Castleton sidings scheme could unlock transport opportunity
Kellen Homes has submitted proposals to Rochdale Council for a 191-home redevelopment of disused rail infrastructure that could also pave the way for the East Lancashire Railway and Metrolink to expand.
While the developer plans to build almost 200 homes on part of the 27-acre former Castleton sidings, perhaps the more significant part of the scheme – in terms of the regeneration of the wider area – is the opportunity to unlock rail expansion.
The Castleton sidings site has been identified as key to facilitating the extension of the East Lancashire Railway from Heywood to Castleton and increasing annual visitors from 107,000 to 200,000.
In addition, the sidings have also been earmarked for a future tram/train trial “with the intention for the Metrolink to be extended through Castleton to Heywood and Bury”, according to a planning statement by consultancy WSP.
Kellen, whose scheme features more than 10% affordable provision, is working with ELR and other stakeholders to ensure the scheme is developed in such a way as to pave the way for the tram and train projects.
WSP’s planning statement explains that the residential element will “release the ELR parcel, which will be transferred to the council to secure the ELR line extension along with additional services and facilities when funds allow”.
The site is identified as a strategic development allocation in the emerging Places for Everyone joint plan.
To learn more about the scheme, search for reference number 23/00431/HYBR on Rochdale Council’s planning portal.
The development is Kellen’s second in Rochdale. The developer, headed up by Renaker founder Daren Whittaker, is also planning to bring forward 311 homes of the former Rex Mill site.