Council announces plans for thousands of new homes as part of rail regeneration

Date published: 22 April 2020

An ambitious plan to create over 7,000 new homes and 250,000 square metres of employment space along the Calder Valley rail corridor has been unveiled by Rochdale Borough Council.

The masterplan proposes major redevelopment around the borough’s five railway stations; Rochdale, Castleton, Smithy Bridge, Littleborough and Mills Hill, as the council gets the borough ready for its next phase of regeneration.

The plans, which were drawn up with urban planners Broadway Malyan and WSP, will prioritise the creation of new neighbourhoods on underused brownfield sites, which are close to local amenities and transport links.

The work is being delivered in collaboration with the newly formed Greater Manchester Station Alliance, a partnership of Network Rail, Northern Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester, regeneration specialists, LCR Property and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The Alliance is working in partnership with local councils to spearhead regeneration opportunities around rail stations, investing in key facilities and boosting economic growth. Rochdale will be the first borough in Greater Manchester to benefit from the new partnership.

With 2.7m journeys made from Rochdale’s railway stations last year, the council considers them prime sites for economic development.


The area around Castleton station is set for major improvements as part of the strategy
The area around Castleton station is set for major improvements as part of the strategy


Councillor 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 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.”

Major proposals being worked up include:

  • 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
  • 2,250 square metres of new office/managed workspace around Rochdale station
  • A new public square at Rochdale station
  • 1,500 new homes around Castleton station
  • The extension of the Metrolink to Bury and Heywood via Castleton
  • A new £11m cycle corridor connecting Castleton to Rochdale

The plans will also include development around a potential sixth railway station in the borough, which is proposed for Slattocks in Middleton as part of TfGM’s 2040 transport strategy.

More detailed masterplanning work and feasibility studies will be taking place in the coming months, with construction of the first new homes identified in the strategy set to begin as early as next year.

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