Planning application for almost 200 homes approved for Castleton, leaving locals fearing more traffic problems

Date published: 21 June 2024

Residents who say they’ve been plagued by traffic problems for years fear they will have further issues now plans for almost 200 more homes have been given the green light.

Rochdale’s planning committee has approved proposals for 191 ‘high quality’ homes, to be built on a 27-acre site off Heywood Road in Castleton. The site sits around 650m from Castleton Station and would provide a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes – all with two parking spaces and an electric car charging point.

A total of 29 homes are earmarked for affordable housing (80 per cent of market value).

Objectors present at the meeting at Number One Riverside on 20 June told the committee how they have no issue with the houses being built, but the access going in was the sticking point. The main way through to the new homes would go through two cul-de-sacs as well as an access road off Heywood Road, with residents wanting access to only come from Heywood Road.

Jane Hodgson, speaking on behalf of impacted residents on Fairway, Heywood Road and Partington Street, said: “Castleton is only just recovering from the cycle lane works (that caused a traffic nightmare in the village). This has been very difficult for the area.

“These two cul-de-sacs are very short on space (for cars). We can’t see how this access works.

“This will have a real impact on our wellbeing and we don’t feel we are being listened to. How much traffic will go past our houses every single day.”


CGI of how the new Kellen Homes housing development could look in Castleton


Councillors suggested that the access road off Heywood Road could be widened, something deemed suitable by residents present on 20 June. However, the highways officer in attendance explained the road does not meet health and safety regulations at the junction.

The original proposal did not use this access off Heywood Road, purely going through the housing estate. This was an addition costing £500,000 after consultation, according to Kellen Homes head of planning Mark Waite.

The planning committee took into account that all avenues had been explored when it came to access, and decided to approve the application despite the grumblings of objectors present in the room.

Once built, this development put forward by Kellen Homes would unlock a new railway extension for the East Lancashire Railway (ELR). It is estimated that the new residents will generate around £2.6m in local spend per year, and through the planning agreement Kellen Homes will contribute £450,000 towards local education and £300,000 toward Mayfield Rugby Club.

Currently the ELR has seven stations on the route – all celebrating the area’s railway history dating back to the 1840s.

In its current state, the site comprises a disused railway siding associated with Castleton North, East and South Junction and is surrounded by woodland as well as bordering Castle Hawk Golf Club. The land once occupied by Baggs Yard Railing Sidings is one allocation of the Places for Everyone plan – which will bring thousands of new homes and jobs to Greater Manchester by 2039.

The committee heard how remnant sections of railway line will be retained with the space between planted with trees, shrubs, grassland and wildflowers. New footpaths and cycleways will also be created through areas of public open space, following the routes of the railway lines.

Speaking after the meeting, Kellen Homes’ Mark Waite said: “We are thrilled to receive the green light for our new community at Castleton Sidings. Castleton Sidings has long been identified as a catalyst for the sustainable regeneration of Castleton.

“The scheme approved today is the culmination of three years of collaboration with residents, members and officers, and Kellen is proud to be delivering a project that meets the needs of the community and as well as contributing to the overall growth and prosperity of the area.”

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

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