The rural areas of Trafford lie in the south western corner and merge with the Cheshire countryside to the south. The extremities of Altrincham and its surroundings lie to the east and Carrington and Partington to the north. The canalised River Mersey clearly defines its western edge which is the boundary of the Borough.
The area is notable for its well preserved rural Character includes all of the elements that go to make a place, how it looks and feels, its geography and landscape, its noises and smells, activity, people and businesses. This character should be understood as a starting point for all development. Character can be understood at three levels; the area type in which the site sits, its surroundings and the features of the site. More and unique architecture, as well as a functioning agricultural industry. It also includes the regionally significant Dunham Massey estate and deer park.
Settlements are dispersed although there are groupings of dwellings that notionally form the villages of Warburton, Dunham Woodhouses and Dunham Village, although these lack any formal centre and have limited local facilities. The remainder of the area includes a scattering of farm buildings and associated isolated dwellings.
The area’s remoteness limits the capacity for significant sustainable development, although there is potential for exceptional and interesting responses to the unique architecture of the area. The area provides a significant green infrastructure resource for the Borough as an open and natural setting to enjoy while passing through or visiting local attractions.
Local Character Areas
- The parish of Warburton occupies the most easterly part of the Borough. It is agricultural in Character includes all of the elements that go to make a place, how it looks and feels, its geography and landscape, its noises and smells, activity, people and businesses. This character should be understood as a starting point for all development. Character can be understood at three levels; the area type in which the site sits, its surroundings and the features of the site. More and includes the village of Warburton along with hamlets and linear settlements that house the small resident population. It is notable for a number of buildings by the Victorian architect John Douglas.
- The parish of Dunham Massey includes the villages of Sinderland Green, Dunham Woodhouses and Dunham Town as well as a number of pubs and local attractions. Like Warburton, the area has largely avoided development since the 19th century.
- Dunham Park is part of the Dunham Massey parish, which is distinct for its walled estate which contains the Grade I listed Dunham Hall, Carriagehouse and Stables and the Grade II* listed Watermill, Gardens and Deer Park that is a popular destination for visitors across the region. It has a contemporary visitor centre and cafe, one of the few modern buildings in the area.
- The Bridgewater Canal corridor ends its route in Trafford as it passes through the area linking the Trafford conurbation to the countryside as well as surrounding towns such as Lymm.
- The former railway between Altrincham and Warrington also provides a key strategic leisure route between Altrincham and the rural areas. It forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail, running from Liverpool to Hull.
- The Manchester Ship Canal is merged with the River Mersey for this section and is a significant A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing). More that also provides a leisure opportunity and important habitats for flora and fauna.