PLANS for a £100m overhaul to the home of a Mobberley business, including the creation of 375 homes, have been submitted to council chiefs.
Proposals to redevelop the iconic Ilford Photo site in the village have been sent to Cheshire East Council by LPC Living.
The plans – created by the Pervaiz Naviede Family Trust-owned developer – would see a transformation of the 40-acre brownfield site on Ilford Way, currently occupied by Harman Technology.
The site has produced photographic products for more than a century, however, changes in the imaging market have meant that large areas of the site are no longer required and are costly to maintain.
The proposals would see up to £100m being invested to deliver a modern campus for Harman Technology in a seven and a half acre section of the site; up to 375 new homes; 15 acres of public open space; a new sports pitch with changing facilities; a community growing space for fresh produce and children’s play area; and a developer contribution of more than £735,000 for new school places.
The planning application follows a public consultation held last summer entitled ‘A New Perspective for Ilford Way’, which was a two-day event that generated more than 150 responses.
LPC Living told the Guardian data from that event showed two thirds of residents supported Harman’s desire to stay in Mobberley.
The consultation also showed significant demand for space to grow fruit and vegetables as well as recreational facilities in the village. In addition, nearly a quarter of respondents registered their interest in a new home on the site.
Peter Elton, managing director at Harman Technology, said: “The Ilford Way site has been our home since 1903 but in recent years has become too large for our needs.
“This opportunity to reshape our facilities would enable us to continue as Mobberley’s largest employer and create a contemporary headquarters more suited to our current and future needs.”
Simon Ashdown, director at LPC Living, said: “We have been encouraged by the level of interest shown in these proposals and would like to thank everyone for their feedback.
“We’ve considered all the comments received and made a number of changes to the proposals as a result. These reflect comments about pedestrian and vehicle access, housing density and pressure on the local primary school in addition to the need for allotments and play areas.
“The finalised proposals offer an excellent opportunity to support HARMAN technology’s business, safeguard local jobs, and create a range of public amenities for Mobberley.”
But Gareth Wilson from ‘Residents Against Mobberley Sprawl’ group told the Guardian the ‘massive development’ was too big for the village.
“We do need some new houses but it’s the scale of it, that’s the issue,” he said.
“It’s a massive development and 375 is a huge amount and that will turn Mobberley into a town.
“We’ll probably end up hiring a planning lawyer as there’s no point just moaning, we need to contest it. The flyers were out across the region so I’m not surprised a quarter of respondents said they were interested, I can guarantee that as one of my friends in Lymm received one.”
A detailed planning application for the Harman Technology facility has now been submitted to Cheshire East Council along with an outline planning application for the new housing and community space.
If approved, it is anticipated preparatory work to relocate Harman would commence later this year with the housing to follow.