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Rochdale plans to deliver 7,000 new homes

Words: Laura Edgar
Rochdale railway station / Jza84

Rochdale Borough Council has published a masterplan for the delivery of 7,000 homes and 250,000 square metres of employment space along the Calder Valley rail corridor.

It outlines crucial redevelopment surrounding the borough’s five railway stations – Rochdale, Castleton, Smith Bridge, Littleborough and Mills Hills and forms part of the council’s next phase of regeneration.

The masterplan prioritises creating neighbourhoods on underused brownfield land that are close to local amenities and transport links.

Work will be delivered in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Station Alliance – a partnership between Network Rail, Northern Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The plans were drawn up with urban planners Broadway Malyan and WSP.

The alliance is working in partnership with local councils to “spearhead” regeneration opportunities close to rail stations. Rochdale will be the first borough to benefit from the new partnership.

The council sees the area’s railway stations as prime sites for economic development, particularly given the 2.7 million journeys made from them last year.

John Blundell, cabinet member for economy, business and skills at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The land around our railway stations has huge potential for regeneration because you’re putting people close to the transport connections and local facilities that you need to create sustainable neighbourhoods.

“Rochdale’s incredible connectivity, with five railway stations – and a sixth on the cards – puts us in an unrivalled position to repurpose brownfield sites along the Calder Valley corridor to unlock thousands of new homes which are a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre, for a fraction of the price.”

Work is being undertaken on a number of proposals, including: 

  • 1,500 new homes around Rochdale station, catering for 3,500 people.
  • 4,000 square metres of new retail and commercial space around Rochdale station.
  • 1,500 new homes around Castleton station.
  • The extension of the Metrolink to Bury and Heywood via Castleton.
  • An £11 million cycle corridor connecting Castleton to Rochdale.

Slattocks, in Middleton, is a sixth potential railway station that is being considered for development as part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s 2040 strategy.

Richard Jones, development planning director at WSP, said: “In line with the climate emergency declaration and the focus on achieving net-zero carbon within Greater Manchester, the development opportunities provide sustainable, easily accessible locations for future growth and will help contribute to a reduction in emissions by reducing the need to travel by car.”

Over the next few months, more detailed masterplanning work and feasibility studies will take place, with construction of the first new homes identified in the strategy set to begin as early as next year.

More information about the masterplan can be found on the Rochdale Development Agency website.

Image credit | Jza84