Navigation Road Station
Navigation Road is one of the stations identified for development opportunities

GMCA identifies station development opportunities

Charlie Schouten

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has earmarked areas around a number of the region’s railway stations for development with 87 acres of land potentially up for grabs.

As part of the combined authority’s station partnership programme, the GMCA alongside its Rail Station Alliance partners – Network Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester, London Continental Railway, Northern Rail, and Transpennine Express – has identified development opportunities around railway stations across Greater Manchester.

So far, 87 acres of potential development land has been identified, with 14 stations singled out has having significant opportunities with an average site size of around five acres. These stations are:

  • Ashton-under-Lyne
  • Atherton
  • Bredbury
  • Cheadle Hulme
  • Hale
  • Hazel Grove
  • Heald Green
  • Lostock
  • Marple
  • Mills Hill
  • Navigation Road
  • Rochdale
  • Rose Hill Marple
  • Stalybridge

The Rail Station Alliance will look to work alongside local authorities to deliver feasibility studies for each of these sites in 2019, which will identify “potentially investable opportunities” including homes and job-creation.

Following these feasibility studies, the Alliance will develop a delivery strategy for the sites with the relevant local authorities.

The GMCA said housing would be a “key driver” but added there were “broader place making opportunities” that the rail stations could contribute towards.

The development plans for the stations are likely to build on the Stockport One Public Estate pilot project, focussed on the regeneration of the area around Stockport’s railway station. This has included using publicly-owned assets to contribute towards regeneration and growth, as well as private investment.

One of the Alliance partners, London Continental Railway, will make £5m available to help develop proposals around these stations, with funding depending on the size of the development opportunity at each.

Each of the Alliance members to receive an “appropriate share” of the value realised from viable development schemes around the stations; this will allow LCR to recoup its £5m funding pot.

A further £1m will also be available towards community projects delivered on a case-by-case basis, focussed on re-using redundant spaces in and around stations.

A further update on the plans for these stations and the wider network is expected in the spring.

Development has already begun on sites adjacent to some of the stations highlighted in the report. These include at Hale station, where developer Novo and contractor CPUK are bringing forward a £6m housing-led mixed-use project on a car park owned by Trafford Council.

Your Comments

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What happened to TfGM’s bid to buy all of the rail stations within Greater Manchester?

By Anonymous

If they build on station car parks more people will just drive to work.


That’s right PDM, let’s all just accept that we have to live in a sea of tarmac surface car parks. Probably not even worth trying to think of a way of better using these spaces or maybe integrating parking with development and improved public realm. I’m off to go rant about potholes and cyclists instead.

By Anonymous

Buy the stations? Don’t be daft. Transfer responsibility/manage them you mean?

DfT don’t trust TfGM basically, as TfGM couldn’t get a coherent business case together as to why it made sense.

By Station Devolution

Navigation Road will become the epicentre of the Northern Powerhouse – a shining paradigm of what can be achieved with targeted investment by TfGM.

TfGM will lead us to a land of concrete and trams. What a world we live in!

By R Carter

A fantastic idea to ‘spread the wealth’ of high density development across GM. I do hope that this will be complimented by greater capacity and more services to accommodate these new residents…

By CommutingEnthusiast

Just don’t stop there, what about the tracks, what a waste of space rarely used and often blocked by giant leaves and commuters, surely something could be done to utilise this wasted space too?

By Off the rails.

Dear PDM: You are obviously dead right. But the Rail Station Alliance of simple-minded accountants (not all accountants are simple-minded) are making a “business case” (commercial case) for developing (building) on these plots. If they did an economic (and not a commercial) audit, they might discover that apart from a short-term profit from selling the land, there would be a long-term benefit from car parks of getting more customers on to their trains. But for Marktists, short-term (private) commercial profit is what Counts and not long-term (public) economic benefit. I’m off the doctor now. I fell down a pothole.

By James Yates

I’d really appreciate it if my local (Cheadle Hulme) Station had adequate and reliable disabled access. They now have two relatively new Lift Shafts and yet they regularly have one ‘Out of order’ and I’ve been left stranded twice on Platform level after getting off the Train because the Lifts were found to be unexpectedly turned off in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and there were no Staff around to help me. The safest bet for any Wheelchair User who is based in Cheadle Hulme is to be dropped off in Heald Green to use the Railway Station there instead.

By Wheelchair User

O, great, another TfGM/GMCA/Andy Burnham vanity project.

How much will they pay to their friends in the consultancy business this time before they realise they don’t own the stations or the land around them.

Why don’t they put some focus in running the appalling tram service instead of stupid ideas such as this – NEWSFLASH – there’s a reason these areas aren’t developed – they’re not exactly Notting Hill, are they?

By Carlton Palmer

NO more housing projects in Cheadle Hulme please, we have been grid locked for the past 5 years, two new developments to come on stream early 2019 has created over two hundred new apartments in existing office blocks, its not about parking its about standstill traffic all day. (or should i say the long car park from Cheadle Hulme to Bramhall)


We need to put a stop to building in Greater Manchester. It’s full, there are far too many buildings and too many people.

By Fordy

Couldn’t agree more with Fordy, Manchester City Centre has poor air quality and the worst traffic outside of the capital. The solution – EXPAND

By fed up

Rochdale??? It’s hardly going to achieve a big land receipt! …..I drive to that station, park the car and get into Manchester that way….I am hoping that doesnt change otherwise there will be abandoned cars everywhere around the station, rich pickings for local thieves (The car park has cameras) and even more grid lock!! They could do with building a two story parking structure in the existing carpark to increase the parking capacity so it can deal with the increase Train and Tram users once Rochdale town centre redevelopment has completed, otherwise whats to point?? What happened to investing in supporting infrastructure???

By Stripester

Surely the fact that Manchester has poor air quality means we should be building more homes near train stations so that more people can ditch their cars for public transport. Apartments in the centre of town will also help with air pollution as people will walk to walk rather than drive.

The quality of PNW comments section has plummeted this year – let’s put an end to the MEN-style comments and start using our brains a little, shall we?

By Anonymous

Looks like a great move going forward. I live close to one of these train stations and for one would be happy with some nice houses to move away from current eyesores. Get them built!

By Anon

Readers comments have always been a good sources of differing views and attitudes in this section.
Anonymous, rather than patronising PNW readers you need to step back and open your mind to maybe those who know what they are talking about, instead of coming out with piffling comments.


@CBA yes some great contributions. Exhibit A: “We need to put a stop to building in Greater Manchester. It’s full, there are far too many buildings and too many people”

By Anonymous

As a user of Lostock (car park full by 8.15) I’m just wondering where the cars will park. In fact, what’s really needed is double the car parking.

By A Gaudi

How can we connect to the England training ground?

By Emile Heskey