Council to consider scrapping town centre Riverside development
Date published: 03 January 2018
Rochdale Borough Council Cabinet will consider scrapping the town centre Riverside development as one of four options following Marks and Spencer pulling out.
Councillors in the cabinet will discuss the options at a meeting on Thursday (4 January) - from which press and public are excluded.
1. Proceed as planned and start building.
2. Delay the decision on whether to proceed with the scheme until the M&S issue is fully resolved.
3. Delay the decision until an alternative occupier is agreed.
4. Abandon the scheme altogether.
Abandoning the scheme after over a decade waiting and after millions of pounds have been poured into demolition and clearing the site is unlikely.
Delaying until the M&S issue is fully resolved is also unlikely, if M&S is insistent on not taking the space the Council would have to take legal action to force the issue; that could take years and in the meantime there would be a huge space unoccupied in the new flagship scheme.
It is therefore more likely that councillors will be looking at option one, to proceed as planned and start building, or option three, to delay a decision until an alternative occupier is agreed - it is understood negotiations are already well under way with an alternative occupier.