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Anger at plan to turn gym site into flats

Worried residents have hit out at plans to build an apartment block on the site of a former town centre gym. Plans for multi-million pound development on the site of what was Casablanca Health and Fitness Club in Armentieres Square, Stalybridge have been unveiled by New Charter.

With project partner Rowlinson Construction, the social housing provider would create an eight-storey tower block containing 70 luxury apartments and commercial space.

It says the development will revitalise the town centre. But some residents say it will look out of place.

Reader Stephanie Mellor told the Advertiser: “The first thought I had was that it’s far too tall.

“It would dwarf Holy Trinity Church and Victoria Market Hall.”

Resident David Pridham said the proposed height of the block ‘borders on the extreme,’ adding “How can someone look at building this high when taking into account the surroundings?”

Former Conservative councillor Clive Patrick says the development would be unsuitable for the site, which is in a conservation area.

He added: “We are told that the plan involves an eight-storey building with shops and businesses on the ground floor with a structure which reminds me of children’s building blocks and with completely adversely dominate the square.”

New Charter’s director of property services John Ardern said the development could provide a real boost to the town.

He said: “It’s a unique proposition quite unlike any other town centre development in Tameside and could act as a catalyst that will revitalise the town centre.”

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