Mealhouse Brow

Design process

In 1994 the architect and client proposed a scheme for 7 and 8 Market Place, the subjects of a compulsory purchase order which eventually led to a planning inquiry in 1997. TADW and NCHA applied for permission for 10 flats and 3 shops for these properties and 1 Mealhouse Brow, some of which had collapsed. NCHA is a member of the Stockport Housing Partnership and was the council's preferred housing provider for this site.

Advised by its Historic Areas Renewal Group, Stockport Council issued a planning and development brief in 2000, which made clear the Council's wish to reintroduce housing in this block, and a public consultation was then carried out. Since instability of the bedrock and interconnections between buildings in the block prevented necessary repairs being carried out satisfactorily, a second CPO was issued in 2001.

Planning approval was granted in 2001, but during construction five previously unknown underground chambers, including two gaol cells, and others with fine cut stone walls and brick vaulted roofs, were discovered and excavated. Together with the exposure of a portion of fifteenth century wall now visible in the shop on Mealhouse Brow, this resulted in 8 Market Place's Grade II listing being extended to cover the whole of the medieval structure. Additionally, its original gable wall along Mealhouse Brow was stabilised and rebuilt after settlement and subsidence partly due to a leaking culvert.

Excavated artefacts will be displayed in Stockport Museum, recently relocated close by in Market Place. Phases 2 and 3, currently under construction, will provide affordable renting and shared ownership as well, and will complete the renewal of this urban block.

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Key information

Location

Stockport

Region

North West

Award

2006 winner