Regent Park July , Henley Investments, c Mode Visuals

The scheme will provide a new focal point on Salford's skyline. Credit: Mode Visuals

£1bn regeneration of Salford’s Regent Retail Park gathers pace

Henley Investment Management has submitted an outline planning application for 3,200 homes across 10 buildings – including the UK’s tallest tower outside London – a scheme the developer insists has been designed with the local community in mind.

The proposed redevelopment of Regent Retail Park in Salford has a gross development value of between £900m and £1bn, according to Henley, which bought the site from M&G for £16m in October 2020. The site is currently occupied by big box retail units occupied by the likes of TK Maxx, Home Bargains, and Boots, among other.

Last year, the investor set out its intentions for the plot – a high-density residential community around a 3.5-acre public park, designed by Matt Brook Architects and LDA Design.

Matt Brook, director of Matt Brook Architects, said the park will act as the centrepiece of the scheme.

“At the heart of our placemaking-led, people-first, vision for Regent Park is a new urban park, which will provide much-needed green space for the residents of Salford,” Brook said.

“Our masterplan creates a safe, walkable, and inclusive neighbourhood where nature and architecture work together, fostering a community that prioritises liveability and wellbeing.”

He added: “The proposed buildings respond to their context providing a strong sense of local identity, incorporating warm colour tones and texture which provide a residential character with a human scale.”

While a lot of thought has gone into how the scheme works at ground level, the most eye-catching element of the development is undoubtedly the proposed 70+ storey skyscraper to the east of the site, roughly where TK Maxx currently stands.

The building would be the tallest in the UK outside the capital, overtaking Salboy’s proposed Viadux 2 by half a metre, and towering over Renaker’s nearby Trinity Islands.

Unsurprisingly, given the scale of change proposed, the project has not been universally popular.

Local residents have voiced their concerns about the impact on highways, the loss of retail provision, the height of the buildings, and the number of homes proposed.

Regent Park July , Henley Investments, c Mode Visuals

The scheme features plans for a building taller than anything ever built or proposed in Greater Manchester. Credit: Mode Visuals

Henley has maintained throughout that the central, well-connected nature of the site lends itself to high-density development and insisted it has considered the surrounding community from the outset.

However, convincing objectors of the scheme’s merits has been a challenge.

“It has been tricky to get over the misconceptions that the public landed on as soon as there was any whisper of this scheme,” said Hattie Charlier-Poole, development manager at Henley.

She points to Henley’s approach to reproviding retail space as an example of how the developer has considered the needs of locals.

Henley consulted the community about what kinds of shops it would like to see within the development and has shaped the design accordingly.

“We thought quite carefully about what types of retailers require what types of space,” said Charlier-Poole.

This included considering what kinds of access and servicing provisions certain retailers need and thinking about the size and shape of units that would be required.

“[The local community] don’t only want to see the kind of retail units that can accommodate artisan coffee shops, they also need to be able to go and do their shopping or go to the pharmacy,” she said.

Charlier-Poole, who describes the Regent Park project as the trickiest of Henley’s ongoing regeneration schemes, said the process of drawing up plans for the development began with a placemaking study.

“My belief is that if you get the park working properly and you get the right configuration of retail, and you build the scheme around the community space, then actually it doesn’t matter so much how big the towers are,” she said.

Convincing some of the more vocal opponents to the scheme of this will be difficult, if not impossible.

However, Charlier-Poole insists Henley has already been able to convert some sceptics into believers.

“Some people have done a complete 180 once they have realised what the key principles of the scheme are,” she said.

While plans have been submitted, they have not yet been validated by Salford City Council.

Henley is targeting vacant possession of phase one of the site by 2026.

The project team comprises Savills as planning consultant and Buro Four as PM.

Other firms working on the scheme include: Trium, AKT II, HDR, OFR, Twin & Eearth, Vectos, Lexington Communications, Turley, Trooper’s Hill, Gardiner & Theobald, Hann Tucker, Project Four Safety, Sweco, GIA Surveyors, JLL, Disrkt, Tim Cole, Temple, Roger Hannah, and Mode Visuals.

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Where do people shop.
Why is Sainsbury’s not in these plans

By Anonymous

‘Human scale’ really? This is the wrong location for development of this scale. It would be much better sited within the existing cluster at DSQ. One word applies more than ever – overdevelopment.

By Jake

“Henley Investment Management has submitted an outline planning application for 3,200 homes across 10 buildings- including the UK’s tallest tower outside London – a scheme the developer insists has been designed with the local community in mind.”
“Local residents have voiced their concerns about the impact on highways, the loss of retail provision, the height of the buildings, and the number of homes proposed.”

By Anonymous

This is brilliant – hopefully gets through planning with no disruptions. Looks to be a pivotal scheme in bridging the gap and unlocking the potential between my end of Salford and the MCC. Keep them coming.

By Langworthy Resident

I found it odd that some of the locals complaints were worried about lack of groceries and pharmacy when the huge Sainsbury’s open to 11pm.
an interesting one is transport though, and such a shame this neighbourhood used to have a train station right next door until the Beeching cuts. In any event, there is a real option once this and the other developments are built for a connecting Metrolink line from MediaCity to run down Regents Street, past Aviva Studios and into the city centre

By EOD

This would be a great proposal, loads of extra homes on the fringe of the city centre, perfect for young professionals! Loving the ambition and addition to the skyline.

By MC

Why do we need a 70+ tower block. We need the shops, chemist. Not all people are able to go to Salford precinct, Manchester. It is just greedy. Think about the people and their needs. We don’t need any more houses, skyscrapers. It is a blot on the landscape. We need the shops👍

By Jeanette

Gentrification creeping into Ordsal, that should be fun.

By Leo

What a miserable bunch you lot are!

By Anonymous

This is the wrong kind of growth for Greater Manchester.

Henley will probably offer up no affordable on viability grounds before GMCA commit the other half of their loan book to unlock…..

What is wrong with medium rise mansion blocks which should deliver similar numbers, are cheaper to build and where residents are more likely to build an actual community.

The regions politicians and planners should get themselves down to Nine Elms so they can take a look at the future.

By Grey Belt

Another tower full of shoe boxes not what we need or want , and it only leaves the most expensive supermarket. Please stop it

By Mike p

Putting aside the planning considerations it is difficult to see who will fund and deliver that tower given the rental tone in the area currently. Suspect the landowner is trying to bag a consent to bolster their asset value.

By Anonymous

@EOD – the locals’ concerns were about the loss of more affordable retailers like Home Bargains, Poundland, and the Charity shops. Those may not be the sorts of retailers that planners, local councillors or developers are enthusiastic about in a local area (and are certainly not the sorts of places that are likely to take up ground-floor retail space in a 70+ storey tower) but the reality is that a lot of people who live in that area have been hit hard by increases to the cost of living and simply ‘trading up’ to Sainsbury’s may not be as painless as you seem to be assuming.

(I live nearby and whilst I am nowhere near as hard-pressed financially as many in the area, I would mourn the loss of Home Bargains in particular. Whether forestalling this development would actually prevent the loss of those big-box retail spaces is a different question though, once the leases run out the landlord is unlikely to extend them)

By Chapel St Resident

I agree about the shops. This retail park is not as grim, as most within the ring road. I agree about Metrolink. The line coming from Eccles could link MediaCity with Victoria, via Regent Road, and Trinity Way.

By Elephant

People need to get their head round the idea that big box retail is very poor land use in the heart of a thriving city, see Central Retail Park in Ancoats, or the fact there’s virtually none of this in central London, but tons in Stoke. That said, Salford need to ensure there’s a mix of retail amenties for a range of budgets.

By Rich X

Great plans but need to go higher with the buildings and let’s see a little more quality in terms of modern architecture. Right direction but more ambition needed. Let’s make of cities look spectacular, a dynamic mix of old and modern.

By Dani

I hope this gets built!

By Anonymous

To Jeanette,
We don’t need anymore houses? Really? We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, do you not read the news?
Shops have been closing down for years, because people aren’t going to them?
Baffles me that people don’t realise how desperate we are for places to live

By Anonymous

No more Tory towers

By Anonymous

Replacing important shops and an effective town centre with flats is not a positive move

By Anonymous

No mention of enhanced public transport within these plans? Regent Road is often gridlocked, and the 33 bus service is very poor, as a result. Coupled with the development of Middlewood Locks, there would, surely, be a critical mass for a new PT link, through the heart of these developments?
There is a need to think more widely, beyond the confines of each individual development.
The railway line passes to the rear of the retail park, how about a new Ordsall station?
Or a Metrolink spur through the site to the University and Pendleton Precinct?

By Prescotian

Very concerned about the density here, in an already over-populated area. The removal of essential services such as a public gym, Boots, charity shops and lower-end retail is not what this area needs. The developer says they’ll replace this retail, but we know it’ll be with dog spas and private dentists

By Anonymous

Let’s hope this is a scheme the new Housing Minister can expedite!

By Anonymous

Councillors said they were going to oppose this development because Ordsall needs more retail. We need shops and cafes and services. They closed down Morrisons after a few years and never reopened another mid price supermarket.
I’m not objecting to growing the community I’m objecting to no retail infrastructure . It is very annoying that they don’t think of residents

By Christopher

3,200 home. Will that be about circa 5,000 people. Any consideration given for the increase demand in GP services & dentists?

By Darren

Is the colour scheme intentional to differentiate from Manchester’s towers? If no tram or train station, then some frequent-bus priority might be required.

By Albert

Parking is a great problem in this area making more towers will not help the locals plus the main roads are not made for this amount of traffic

By Max mo

Regent Road traffic is going to be even more chaotic once this gets approved. Only place I’ve ever been stuck in congestion at nighttime, and not because of roadworks.

Probably need to open a railway station at the back of the retail park, even if that particular line is already quite congested itself, to spread out the pressure on the area.

By Anonymous

Tallest tower and absolutely shocking design, bland and generic, disgusting.

By Michael

Market forces will prove the middle to high income retail units will fail there just as the restaurant idea at Wilburn Street did. By all means try it, but in two years when it’s Nisa and B&M don’t say you weren’t warned.

By Anonymous

Needs transport sorting first as a priority…more densification = more traffic

By chegwina curry

When will people get their head around that retail is important as is parking provided and that tiny flats for investors with no outside space is not good for standard of living

By Anonymous

@July 08, 2024 at 3:49 pm
By Anonymous

Townhouses with gardens and mansion blocks with retail units embedded at the base. Any parking should be underground or none at all. Public transport routes are good.

By Anonymous

No pharmacy in Sainsburys so if Boots goes what do we do

By Anonymous

Ignore the moaners and get it through!

By Tom

Looking great although more high rises skyscrapers like 70+ storey ones are desperately needed to relieve the UK’s chronic housing crisis and improve the Manchester skyline all the same.

By Chris

Underground parking at a retail park, don’t be stupid

By Anonymous

Public.transport.routes are terrible and most people drive

By Anonymous

I think it’s a super idea the retial park is very grim and depressing I say go for it

By Jen

Great to see Salford and Manchester growth as a city – retail parks like this are unfortunately old fashioned and outdated, there is no shortage of retailers around Manchester and Trafford. With this amount of new homes brings a lot of money to local areas, more people with more money to spend in the local economy. I agree with the comment about making it impressive as a skyline and not just another box tower, Manchester skyline is very boring currently

By S.E

We prefer it as it is we dont need green space

By Diane

Green space that will be unusable, it’ll be windy like Deansgate Square and will have private security

By Dan

Wow! Fantastic! More tall boxes for people to live in! And these ones look brown coloured not grey! I won’t be happy until there are hundreds of these all over Manchester! Everyone should live in one because you don’t need a garden or life at street level! I’d definitely pay hundreds of thousands to live in something like that 79 floors up! A great opportunity for overseas investors to make money. The city will look the best because we’ll have the most tall buildings too!

By John Thomas

More of the same for Ordsall/MCC borders … giant ego towers of exploitation. Mass population movement & gentrification for the endless desire to hoard capital.

By Anonymous

Superb! And nice to see towers which are not yet more shades of grey. Nice to see the city centres growing.

By Calum McG

What a council of despair, let’s just tarmac over the city centre & build one huge B&M. Hundreds of metres from the city core of one of Europe’s largest city regions and we’re debating the value of retail parks and car parks – really?

100k sq. ft. of retail space provided, massive consultation & revised plans. Hopefully this sails through.

Would like to share comments around metrolink / rail capacity. Regent Rd. Trinity Way both unsightly & inefficient. Hopefully TfGM crack on.

By Anonymous

The retail park serves many, new flats will serve few

By Anonymous

I recall that Salford City Council owns the Freehold of the site. Seems plausible that SCC will have a share of the upside and hence was happy to let Henley go big and tall.

Will be interesting to see what S106’s are agreed.. Likely pittance so as to maximise profit share between the parties

By Thinking..

Although these High-Rise buildings appear to be well designed, Manchester and Salford need more high quality designed Low-Rose and Mid-Rise
buildings. Many of the buildings built in the 90s-2010 those with the inclined roofs with orange and white cladding. All that bleds to go.

By John

Quite frankly, the only thing that needs to be solved is the ridiculous traffic congestion getting into Manchester. Regent road is constantly gridlocked as is Chapel street just before you turn into Trinity Way. Chapel street used to be 2 lanes for cars, but for the last 10 years or so its been separated into a single lane for cars and a separate lane for buses. For car drivers like me, this has created horrendous congestion, despite the bus lane being empty most of the time.

By Congestion Sufferer

How are us locals going to benefit from more over priced houses and no shops

By Anonymous

We don’t care about the locals, we just want towers to to be built even though it makes no difference to our lives

By Anonymous

Maybe just want to pull a pin of a grenade here and suggest that Central Manchester and Salford need congestion pricing, that could allso fund Metrolink expannsion. We’ll never realise our potential as a city region if we let the road system be a barrier to that. Take Mancunian Way, it’s way over capacity, are we going to build a 2nd one? where exactly would that go? how much would it cost now you aren’t driving it through slum clearance and derelict land and its become prime real estate.

By Rich X

Small violin for ‘congestion sufferer’. What about those of us who have to breathe in your smelly toxic exhaust fumes? Get a bike and stop moaning

By Anonymous

How will locals benefit? Quick maths, 3,200 homes * average council tax of £1,800 = £5,760,000 per annum extra towards the never ending social care needs and other needs in Salford.

As for traffic, what generates more? A car dependent retail park, or homes on the edge of a city centre within walking distance to employment and leisure needs, occasional car use here surely.

Do agree that there needs to be consideration to the retail offering, this is the only local pet shop and vet offering for the city centre and surrounds.

By Anonymous

Deansgate Square generates a lot of traffic, this will generate more

By Anonymous

small violin for cyclist with no family and no need to get places

By Anonymous

small violin for motorists who are paying £6k a year to run a car while watching cyclists get to places quicker than them.

I am looking forward to an early retirement through not owning a car. A total waste of money which traps you in financial hell

By Anonymous

New buildings should be approved only if they contribute to community building. Or are we all individualists anarchists now. Perhaps we have been transformed. The Great Transformation generated by Marketism. Community is now a historic concept, which you can read about, but never experience; like family and neighborhood.

By Anonymous

Has anyone actually considered that the proposals are to literally knock down a retail park which would in fact reduce the traffic/congestion in this area, or does their agenda against anything new eliminate rationale thought process…

Great scheme, lets hope it gets built.

By Anonymous

Ridiculous building more concrete apartments. As if we haven’t enough. More big bucks for the fat cats. They don’t care about local people.

By Anonymous

Can’t wait to see how much one of these boxes will cost to buy. Service charge costs too. They will be snapped up by non local investors and rented out at extortionate prices.

By Anonymous

Great, our chances of getting a GP appointment just absolutely plummeted even more so. It’s all just corporate greed. For half the amount, the retail park could have been renovated, with newer shops or even totally redesigned. But no, let’s price out the locals of affordable shops and rent, destroy any chance of natural light for everyone to the back of the retail park, and say “sod you” to anyone with legitimate concerns. The people proposing this are trying to make Manchester another London. But Salford is not Manchester. It’s incredibly deprived, and the locals need actual help – not just being forced to move somewhere else because their vital amenities are treated like an eyesore.

By Concerned citizen

If you actually want to support the local community and the country in general:

– AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

– SOCIAL HOUSING

– LOCAL INVESTMENT

– NOT more Buy-To-Let eye sores.

Has anyone in the planning department or architects had even a whiff of a design class?

Add some interest to the skyline at the very least instead of yet more ugly brown boxes.

Throw some innovation or something into the mix.

By Sam

How many flats, sorry “elevated living spaces” will actually be affordable (affordable for average income in the immediate area) by locals?

By Bernard Fender

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