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Planning consent issued for major regeneration scheme

03 April 2020

Artist's impression of the new development.

A game changing development to create a new link road, 1,000 new homes and over 135,000m2 of employment space at junction 19 of the M62 has moved up a gear, after planning consent was issued by Rochdale Borough Council.

The application was approved by the council's planning committee in 2018, subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement. This has now been signed by all parties, giving applicant Russell Homes the green light to move forward.

The scheme is estimated to be worth £175 million a year to the local economy once complete, and is set to create around 2,800 FTE (full time equivalent) jobs.

The section 106 agreement finalised this week, which outlines in more detail what will be delivered as part of the project, includes:

  • £4.6 million and land within the site for the creation of a new primary school.
  • 15% affordable homes provision.
  • The creation of 8 hectares of public open space, including a multi-use games area and sports pitches and a cash contribution to improve facilities at Heywood Sports village.
  • More than £1.8 million towards the creation of a new bus route, new stops and cycle and walking routes throughout the area.

The scheme is the 1st development to come forward as part of the Northern Gateway site, which aims to create new housing and employment opportunities along the M62 corridor to rebalance the economy of Greater Manchester. If developed, the Northern Gateway, which covers Bury and Rochdale, would be the biggest employment site in the region, bringing 1.2 million square metres of employment space, around 10,000 new jobs and up to 3,900 new homes.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for business, skills and regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "This development will unlock millions of pounds of investment for our borough and kick start the crucial Northern Gateway project, which, if it goes forward, will create the biggest opportunity site in greater Manchester within our borough. We are confident this site will attract significant interest from major companies who are looking to invest here and create thousands of new jobs and homes."

Council leader Allen Brett, said: "Times are very challenging at present, but we want Rochdale to emerge from this even stronger. That's why it's vital that we plough ahead, wherever we can, with long term regeneration projects like this, which will be the source of major future prosperity for our borough and its residents."

The scheme is also set to bring additional highways benefits, with the link road creating direct access to Heywood Distribution Park, reducing motorway congestion at Simister and taking HGVs away from Heywood town centre.

Tenders have been received for building the new road and a main contractor is expected to be appointed within the next 2 months, with plans to start on site towards the end of summer. The road and employment space is expected to be complete sometime in 2022, with the entire project due for completion by 2035.

The project is being funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Highways England and the private sector.