Land north of Smithy Bridge Road Bloor p.Google Earth snapshot

The site is allocated for housing in the emerging Places for Everyone plan. Credit: Google Earth

Bloor advances Hollingworth Lake proposals 

The housebuilder is readying an application for 330 homes and a primary school on a 47-acre Green Belt site in Littleborough. 

Bloor Homes has submitted an EIA Scoping Request to Rochdale Council, which outlines its intentions for the site, located close to Hollingworth Lake. 

The site, known as Land North of Smithy Bridge, has been allocated for release from the Green Belt in the Greater Manchester joint plan since the first iteration was published in 2016. 

In the current draft version of Places for Everyone, the site is earmarked for around 300 homes and a primary school. 

Stantec is advising Bloor on its proposals, which are located in an area of high development activity. 

The former AzkoNobel site is located immediately north of Bloor’s site and is controlled by Vistry Partnerships. 

Vistry wants to build 127 homes on the 19-acre site, following failed attempts to redevelop the plot from Bellway, Woodford Group, and Countryside since the chemical processing plant closed in 2004.    

To the west of Smithy Bridge Road, Taylor Wimpey is progressing plans for a 200-home development on a 35-acre plot. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Too much development being allowed on precious green belt!

By Manc

Get their hands off our precious green spaces which are vital for tge health of both adults and children

By Anonymous

This needs to wait until the PfE examination is concluded so that a final conclusion has been reached on the merits, or otherwise, of releasing the land from the greenbelt versus that benefits that doing that would bring about. That said, an EIA scoping request is just the start of the process, beginning to get the ducks lined up, getting themselves well positioned to submit a planning application as soon as PfE is adopted.

By and by

How to destroy the total realm and well-being
of communities with all these new developments being proposed,

By David Rawlinson

This proposal is absolutely ridiculous. Hollingworth Lake Country Park is just that-a Country Park, with Smithybridge it’s village. To add yet more homes to our green space will turn the village into town size numbers, with amenities and infrastructure for a VILLAGE. Known as the ‘Jewel in the crown’ in this area for over a century, this area has attracted visitors who want to come and appreciate this green space for what it is-a little piece of paradise away from urban life. Adding so many new houses will just make this a Lake within one large, ugly congested extension, of the places that people come to get away from in the first place!!! I couldn’t be more against this ludicrous proposal, leave our village alone, before it becomes another housing estate!!!

By David Glossop

I understand that houses are needed, however, the roads are currently conjested now both in and out of Littleborough. I am also concerned about thee remaining waste/storage at the previous Azko/Nobel site.


Any development on green belt land needs to be stopped. There isn’t the infastructure to support more homes and roads are conjested.
No thought has gone into how it will affect the local community having to put up with lng waits to visit already overloaded doctors and dentists, not to mention trying to drive out of the village at rush hour

By Richard Simpson

The developments will only make an unsatisfactory road system even worse. Many say this is not the case but unless you sit in this gridlock you can’t comment. It’s not thought out and shows no consideration for the area as a whole

By John Groves

Have been studying that proposal. The land is unused and fulfills none of the functions of the Greenbelt. People in Rochdale deserve to live in the better areas as well as the lower quality areas. Looks like a decent approach to balancing the housing offer across the Borough. There are always going to be NIMBY’s against land release in nice areas. Everyone deserves the chance to live in a nice area. Get on with it Bloor Homes – they do a fine product too.

By Anonymous

Agree with 1:57 pm By Anonymous – this site is brownfield as has been developed previously, so my sit within greenbelt but it itself is not a ‘green field’. Smithy Bridge is well connected to Manchester and Leeds on the train so the location is great for this many houses. And unlike other development of similar size they are proposing a school.

By Bradford

Our area is crying out for quality housing. Those on an upward trajectory currently need to move away from their home territory to find aspirational homes. This development, so close to two stations offering services 20 minutes to Manchester and 45 minutes to Leeds, will provide nice homes for families and keep our communities together. It will also rid the general area of the eyesore of a derelict unworkable farm remininisant of Steptoe’s yard.
Can’t wait!

By Get On With It

Have lived in this area for over 30 years and have seen a lot of housing development in recent years with some still ongoing. This has increased pressure on the infrastructure, especially on the roads massively, already. 600+ more houses is going to increase that pressure even more. It’s not about being ‘Nimbys’, it’s about having consideration for the people who already live in this area, who’s lives are being affected by the changes for the worse.

By Anonymous

This is what you get voting Labour time to wake up!!!!!

By Tedster

330 house won’t impact the green belt but 1 farm shop will

By Anonymous

I live near a Bloor development in essex. Be ready for it going to a public appeal, assuming your council turns it down. Then you are in real trouble. The lady QC who represented them was amazing, she tore us to pieces with her computer models, expert witnesses and her knowledge. Be warned you need very deep pockets to stop them and her. I wish you the best of luck, you’re going to need it..

By Paul

I feel sick every day and night thinking about what is being done to my village that I was born in fifty years ago. Back then huge swathes of houses had just been built and my parents and neighbours were promised this would protect remaining green spaces as it was impossible to build anymore as the topography meant flood zoning protection was at its limit and the country park was to become a tourist attraction.
There has recently been hundreds of homes built directly around the village, this article said about 700 houses but missed off hundreds of more houses planned in the village and directly around and big greenbelt field at the lake built for replacement car park for the bloor home school built on the current one and 2 playing fields built on for another school and RBH houses, like I wrote, I’m shocked, my stomach is in knots and I can’t sleep for worry not only for the villagers and visitors but also wildlife, what is going on? Why is this happening to us? What have we done to deserve this onslaught? Do the person hate us that much to directly target us? what do place north west know, can you tell us? can anyone? please?

By Emma

To observations for the NIMBYs in this this thread. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 has served Rochdale very poorly. In the South East it might have stopped London suburbia swallowing more of the Home Counties, in the North is so often froze industrial towns inside a tight footprint that prevented them from building out significant amounts of ‘middle class’ housing, and now unsurprisingly under-index in middle class households. So when people say Rochdale might lack spending power, lack skills to attract employers, and perhaps doesnt have the highest performing schools there’s a reason for that, thats directly related to land use planning. If you at the town’s assets, it’s rail connections to Manchester and Leeds are front of mind. This is a brownfield site a stones throw from the Calder Valley Line, puttting it maybe 25mins from Manchester by train, and in a great setting to attract higher income families. The thing I find missing from this conversation is the fact that Rochdale is amongst the 20th most deprived local authorities in England. The road back to prosperity means making decisions like this one.

By Rich X

As long as a suitable new school is built , the houses are affordable and not 5 and 6 bedroom unobtainable houses for the average person (which they probably will be 🤬) and infrastructure to support this and shops etc giving badly needed jobs are built I dont have much objection. The population is growing all the time, we are all living longer so our houses are not passed on like they used to be, and our children in the community and growing families and friends have to live somewhere and I personally would like my family to be closer than the scattered all over approach that with the lack of buisness , jobs and houses has thrust into our communities. The problem for me is the lack of affordable housing always looses out to profit making machines that take the get rich quick approach. If done with the community and low cost houses in mind I have no issue.

By Anonymous

Anyone walked on the Lake Bank early morning. The traffic is already like a motorway. In the evening you can queue down Hollingworth Rd from the Wine Press. There will be even more traffic when these houses are built. I am afraid Hollingworth Lake will no longer be the Jewel in the Crown !

By Hilsry Blair

This one seems a shame to me, not a fan.

By Anonymous

One new school ???
It needs
A primary school, high school, police station, doctors, dentist, vets, petrol station, the council can’t keep up with the roads falling to bits we already have

By Anonymous

@5:46 pm
By Anonymous

Littleborough is getting a totally new high school, Star Lakeside Academy


The council will say yes…as they have with Russell Holmes off New Street. It was a done deal before it went to the planning committee. All they are interested in is the revenue they will get from council tax etc. They will ignore the fact that the road infrastructure is over capacity and unable to cope. They do not care about residents already living here.

By Anonymous

The people who are for this development obviously don’t live in the area and have never visited it. They’ve not seen what’s gone up already – it’s gentrification. Houses that locals can’t afford. If it were a wealthier area there is no chance these plans would be approved anywhere near the lake – it should be made into a bigger park / nature reserve. These developments reduce the quality of life of both people living in the area and those visiting the lake. They will make the area more gridlocked, people won’t be able to travel in (or get out!), & beautiful scenery will be destroyed. It will no longer be a tranquil escape for people living in the area (Rochdale, Oldham) but just a back-garden lake for wealthy commuters into Manchester. The new school is also being built in a public carpark and the proposed replacement carpark on one of the vistas – completely unworkable, ludicrous proposals that will get approved because that matters is money and more homes for rich people. Anyone who comments NIMBY should really come and spend a few days in the area.

By Anonymous

Just for the record after the last comment – there was a chemical plant on this land, we are not building on pristine land next to a lake, and yes, Rochdale does need some wealthy commuters, and no I’m not against affordable housing, there are plenty of sites in the borough for that too.

By Rich X

This proposal is actually encroaching on Green Belt. 330 houses proposed. That’s another 600 cars on the roads. You only need to see what chaos there has been on Littleborough’s roads over the last week without any extra vehicles. Acres of grassland being built on will no longer be able to soak away rainwater and could make the houses in the Brown Lodge, Lincoln and Abbey Drive areas more liable to flooding.

By Dave H

The infrastructure is not sufficient for this amount of extra traffic…surely this MUST be put in place before any more houses are built in the village !?

By Anonymous

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below