to add interest and further knit the properties to their context. The scale of the properties has been reduced allowing increased spacing.
Says Hillcrest Homes Managing Director, James Payne, “We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to provide their feedback on our proposals. We’ve emerged with a stronger proposal that does justice to this special location and will be an attractive addition to the streetscape, whilst providing the high-quality new homes that are much in demand in Hale.”
A public exhibition of the new proposals will be staged at Hale Library on Leigh Road from Tuesday the 23rd April. For more information visit www.halecommunitytrust.co.uk
ABOUT HALE COMMUNITY TRUST
Hale Community Trust (HCT) was formed four years ago in direct response to Trafford Council’s plans to close Hale Library and is taking a leading role in developing the Community Centre and Library. HCT aims to undertake projects that maintain Hale as a vibrant place to live, visit, shop and work.