Transformative plans outside Rochdale railway station take major step forward

Date published: 20 March 2024

Plans to transform the area around Rochdale railway station have taken a major step forward.

This comes after the council’s cabinet gave the green light for detailed technical design work to start. Proposals would see the area around the station regenerated – providing a gateway into the borough via a new public square in front of the station entrance.

The wider scheme also proposes new homes and business space, alongside a 500-space park and ride facility on Miall Street.

The council secured planning permission to progress the scheme in July last year despite losing out on £20m in ‘Levelling Up’ cash. The plans form a key part of the borough’s wider rail strategy, which seeks to develop brownfield land around Rochdale’s five railway stations, with new homes, businesses and improved public realm and transport connections.

Councillor Danny Meredith, cabinet member for regeneration and housing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “These plans will transform a major gateway into the borough, which is an important arrival point for thousands of our residents and visitors each day. As well as improving this important and vibrant neighbourhood, these changes will also better connect it to the newly regenerated Rochdale town centre, which is just a short walk away.

“This project will play a major role in our wider plans to make the best use of our brownfield land, particularly around major transport hubs, to create high quality public spaces, much needed housing and business space.”

Since the proposals were first approved, small changes have been made to the plans, following feedback from local residents and councillors, to retain access for the 471 bus route to the north of the railway station via Tweedale Street and Milkstone Road.

In addition, the council recently secured £1m from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s brownfield land fund to create new apartments and retail units in a council owned corner plot at 29 – 41 Maclure Road.

Greater Manchester-based contractors, George Cox and Sons, will be appointed via a local procurement framework, to help inform and advise on detailed design work, which will now get under way, ahead of the proposed start on site in September this year.

In the longer term, the council is working with Network Rail with a view to creating a new station frontage and a platform park at Rochdale railway station.

The changes will maintain full vehicular access through the majority of the area, including Milkstone Road. Existing access to key community facilities in the area, including the Nye Bevan Centre, Curtain Theatre and St John the Baptist Church, will also stay in place.

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

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