HANDFORTH Parish Council says land earmarked for a major parking increase at a hotel would mean Green Belt destruction.

Parking spaces at the Hallmark Hotel Manchester Airport in Stanley Road, Handforth, are earmarked for a 76 per increase from 232 to 410.

The applicant, S. Manchester Airport Opco Ltd, said the current car park was operating over capacity on the typical busiest day of the week.

It said during busy times the more informal layout of the car park led to sporadic parking wherever people could ‘fit their vehicles in’, which raised operational and safety concerns.

In addition vehicles parked on the adopted road running parallel to Stanley Road, which was not subject to on-street parking restrictions.

Planning approval is sought from Cheshire East Council to create a more efficient car park layout and extend it by 178 more spaces.

The plan is opposed by Handforth Parish Council, which said the site was within the Green Belt and subject to NPPF restrictions on Green Belt development.

It did not consider ‘the provision of Park and Fly for Manchester Airport a significant use for destruction of any further Green Belt land in Handforth’.

Knutsford Guardian:

Observed parking on verges

It said the application would be contrary to Handforth Neighbourhood Plan policies as it involved removing important mature trees and hedgerows, and did little to address surface water management in an area which flooded recently.

A resident from Stanley Road said the car park expansion park would cause unnecessary traffic along with noise and disturbance, although a Chamberlain Drive resident said existing on-site parking was inadequate.

They said: “There have been times when the venue is busy that visitors have not been able to park and have had to leave and go home.”

On Saturdays, typically the busiest day of the week, the car park is operating at 106 per cent capacity. On Saturday, August 3 the hotel had an 82 per cent room occupancy and 54 per cent function guest capacity.

A report with the application said: “Should the hotel and all facilities operate at maximum capacity the demand for car parking would significantly exceed supply.

“The fully-occupied car park leads to off-site parking on the local highway network, with parking observed on the adopted road running parallel to Stanley Road and on the grass verges.

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“The Park and Fly service offered by the hotel increases demand for parking on the site; however, this has a positive impact on the operation of the local road network through the reduction of individual car trips.

“An increase in on-site car parking is justified to meet current demand and prevent continued parking on the local highway network.”