Longfield Centre, Prestwich, P.Muse
Muse has been involved with the proposed overhaul of Longfield Shopping Centre since 2016. credit via Muse

Bury ramps up regen as major schemes tipped to advance  

Dan Whelan

The creation of a joint venture with Muse Developments for the regeneration of Prestwich town centre, plus plans for more than 250 homes across brownfield sites in Radcliffe and Whitefield are due to be signed off by the council next week. 

Prestwich revamp 

Bury Council completed the purchase of the Longfield Shopping Centre from Hollins Murray Group in August, paving the way for Muse Developments to transform it into a mixed-use scheme. 

Next week, the authority is seeking cabinet approval to sign off the creation of a 50:50 joint venture with town centre regeneration specialists Muse. 

Muse is working with several local authorities across the North West to revamp town centres including St Helens, Wirral, Blackpool and Salford. 

The developer has an option agreement on the leasehold of Longfield Shopping Centre that expires in 2025. The council has ruled out waiting until the expiration of that option and opted instead to go ahead with the project in partnership with Muse.  

A planning application for the redevelopment of the shopping centre is expected next spring and work on site could begin in 2023, according to a cabinet report. 

The project is to feature homes, a library and community centre, small business workspace and a market hall. 

The joint venture agreement will allow the council to “harness the commercial expertise of an experienced partner who can deliver at pace”, the report said. 

Addleshaw Goddard has provided legal advice to the council on the creation of the joint venture. 

Wheatfields, Whitefield 

Onward Homes is to deliver 30 two- and three-bedroom affordable homes on the 2.5-acre site of the former Wheatfields Day Care Centre in Whitefield. 

The site has been vacant since the centre was demolished in 2018 and forms part of Bury Council’s Land Disposal Programme, aimed at raising capital receipts.  

Development at the site is unviable “based on market values, site abnormals and construction costs” and brownfield funding is needed to unlock it, according to the council. 

“Consequently, the council has been awarded £350k from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to address viability issues and accelerate the delivery of this site.” 

Steven Heverin, development director at Onward Homes, said: “The Wheatfields site is a great opportunity to build high quality, sustainable and affordable homes in response to local housing need.  

“Our ambition is to work with local people to bring forward the best possible proposals for developing this brownfield site, with a mixture of tenures including affordable home ownership.”   

Subject to cabinet approval of the disposal of the site to Onward, the project could begin early next year and complete in summer 2023. 

Radcliffe housing 

Watson Homes and Hive Homes are to deliver a total of 225 properties across two sites in Radcliffe, subject to the approval of land disposals to the developers. 

On Green Street, Watson wants to deliver 136 apartments, 75% of which would be available for shared ownership. 

In addition, the development could feature 13,000 sq ft of commercial space. 

The proposed site was previously occupied by Radcliffe Swimming Pool and is identified as part of the 2020 Radcliffe SRF as a key placemaking component suitable for a gateway development of medium-scale, up to six storeys in height. 

A planning application for the project is expected in December. 

On School Street, Hive, a joint venture between 10 registered providers and the GMCA, is progressing plans for 89 three- and four-bedroom homes on the site of a former grammar school. 

Extensive groundworks at the site have already been carried out, funded by £882,000 from the GMCA. 

The development could generate £158,000 a year in council tax, according to Bury. 

Work is due to start next March and conclude in 2024. 

Your Comments

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You keep building everywhere there be no green space left in this country soon

By Pauline

Well i had a day out in bury on sat and what a delight the rock centre. And the market inside and out and attched centre car parks full.meat and fresh fish and great vegatables.pies cakes and bread on offers Shops full a real good day out

By Simon

Pauline – Your comment is ridiculous. The Longfield Centre in Prestwich doesn’t have any green space! Its a town centre eyesore – a 1960’s concrete precinct, in disrepair and getting worse. Replacing it with a new scheme will have zero impact on the green space in our country!

By Black Pudding

Prestwich retail does not match the quality or cost of the housing. This is solely down to the neglect of Bury Council. The Longfield centre is an absolute embarrassment.

By Elephant

Agree with all the comments on The Longfield Suite; its departure is long overdue and I cannot wait to see it as a pile of rubble. It should never have been built.

As for the site in Whitefield. Although this is not premium M45, it would still achieve £250-275/ft2 on the open market so it’s a mystery as to why extra funding was needed but there you go!

By 1981