Casebook: Appeal case - Commercial and industrial - Office development secured on former colliery

The deputy prime minister has sanctioned a speculative office development in Greater Manchester following a call-in inquiry, concluding that it was important to attract higher-value jobs to the area.

The site formed part of a colliery that had become derelict in the early 1980s and was then subject to opencast coal mining. It was later restored to grassland with the intention that it should be brought back into beneficial use. The scheme involved redeveloping the land for eight office blocks containing 9,371m2 of floor space and varying in height between two and three storeys.

The deputy prime minister accepted the need to attract higher-value jobs to reduce dependence on lower-paid jobs. The scheme would help to reduce the substantial level of commuting to Manchester and Liverpool and create a more sustainable pattern of development, he held. He concluded that although the scheme had not been disaggregated, there were no suitable alternative sites in or closer to a nearby town centre and it would not have an adverse impact on its vitality.

DCS No: 100039436; Inspector: Neil Holt; Inquiry.

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