Redevelopment of Stockport collapses

Lend Lease has pulled out of a £500 million plan to redevelop the Bridgefield town centre area of Stockport

The Australian developer signed a development agreement with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in July of last year.

It planned to develop 650,000 square feet of new shops, leisure and dining outlets, a multi-screen cinema, 250 residential apartments and 1,750 car parking spaces.

The size of the development was to be equivalent to 20 football pitches, and would have created up to 2000 jobs.

Construction was expected to start in 2010, but the company has pulled out of plans.

Prior to the decision, Councillor Sue Derbyshire, the Executive Member for Regeneration, has said, "The Bridgefield scheme is at the heart of the council's masterplan for the town centre, Future Stockport.

"The development has the potential to change the face of Stockport and make the town centre a real destination in which to live, work and shop."

Following Lend Lease's announcement, Stockport Leader Councillor Dave Goddard said, "I am bitterly disappointed that Lend Lease is not moving forward on this incredibly exciting project.

"I want to know why Lend Lease has let down Stockport after years of negotiation and investment. This is a prestige site which offers major opportunities to the right developer.

"Stockport is an active, ambitious borough moving forward on a range of investments. We're benefiting from the £13 million redevelopment of St Peter's Square, we have Sainsbury's as the development partner for Knightsbridge and there is amazing investment in our colleges.

"Lend Lease have invested millions of pounds in consulting and preparing plans. We all understand the credit crunch is having an effect but their action is bitterly disappointing," Cllr Goddard added.

A Lend Lease spokesman said, "Lend Lease has committed significant time and resources to progress proposals for the redevelopment of Stockport's town centre and it is with much reluctance and regret that we are not able to take this scheme forward."