Chapter 10 - Trafford Centre and its Vicinity

Introduction – Trafford Centre and Its Vicinity Chapter

10.1 The area of Trafford Park bounded by the Manchester Ship Canal, the M60 motorway, Parkway and the Bridgewater Canal is located within the urban area and the Manchester Ship Canal Corridor, abutting the core industrial uses of the Trafford Park estate. It includes a mix of brown field and green field land.

10.2 Over the years a part of the area (between Barton Dock Road/ Redclyffe Road and the Bridgewater Canal) came to be developed by traditional heavy manufacturing and power generation activities. A further part (immediately to the south of Barton Dock Road, abutting Parkway) came to be developed with a rail/road freight terminal (Containerbase). The remainder until 1990 was in agricultural use.

10.3 In the 1980’s the restructuring of the traditional heavy manufacturing and power generation sectors lead to the closure and clearance of a significant part of the developed area between Barton Dock Road/ Redclyffe Road and the Bridgewater Canal. A part of the area cleared is now occupied by trade and food retail (Costco and Asda) businesses. Two further retail warehouse development proposals were granted planning permission by the Secretary of State (in December 2001), following an Inquiry into the proposals.

10.4 In 1990 the agricultural activity ceased on the remainder of the area and the majority developed by the Trafford Centre shopping, leisure and entertainment complex.

10.5 The Proposal contained within this Chapter of the Plan is seeking to guide the future redevelopment of the area in so far as it is possible within the policy framework and the Plan time-frame established in this Plan - up to 2016.

General Justification for the Proposals of the Trafford Centre and Vicinity Chapter

10.6 The planned development of the area in the vicinity of the Trafford Centre, which lies within the Manchester Ship Canal Corridor Priority Regeneration Area, is intended to complement and reinforce the economic regeneration aspirations and efforts of the Council for the adjoining Trafford Park part of the Manchester Ship Canal Corridor Priority Regeneration Area described in the previous Chapter of the Plan. Such development would help promote the economic competitiveness, growth and urban regeneration aspirations of Regional Planning Guidance for the North West.

10.7 This part of the Manchester Ship Canal Priority Regeneration Area lies close to areas in Trafford and Salford which are deprived. The opening of the Trafford Centre and other development within the Area has already created very substantial numbers of jobs, the great majority of which have been taken by residents of Trafford, Salford and Manchester. It has also led to the development of much improved public transport (bus) access to the Area focussed on the new Trafford Centre Bus Station. The Bus Station also enjoys a direct shuttle bus link with Stretford Metrolink station.

10.8 The Proposal contained within this Chapter seeks to ensure that as new development proposals emerge within the area, they are in accordance with national and regional guidance and the Council's overall objectives for the Corridor.

10.9 It is important that all new development proposed in the area is sustainable. The safeguards set out in Proposal TCA1 seek to ensure that new development within the area takes place in a sustainable way and will further enhance the sustainability of the area. Key principles which inform Policy TCA1 include:

  • Building upon the area's success as a generator of jobs;

  • Building upon the public transport provision, particularly to assist those without      access to a car;

  • Increasing accessibility across the Ship Canal to improve availability of employment opportunities beyond the local area to other areas where jobs are needed.

10.10 Development within this area is intended to augment the established activities sufficiently to contribute towards the construction of a Metrolink extension to the Trafford Centre Area through Trafford Park and beyond to Salford. The construction of this new extension would assist the Council to achieve its sustainable transportation objectives (see Chapter 14).

10.11 It is important that established town and other centres should be protected and that regeneration priorities elsewhere should not be undermined. Policy TCA1 makes provision for all these requirements.


Part II Proposal TCA1 - The Trafford Centre and its Vicinity

Within the area identified on the Proposals Map the Council will permit development as follows: -


The   further development of sports and leisure uses on the Regional Sports Centre   site.




The   consolidation, improvement and modernisation of existing businesses,   industry, storage and distribution uses.


The   development of non food bulky goods retail warehousing subject to   satisfactory arrangements being put in place to bring about the early   construction of the extension of Metrolink through Trafford Park to the   Trafford Centre (see Proposal T11).

For the avoidance of doubt it should be noted that: -

  • The Trafford Centre is not to be formally classified and treated as an established town centre, and,

  • No need for further retail expansion of the Trafford Centre has been demonstrated or is expected during the Plan period. Should proposals for retail expansion come forward within the Plan period they will need to demonstrate need in conformity with relevant local, national and regional guidance.

The sports and leisure development proposal brought forward within area TCA1A will only be acceptable if it can be demonstrated that: -

  • there is a need for the development and that a sequential approach to site selection has been adopted giving first preference to town centres, followed by edge-of-centre, district and local centres, having appropriate regard to the nature of the proposed development, and,

  • it will be adequately served by sustainable integrated transport network accessible by all sectors of the community (see Proposal T6).

Until such time as the requisite statutory powers are granted for the extension of the Trafford Park Metrolink route into the area from the Trafford Centre, provision for the extension will be in the form of a safeguarded corridor. As and when the requisite statutory powers are granted and the extension is programmed, Proposal T9 will apply.

Development will not be permitted if it is demonstrated that it or its phasing will materially adversely impact upon established town centres or undermine regeneration priorities elsewhere.

For the avoidance of doubt, this Plan does not include proposals for the development of the land bounded by Redclyffe Road, Trafford Boulevard, Trafford Way and the Ship Canal, formally known as the Trafford Quays site.


1. The main Trafford Centre retail and leisure development located to the south-west of Barton Dock Road opened for trading in September 1998. The Council is anxious to ensure that the Trafford Centre and the area in its vicinity is developed in a planned and co-ordinated way and that the further opportunities presented by the major investment which has taken place, are grasped in a way which maximises urban regeneration and employment and provides facilities that add to the attractiveness of the area from the point of view of residents, businesses and employees alike.

2. The Council wishes to build upon the high quality shopping, leisure and sporting facilities which have been developed in the area in a way which is sustainable and achieves a high quality of urban development and a high level of amenity.

3. The Trafford Centre includes a broad scale and range of uses including retail, leisure, hotel, food and drink, offices and other uses. The already constructed Trafford Centre bus station acts as a public transport “hub” serving surrounding residential districts and town centres.

4. As new development proposals are brought forward within this area, there will be scope for new services to and from the Trafford Centre Bus Station to be introduced and for the frequency of existing services to be increased, particularly in the morning weekday peak period where at present passenger demand is lower because the Trafford Centre is not open for trading at that time. The application of this Proposal will, therefore see an upgrading of public transport provision within the TCA1 area which would benefit nearby deprived communities.

5. Investment in improved transport infrastructure, particularly the improvement of public transport provision (see Proposal T11) will underpin a phased approach to the sustainable regeneration of the area. An essential feature of these improvements will be the early construction of the Metrolink extension linking the Trafford Centre area to the existing Metrolink network and its future extension into Salford (see Proposal TP11C) provided that: -

  • The Council will in its consideration of the phased approach to the sustainable development of the area look to the provision of interim public transport services pending the construction of the Trafford Park extension of Metrolink to the Trafford Centre, and,

  • In the event that it becomes apparent that the Trafford Park extension of Metrolink to the Trafford Centre is unlikely to proceed, the Council will seek the provision of an alternative public transport system.

6. The Council, jointly with Salford City Council, will give particular further consideration to the provision of additional low level bridging of the Ship Canal in the vicinity of the Trafford Centre and the Barton strategic site in Salford, as identified on the Proposal's Map (see Proposal T8), and will seek to secure any further necessary improvements through contributions from developers (see Proposal T9).

7. The first phase of the regional Sports Centre (area TCA1A), which includes the provision of a Rackets Centre, a Multi-Purpose Sports Hall and a Golf Driving Range is complete. Approximately 8.4 hectares of land remain undeveloped within site TCA1A, although planning permission as recently been granted on part of this land for an indoor ski facility. It is important that Area TCA1A is not developed for sports and leisure uses that might otherwise be located on sequentially preferable site(s) in PPG6 terms.

8. Proposal TCA1B is intended to ensure that the existing businesses, industrial and distribution activities are not impeded by uncertainty or blight during the preparation of the supplementary planning guidance.

9. TCA1C reflects the planning permissions granted by the Secretary of State for non-food bulky goods retail warehousing on the Giants Field (Barton Dock Road) and Barton Power Station/former CEGB workshops (Ashburton Road) sites (December 2001). In the event of yet to be implemented proposals for areas TCA1D not being implemented by the time of the next review of the UDP or its equivalent under the proposed new planning system, the allocations for these areas should be re-considered.

10. The Council also recognises, however, the importance of protecting, sustaining and improving established town and other centres and of not undermining regeneration priorities elsewhere. Regional Planning Guidance for the North West, in advising that centres such as the Trafford Centre should not be redefined as a town centre, also advises that the expansion or intensification of activities in such locations should be avoided where it will affect existing centres or undermine regeneration priorities. This Policy confirms that development in the TCA1 Area will not be acceptable if it will have these effects.

11. The Issue of need for further retail expansion of the Trafford Centre was not assessed as part of the RPG Review process. Therefore any proposal for such expansion will be required to demonstrate need in addition to the other matters identified in the Proposal.

12. The Council will prepare Supplementary Planning Guidance for the area identified on the Proposals Map to assist developers to bring forward suitable development proposals that are consistent with local and regional regeneration priorities. Until such time as the Council has adopted the Supplementary Planning Guidance it will use this Proposal and other relevant Proposals of the Plan to guide development proposals within the area thus ensuring that new development opportunities that are consistent with local and regional regeneration priorities are not lost to the area.

13. The preparation of this SPG will ensure that the future of this area, will be the subject of co-operative working with neighbouring local authorities and other bodies and landowners. It will also seek to ensure that the Trafford Centre is physically and functionally integrated with its surrounding area from the point of view of public transport, pedestrian and cycling links and physical form, The Council will consult widely during the preparation of the Supplementary Planning Guidance, with the intention of producing it at the earliest opportunity.