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Rochdale Framework
Rochdale, UK

Masterplan to create a new Transport Oriented Community.

Rochdale Station Masterplan involves an area of around 800m diameter from the station, and includes significant opportunity for varied town centre living and mixed-use development immediately around the station, creating a new Transport Oriented Community benefitting from proximity and access to rail services to Leeds and Manchester.

The strategy included consideration of car parking and vehicle movement/access, which were eliminated from the station frontage to create a significant new public space whilst accommodating the existing Metrolink tramlines and platforms.

Strategically the Masterplan is informed by a series of ‘Big Moves’ established through consultation and responding to project vision: With the station at its heart, a vibrant and distinctive new Transit Orientated neighbourhood will be created that builds upon the character of the existing community and heritage assets.

There are three ‘big moves’ that are proposed within the masterplan:

PLACE LED - The masterplan proposals seek to create authentic places for people, community interaction, activity and events that knit new and established neighbourhoods together through high quality physical and psychological connections.

The masterplan reveals and celebrates the station area’s heritage assets and provides the established local businesses are provided with continuity. The experience of arrival is key to the masterplan proposal and the station gateway delivers a distinct and unique identity through the creation of an accessible ‘urban forest’ at station platform level and new ‘gateway’ public realm to the north and south.

STREETS FOR ALL The Streets for All methodology is aimed at delivering a balance between
modes within the street network. Walking and cycling are prioritised and encouraged, and the space available to them is increased to provide a more comfortable environment. Walking and cycling promote vitality and increase local spend through a ‘sticky streets’ approach.

Conflict between modes has been minimised at key points across the masterplan; for example, removal of private vehicles and buses. The southern entrance to Rochdale Station is recognised and significantly enhanced to improve user experience, safety and accessibility.

MIXED USE TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT - The masterplan provides the framework for a high-quality, high density residential led development centred on Rochdale rail station and Metrolink. This is complimented by a mix of land uses to create a flexible and resilient community that support and drive the economic growth of Rochdale. This includes community infrastructure; a variety of residential accommodation; retail units; workplaces; and, consideration of car parking needs.

A new public multi-storey carpark is proposed to take capacity from existing surface parking and allowing rationalisation of on-street parking, plus an expanded Park + Ride facility to the south to the station, combined with new private vehicle and taxi drop off/ pick up location. The project included liaison with public transport authority and operators to discuss opportunities for changes to existing and proposed bus routes and bus stops, including access under low railway bridges.

Careful considered has been given to the land uses so as not to compete with the town centre, but to complement and serve the existing and future community. The masterplan has been developed with flexible development blocks to provide resilience to change during the delivery period and beyond.

Of particular success within the project was the identification and concept masterplanning of a discrete council-owned site (former retail park) to deliver much-needed high quality homes and open space, whilst promoting the key themes and aspirations of the masterplan. Subsequently, the council have been able to enter into discussions with a number of interested developer partners to bring forward comprehensive development as an early phase.

The masterplan recognises local assets including high quality listed buildings and conservation areas, a local Heritage Action Zone on Drake Street, and seeks to recognise an abandoned and filled-in canal arm which historically provided access to the town centre mills and factories from the Rochdale Canal.

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