Plans for one of the UK’s largest and most significant regeneration initiatives were endorsed for public consultation by Manchester City Council’s Executive on 25 July.
The Strategic Regeneration Framework (“SRF”) for the £1bn Northern Gateway scheme in Manchester aims to deliver 15,000 new homes across 7 ‘new and reinvigorated neighbourhoods’ along with substantial new social infrastructure including , schools, public squares, a new integrated transport hub, Brewery Quarter, green and open spaces and an exciting and unique City River Park.
Far East Consortium Limited (“FEC”) and its professional team, including GVA HOW Planning, Farrells, Arup, Turner &Townsend, Planit-IE and Buro4 , has been working closely with the City Council to deliver the framework, which covers 155 hectares stretching from Victoria Station on the northern edge of the city centre, to Queen’s Park. Development will incorporate Sandhills Park, Collyhurst, parts of New Cross and Red Bank, including the viaduct which will be transformed into an elevated linear park creating a New York High Line style link to Victoria Station.
GVA HOW Planning has played a leading role in the production of the SRF document. Senior Director Jon Suckley said that “we are immensely proud to have played a key role in delivering such a significant framework document for a hugely exciting and unprecedented development opportunity for Manchester and the North West. The SRF sets out design and development principles to guide the future regeneration of the Norther Gateway which will transform a huge part of the city and create many exciting spaces that will help shape how people live in and visit the area.”
Work will begin at either end of the Northern Gateway with the first new homes delivered in Collyhurst in the north at the same time as development in the southern neighbourhoods closest to Victoria Station. .Tom Fenton, who is leading the project for FEC says: “At Red Bank, the Angelgate site is the logical place for us to start and it was always our intention to deliver something different from what was previously consented.”
Once construction is underway at Angelgate work will start on two neighbouring plots in Red Bank.
At least 20% of the 15,000 new homes to be delivered, will be affordable dwellings spread across all seven neighbourhoods. The first 110 of these will be delivered by FEC directly in Collyhurst.
Green space and transport are also at the forefront of the initial phases of development. Says Tom “We want to create those green spaces first to change perceptions of the area from day one.” A new district centre and proposed multimodal transport hub will form the centrepiece of the proposed Vauxhall Gardens neighbourhood in the centre of the Northern Gateway. It will also feature retail and leisure facilities to form the ‘centre’ of the entire project.
FEC and the City Council currently own or control approximately 50% of the land required to deliver the scheme, with a number of existing projects such as MCR Property Group’s Gould Street scheme now falling within the area.
Fenton confirmed that dialogue has been on-going with key stakeholders across the area and commented: “We would encourage other people to bring forward development that can give the Northern Gateway more momentum. I don’t think compulsory purchase order powers will be needed when it comes to larger developers but there are some places where it might be needed, where land ownership is much more fragmented.”
An eight week consultation programme is expected to start in early August with feedback being taken until the end of October and the final framework to go to the Council executive for approval in November.