Area around former Nick’s Lounge bar in Altrincham is to be transformed as £15m scheme given go-ahead

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The area around the former Downs pub and Nick’s Lounge in Altrincham town centre is set to be transformed after a £15m scheme was given the green light.

Crowdfunding platform The House Crowd has won permission to develop 31 apartments and eight townhouses as well as a commercial office in the former Nick’s Lounge, opposite Altrincham Hospital on Railway Street, at the foot of The Downs.

The apartments and townhouses will be priced between £225,000 and £695,000.

Frazer Fearnhead, CEO of Hale-based The House Crowd, said: “We are delighted to have received approval for The Downs in Altrincham. As a local company it makes us very proud to bring this to the market and we look forward to work commencing later in the summer.”

The new development will encompass eight townhouses, 31 apartments and the conversion of part of the former Nick’s Lounge into an office

Fearnhead told us last year that the townhouses will be “built on the live/work concept that has become popular in London so that, if desired, the purchasers can use the ground level as a shop, office or design studio”.

The House Crowd originally acquired the site – actually two sites – from Consensus Property.

Altrincham-based Calderpeel is the architect on the project.

The residential development is described as being “ideal for those who want to live, work and play in Altrincham”

Fearnhead explained more last year how the House Crowd’s model worked.

He said: “We offer investors the ability to earn attractive, consistent returns by lending money to property developers to fund the construction of housing projects. All monies are secured against the developer’s property by a registered legal charge, so if they do not repay we are able to step in and complete and sell the property to recover investors’ money.

The townhouses will be “built on the live/work concept… purchasers can use the ground level as a shop, office or design studio”

“In essence, it removes a large part of the risk usually associated with investing in property development as there is no bank borrowing. Investors are in fact acting as ‘the bank’ but, rather than the bank using the money you deposit with them, to lend to developers, you can now do so directly through our platform and earn a much higher interest rate – typically 10% p.a.”

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