Chorlton Public Realm Vision, p MCC

Civic Engineers, OPEN, and Cushman & Wakefield worked on the plan. Credit: via MCC

Chorlton’s ‘poor quality’ public realm under the spotlight 

A plan aimed at ensuring the Manchester suburb remains “attractive and vibrant” has been drawn up. 

The Chorlton Public Realm Plan has been drawn up by Cushman & Wakefield, Civic Engineers, and OPEN for Manchester City Council. It is aimed at guiding investment in the area’s “poor quality” public spaces. 

The scheme, which focuses on Nicolas Road, Wilbraham Road, and High Lane Junction, forms part of the city council’s efforts to improve district centres across the city.  

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “We have made a clear commitment to focus on our district centres across Manchester and ensure our local high streets are vibrant, attractive and welcoming spaces for local people and visitors.   

“These centres are the beating hearts of our communities, and their strength is in providing a range of vital local services on the doorsteps of our residents.” 

In Chorlton, the authority is conscious of emerging development proposals coming forward and wants to bring the area’s public realm up to scratch. 

White added: “Chorlton will welcome a number of key developments in the coming months and years – and this is the community’s opportunity to help guide how their high street and public spaces will look and feel in the years ahead.” 

A consultation on the proposals is now open and will run until 19 March. Have your say – 

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This is most welcome but how is the bus station not included as a ‘focus area’? Surely this should have been first on the list…… Quite an embarrassing oversight by the consultancy team and especially local Cllrs who I assume would have been consulted in advance of this being made public.

By Chorlton Resident

this is obviously fantastic but I don’t really trust Manchester City Council to deliver it given their latest botch job with Chorlton’s cycle lanes. This is the latest screw up in a long line of screw ups from Manchester City Council’s highways department, who seemingly have very little care regarding the city’s public realm. The renders are pretty but we’ve seen it all before. The reality will likely be an endless sea of tarmac, guardrails and potholes after MCC don’t listen (yet again) to consultation responses

By Anonymous

Love Chorlton ❤️ but it badly need a serious refurbishment Let’s do it and soon

By Dave

There is one action that will instantly improve the dreadful standard of public realm in Manchester and that is removing responsibility for applying for funding, for designing and for contracting the works from the Highways department and give it to a part of the council that understands good landscaping design and cares about raising the bar.

By Anonymous

MCC are useless, Trafford is much better at this


What odds can I have to say the narrative is one where the residents’ lives would be so enriched if only there wasn’t a road going through the town, because people obviously need to congregate around makeshift food stalls, and they need to do so where the road currently is. Is this too cynical?

By Anonymous

This would be fantastic if it wasn’t so farcical…..every street corner in Chorlton is a mini lake making it a nightmare for pedestrians. Based on the amount of rubble the cycleway contractors seem to have shovelled into the gulleys on the main road we will have a £13.5m canal network by the time its finally finished.
At least this consultation recognises that people will still use cars to shop or visit but no solutions to the parking problems.
Shocked to see the lack of diversity in MCC imagery (again!) so much for recognising and valuing diverse communities.
Still a sign to the shops and some totem art will be a great investment to distract from the destruction of Ryebank fields and the loss of shops from the precinct.
Cheesed off Chorlton resident.

By Anonymous

Why the rushed consultation? 4 weeks is not long enough.

By Anonymous

If it’s anything like the recent disastrous attempts at public realm in the city centre, please don’t bother! MCC Highways are a disgrace when it comes to projects such as this. They’ll waste millions doing it, it’ll look ok for a few months and then the upkeep and maintenance will stop.

By Steve

The mess that Chorlton is in is scary. How on earth could they not resurface the roads whilst doing the joke cycle lane system is beyond me, it’s not safe for vehicles cyclists or pedestrians and has damaged business along the route. So how can we trust Mcr Council or any consultation to do anything right . Who ever came up with cycle lane set up needs to fall on their sword and the council need to be looking at getting the money back from the contractor who installed it all. Then get it put right.
Also remember we haven’t the wide enough roads an streets like they have in Belgium and the Netherlands so can not implement safe pedestrians, cycle and road systems.

By Annoyed

Agree with the comment about the bus station. It is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester who have let it rot for years. This has been raised with local Cllrs but nothing has happened. I would have thought this was the perfect opportunity to address the issues and do something about it.

By Beech Road

The consultation rightly points out the massive potential of Manchester Road at the Longford Road and Claridge Road junctions. Would be great for the makers market. As others have said though, MCC have a real issue with highways schemes, nearly botching every one of them. It drives me mad that Trafford and Salford get loads done without a fuss (look at Talbot Road at the moment) or Salford’s entire cycle network… while Manchester don’t seem to have the political will to do active travel properly. MCC’s approach towards highways and public realm needs a massive shift.

By Opportunity

At least when all of the businesses have closed down nobody will drive to
Chorlton because they’ll be no need, then I can cycle around it with ease, win-win

By Cyclist

Ensuring public access to businesses needing trade in Chorlton might be helped if they weren’t blocked off by this seemingly endless cycleway construction – enormous & frustrating upheaval and disruption. Oh and btw – how about the ever deepening potholes on Barlow Moor Rd outside Tesco?? Funds might be better invested in filling them instead of creating more cycle routes before we all disappear underground!

By Justin

Two points:
Why wasn’t some of this work included within the cycle lane works?
As some commenters have pointed out here, what is going to stop MCC producing something nothing like the artists impression? These cycle lanes, Stevenson Square, Great Ancoats Street European Boulevard (!!) come to mind

By Levelling Up Manager

Agree with all of the negative comments about the impact of MCC Highways and the delivery of the cycling schemes. The key issue that flows from this consultation is who pays for any proposals. The idea that substantive public realm works will be paid for by developer contributions is fanciful. Therefore – where will the money come from?????????

By Anonymous

Chorlton centre has been poorly served by badly designed bike lanes, selling off the Precinct area, a place ripe for community cohesion , green space and small, well-loved shops to a rich developer only interested in building high rise, expensive housing and riding roughshod over the local community and its present needs. When the council says they care about their local communities I see no evidence of this, only lack of funding and no purpose-built spaces, green or useful. I continually work and strive to create a warm welcoming community space for all ages, constantly fighting bids from greedy land-grabbing developers and even local councillors who exhibit no care for their locals and generally ignore people’s voices. We have seen local banks close, local popular shops close, traffic disruptions for over 12 months leaving behind a community in dissaray, deeply dissatisfied and unheard. Driving, biking even simply crossing the road is now a dangerous activity, and some older residents have almost returned to staying in all the time and therefore creating their own mental health crisis. I have no solution unfortunately , just sadness that my local shopping centre and place to have a cup with a friend is no more☹️

By Freddi Greenmantle

Lots of fancy ideas but can we please have public toilets back, litter bins, pavements that you can push a pram on, and then regular maintenance and cleaning.

By Chris

Picked up 3 people so far outside my flat who have fallen over the kerb on bike lanes. Need some form of bright paint or something. They are dangerous at night. I wonder what you are doing with Chorlton right now…the brilliant butchers and greengrocers have gone…the art market too..and nothing has been done to retain them… there must be 5 or 6 chicken and chip shops on the front that are constantly empty and look scruffy.
You are losing the things people come here to shop for and it can’t be 5 years to replace them.
The most renowned butchers in Manchester has gone and nobody at the council helped to find new premises.
You should have given them a shop rather than let them go.
There is nowhere to shop in Chorlton centre now.

By Barlowmoor Boy.

As MCC are getting a lot of richly-deserved flak for the state of Chorlton, may I remind people that in May there is an opportunity to elect alternative councillors (for those who can be bothered to visit their polling station, that is).

By Francis

The cycle lanes are also treacherous for wheelchair users. They haven’t been given a thought.

By Another Chorltonite

Go and look at the superb job Trafford has done in Stretford with planting of trees, bushes, grasses and artistic seating and fab pathing.But will Manchester’s arrogant Council learn from Trafford?
No chance!

By Resident

This sounds fantastic, what a great opportunity for Chorlton to benefit from this degree of investment. Anything that improves the public realm has to be positive!

Totally agree in terms of the phasing of this proposal, relative to the cycleway and pavement works and why this wasn’t all undertaken at once, plus some other areas of road that badly need resurfacing – guess it is what is it is, but presumably everything will come together in an holistic sense with the precinct development, library refurb and development of the former Gaumont/ Funeralcare in due course.

Talking of cycling though, it seems a bit odd that Wilbraham Road isn’t a designated a ‘Busy Beeway’ or even a ‘Beeway’ given the 4 Banks CYCLOPS right in the middle of that stretch of road! Also, not good to be proposing a handing over of ‘advisory’ cycle lanes to parking – a massive clampdown on dodgy parking is required right now, let alone a reduction in cycling infrastructure!

Oddly, the High Lane junction CYCLOPS is a ‘Busy Beeway’, where the pocket park is proposed, but there’s currently no designated access to the CYCLOPS from Edge Lane, even losing the painted cycle boxes – seems odd.

Anyway, fingers crossed all in all this will be of great benefit to everyone in due course 😊

By Pragmatist

All looks great and very welcome. However I fully agree with the comments about the bus station. How has this missed out of the proposals?

By D Wilson

Not sure about this image #diversity ?

By Anonymous

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