Rochdale Borough Council has agreed a deal with social impact developer Capital & Centric to redevelop Rochdale’s former Central Retail Park into a new community.
The brownfield site, which has been vacant for nearly a decade and sits close to Rochdale town centre, will be the first in the UK to deliver Capital & Centric’s new ‘Neighbourhood’ concept.
Neighbourhood Rochdale will feature a mix of over 200 modern, low carbon homes for rent, along with a linear park, running track, gym and community hub alongside community space such as cafe-bars and delis.
The plans are part of a £400 million regeneration of Rochdale town centre and support the council’s aim to create over 7,000 homes around the borough’s five rail stations.
Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business, skills and employment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “With millions already invested into Rochdale town centre, we’ve set the bar very high in terms of want to achieve here and this type of high quality housing is the perfect fit.
“To see the first large scheme come forward from Rochdale’s Rail Corridor strategy is a major milestone and shows the commitment to the strategy,” added Cllr Blundell, who is also a board member at the Rochdale Development Agency and chair of the Rochdale Stations Alliance.
“The work we’re doing to create a high quality retail and leisure offer and a reimagined public realm, makes Rochdale a really attractive place to live and I know that these will be the first of many new homes to be built in Rochdale.”
Capital & Centric says its ‘Neighbourhood’ concept aims to breathe life back into struggling town centres, using modern methods of construction to build open-plan, design-led homes that maximise the use of space.
The concept, which could be rolled out across the UK, focuses on curating mixed communities for people of all ages, going beyond housing to include workspaces, community hubs, and amenities.
The developer says that Neighbourhood Rochdale’s easy links into Manchester and mix of homes solely for rent will help it appeal to young professionals just as much as downsizers.
Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “Many Greater Manchester towns have been hit hard by the declining high street but there’s a huge opportunity for places like Rochdale to reinvent themselves with town centre living.
“The council have a really ambitious vision to transform the town centre and we’re working with them to create an aspirational community with super energy efficient homes, game changing architecture and all the amenities that will attract people to town centre living.”
Site investigation works for Neighbourhood Rochdale have started on site this week, while a planning application for the development is expected early next year.
If planning consent is given, the development will be built by the construction company Willmott Dixon who recently completed the £80 million retail and leisure development Rochdale Riverside.
Image: A CGI image of what Capital & Centric’s Neighbourhood Rochdale development could look like. Credit: Capital & Centric