Keith, Graham and Iain

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Tatton update

by Lib Dem team on 1 February, 2016

It’s now five months since the planning application to develop Gatley’s Tatton site was submitted by the owners, Dickens, and accepted by the Council.

tatton front

The application is for a large convenience store on the ground floor and flats above and behind.

Five months is an unusually long time to wait, and we’re told that the delay is mostly down to the owners needing to supply extra information – for example on highways issues.

We hope that the planning application proceeds and we see suitable development on the site sooner rather than later: we’ve all waited far too long while a succession of owners have sat on the site and done nothing with it.

There are no certainties though. Even with planning permission, there’s no obligation on the owner to develop the site (as attested by the thousands of stalled developments around the country). So the Lib Dems have pressed the council to make sure the Compulsory Purchase Order process continues at the same time.

A CPO isn’t a magic bullet either: it can be challenged in court and, while the council believes it has a strong case, it’s always possible a judge might decide otherwise. Overall, though, this twin-track approach gives us the best chance of getting the Tatton site sorted out.



17 Responses

  1. Andy C says:


    Do we know what additional information the developer needs to supply?

  2. Arthur Lampkin says:

    The owners of these types of properties or land should be given 3 years to have work done or should be made to resell it at original price to someone who is going to do the work either building homes or using the old buildings. Should not be allowed to drag on like this just so the companies can make big profits from doing nothing.

  3. Chris Jackson says:

    Whilst I support the moans about the “foot dragging” by the owners of the Tatton what about the roadway in front of the ole cinema. I presume this is the responsibility of the council but yet again there are massive and dangerous potholes there. Best if the council were to put their own house in order to set an example!

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Chris – the roadway in front of the cinema is part of the Tatton site, not the responsibility of the council. You’re right – if the council owned it, we would be making sure it was in much better condition!

  4. Phil Johnson says:

    The roadway is owned by Dickens, not the Council.

    • Cllr Graham Greenhalgh says:

      I can confirm we have raised the issue of the roadways both at the front and the side of the Tatton. Both roadways are owned by the Tatton site. Which leaves the council unable to intervene on the many issues related to these roadways.

  5. Tony Kaye says:

    I am very concerned that this is dragging on, BUT I am also concerned about an additional store. There are Tesco Express, 2 Co-ops, plus other local owned shops. Do we really need another such store? My main concern is because of the traffic implications adding to the problems along Gatley Road. Living just off Gatley Road it is a bit of a nightmare, particularly during peak periods, and this will only add to it. Surely a better use could be found, if necessary by the council utilising the CPO. Even more car parking would be appreciated.

  6. Iain Roberts says:

    Hi Tony, issues like traffic will always be a concern.

    Whether or not the council CPOs the site, it still needs to have a commercially viable development and my guess is that anything like that is going to involve cars coming and going. A car park isn’t affordable.

    We’re following the CPO but it isn’t a magic fix. We can’t CPO if the site is being actively developed, and the owners can fight it in the courts.

    In reality, a CPO will involve the council buying the site and selling it on to another developer, with an agreement about what gets built there. It would still have to make money for that developer though!

  7. Kathryn says:

    I’d love to re-furbish it back into a local community cinema like in Heaton Moor

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Yes, that would be great. The biggest problem is that the building is a lot further gone – and there’s no theatre at the rear at all any more. But if someone can get the money for the project, it would be very interesting indeed.

  8. Neville says:

    I agree with Kathryn. A friend of mine was instrumental in raising around £2m with other local residents to help bring the Heaton Moor cinema back into operation. I understand it now takes about £20,000 a week in revenue. Most of the money raised was from a community fund which Manchester City Council administer! The problem is that the developers were allowed to demolish the rear of the cinema before a viable re-development scheme had been agreed…the planners fault in my opinion! There is a resurgence of individual cinemas all over the country and the Tatton could have been one of them …but it’s sadly not viable now.

  9. Iain Roberts says:

    You could well be right. We can’t go back in time, but it would have been wonderful to see what we could have achieved as a community if we’d had a building in decent condition to work with.

  10. Rob says:

    My hope is that part of the issues causing the delay is also down to the concerns of them encroaching onto properties’ land that adjoins the cinema grounds and would also (according to the proposed plans) block off rear access, causing health and safety issues.
    Have spoken to Dickens about this but they could care less, also raised with the council members dealing with the planning.

    • Iain Roberts says:

      Hi Rob – the planning system itself doesn’t deal with land ownership details (for example, you can apply for planning permission to build on land you don’t own – and that’s common). Naturally, there are other parts of the law that do deal with that.

  11. Brian jones says:

    Hi i just like to say that I would hate to see another convenience store in its place it could be restored I know people would use it again all as was needed the first time was modernisation on the screen and sound system but it was all down to greed again by the bigger cinemas Let’s hope the developers see sense and give something back to this lovely area .

  12. Paul Carter says:

    I have a feeling that we’ve been here before. Press ahead with the CP.

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