Social impact developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC is set to redevelop the former Central Retail Park site in Rochdale into a thriving new community.
As featured on BBC2’s Manctopia: Billion Pound Property Boom, the brownfield site will be the first in the UK to deliver CAPITAL&CENTRIC’s new housing concept ‘Neighbourhood’, which is in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Development Agency.
Neighbourhood Rochdale will include over 200 suburban homes for rent, including a mix of modern, spacious and low carbon homes. Designed by shedkm to be a sustainable exemplar, it will also include a linear park, running track, gym and community hub alongside community space such as café-bars and delis.
The site – which has been vacant for nearly a decade and was previously occupied by Wynsors, Focus and MFI – is a short walk from both the train station, which offers an easy commute into Manchester city centre, and Rochdale town centre.
The plans are part of the transformation of Rochdale town centre, which is in the middle of a £400m regeneration programme.
Councillor John Blundell – Cabinet member for Regeneration, Business, Skills and Employment at Rochdale Borough Council, board member at the Rochdale Development Agency, and chair of the Rochdale Stations Alliance – said: “With millions already invested into Rochdale town centre, we’ve set the bar very high in terms of want to achieve here and this type of high quality housing is the perfect fit.
“To see the first large scheme come forward from Rochdale’s Rail Corridor strategy is a major milestone and shows the commitment to the strategy.
“The work we’re doing to create a high quality retail and leisure offer and a reimagined public realm, makes Rochdale a really attractive place to live and I know that these will be the first of many new homes to be built in Rochdale.”
Adam Higgins – co-founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC – said: “Many Greater Manchester towns have been hit hard by the declining high street but there’s a huge opportunity for places like Rochdale to reinvent themselves with town centre living. The council have a really ambitious vision to transform the town centre and we’re working with them to create an aspirational community with super energy efficient homes, game changing architecture and all the amenities that will attract people to town centre living.”
Designed to breathe life back into struggling town centres, the Neighbourhood concept could be rolled out by CAPITAL&CENTRIC across the UK.
It aims to reinvent suburban living by designing homes and communities that suit how people live today.
Using modern methods of construction and with open-plan, design-led homes that maximise the use of space, Neighbourhood is a challenge to generic, out-dated housing types that focuses on curating mixed communities for people of all ages.
It goes beyond thinking just about housing, and includes workspaces, community hubs and amenities.
Adam Higgins continued: “Neighbourhood is our way of bridging the gap between urban and suburban living. An antidote to poor quality, out-dated and uninspiring housing types, it recognises that people want to live in communities not just homes, so in Rochdale, we’re planning plenty of green space, a community hub and café-bar.
With easy links into Manchester and a proper mix of homes, we see it appealing just as much to young professionals as downsizers ands it’ll also be pretty unique in that it’s suburban homes but all of them will be for rent.”
A planning application for Neighbourhood Rochdale is expected early next year.
It will be built by leading construction company Willmott Dixon – who recently completed the £80 million retail and leisure development nearby at Rochdale Riverside – and the site investigation works have started on site this week.
You can find more information via the CAPITAL&CENTRIC website here.
This unassuming house in Altrincham has a hidden hillside Hobbit house in the garden
From this outside, this home in Altrincham looks pretty normal – at street-level it just looks like your standard suburban dormer bungalow, albeit with some fairly stunning architecture.
But head around to the back garden, and there’s a surprise in store, for included in its £4.5m price tag is an actual Hobbit house, buried into the hillside.
The adorable addition comes complete with round wooden door, stone walls, and a tiny bench outside.
It appears that the current owners are using it as a cosy den or office space.
That’s not all in that massive one-acre garden either – there’s also a safari-style tree hut wedged up on stilts, accessed up a wooden spiral staircase from a decked area.
Then you get to the rest of the house in Trafford, which is way, way bigger than it looks from the front.
Inside the main building, there are six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and two reception rooms, plus all manner of luxury touches like dressing rooms, en suites and a utility room.
The lounge is a striking focal point, built into a round extension with floor-to-ceiling windows soaking in the views of the lush gardens.
There’s also a sitting room with a pitched roof and oak beams, which, again, feels like it’s been lifted straight out of Hobbiton (though thankfully built for taller humans).
Oh, did I mention it has a pool, too?
There’s a whole spa building, with an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gymnasium/office area, with bi-fold doors opening onto the gardens and barbecue area.
It’s up for sale at £4.5m with Savills in Knutsford, who say: “This fabulous family home is situated in a desirable pocket of Bowdon in an extremely private and secure position.
“The gardens are private and extensive, extending to one acre.”
Property agent Jamie Carter added: “This really is a unique and fantastic family home. I love that there is a real life Hobbit house in the garden.”
Plans to demolish Premier Inn and replace it with 38-storey student skyscraper approved
Plans to build a huge skyscraper of student accommodation have been approved, with the existing Deansgate Locks Premier Inn on the site demolished.
The plans were first submitted in November 2022, replacing the hotel on Medlock Street with a 38-storey building that will provide rooms for 1014 students.
Also in the plans is a 13-storey office building, providing 36,000 sq m of Grade A office space.
The proposal includes a new piece of artwork which is nine storeys tall, the artist behind which will be chosen through a competition.
Whitbread, the company behind Premier Inn Hotels, is working with property developers Dominvs Group on the huge development.
They say they also plan to include three new public spaces – ‘The Wood’, which will resemble native UK woodland; ‘Rain Garden’, which will manage rain in a ‘playful and sustainable way’; and ‘Edge Street’, which will be a new green street with trees and ornamental plants.
They say: “Whitbread and Dominvs Group are bringing forward proposal at One Medlock Street that will contribute to the ongoing transformation at First Street, supporting a vibrant growing community, making an attractive and sustainable setting for work, living and study.
“At street level the scheme opens the site up, creating activity to enhance the pedestrian experience through a series of high-quality street and a new public realm.
“The proposed scheme is a mixed-use, office and purpose-build student accommodation scheme.
“As part of the current proposals, the Premier Inn building would be demolished and redeveloped.”