Stockport Council has set out plans for an “aspirational and iconic” transport interchange and residential development, including visualisations which show the potential arrival of the Metrolink to the town.
The redevelopment of the interchange has been in the pipeline since 2015 and the council has now set out detailed designs for the project.
Stockport Council’s proposals for the site are for what it calls “an aspirational and iconic mixed-use development” featuring a 196-home apartment block, a transport interchange covered with a green roof, and public realm opening up on to the river Mersey, alongside improved connectivity to the town’s railway station.
The plans also factor in a route for the Metrolink’s potential arrival to the town, with one of the visualisations showing tram lines and platforms alongside the viaduct.
The residential block, including 126 two-bed apartments and 70 one-bed apartments, is expected to cost around £39m to build. A joint venture between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the council will develop the block and will rent the apartments privately for a minimum of five years following its completion.
A temporary bus station is being proposed for the Heaton Lane car park whilst construction work is ongoing.
Setting out its timescale for the proposals, the council said it would start public consultation next month, running from 8 June to 11 July. This will be followed by approval from GMCA, with a planning application submitted in August this year.
Following planning approval later in the year, enabling works are due to start in the third quarter of 2019 with a main contract for the construction works award in the first quarter of 2020.
The transport interchange is set to complete by the end of 2021 and the residential element will complete by summer 2022.
The council has already secured £41.7m of Growth Fund money to help to deliver the scheme, and has already received a grant of £2.6m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to help support the project’s delivery.
The majority of the construction cost of the residential element, earmarked at £39m, will be met by senior debt. The costings of the residential block have been developed by JLL, Deloitte, and GMCA’s core investments team.
Stockport Council admitted the forecast cost of the transport interchange exceeds its potential budget by £1.5m and said that work to explore a range of potential funding options to address the remaining funding gap was “ongoing”.
The council is expected to sign off the plans at a meeting next week. The professional team includes architect BDP alongside consultant WSP.
The ambitions to deliver an improved town centre has been Stockport’s key focus in recent years. As well as the interchange, the council has worked with CBRE to identify sites for 3,000 homes in the town centre; sites include the existing Stagecoach depot on King Street West, and the Kwik-Fit opposite The Crown pub.
Proposals to come forward so far include a 22-storey tower on the site of the former Greenhale House. The plans, by developer Urbanize Homes, were submitted to the council for consideration last month.
The council has also invested heavily in infrastructure with work under way to build a new bridge over the river Mersey, linking Swaine Street with Astley Street. This will provide buses with a direct link to the new interchange from Heaton Lane.