Rochdale Council has approved a hybrid application from Russell Homes for a long-term development project in South Heywood.
Billed as a sustainable urban extension to Heywood, the 18-year South Heywood masterplan involves the creation of a new 2.2km link road from junction 19 of the M62 to the employment areas off Pilsworth Road, providing a direct route to the main employment areas of South Heywood. The route will unlock more than 1.45m sq ft of commercial space, the developer said.
Russell Homes will fund the majority of the link road costs, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority having agreed to allocate £10.3m and Highways England £1.75m.
The masterplan will also provide up to 1,000 homes, including affordable houses, a new primary school, and a new village retail centre, improved public transport provision, and extensive public open space across the 321-acre site. The business space could support up to 2,400 jobs.
Being Green Belt, the proposals attracted criticism, with more than 280 letters of objection received. Rochdale’s officers, however, said that the project would bring benefits of substantial scale outweighing the harm done.
Daniel Kershaw, Russell Homes director, said: “The South Heywood Masterplan unlocks enormous potential for Heywood and the borough, providing the infrastructure and commercial space to create thousands of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy.
“It recognises the area’s popularity for manufacturing and logistics businesses and removes the two biggest barriers to growth in those sectors – accessibility and available premises. It will benefit existing businesses and allow many more to locate here, indeed we have already had indications of strong interest in the new commercial space. The link road is the key to all of that, and has formed the foundation around which the rest of the plan has developed.
“It is a forward-thinking, long term strategic vision that has been several years in the making, and improves prospects for people living and working in the area. We are therefore extremely pleased that the planning committee has supported that vision and approved the application.”
Rochdale’s planning committee voted to approve the full planning permission for the link road, with works scheduled to start in spring 2019, while the rest of the plan received outline planning permission. Due to its scale, this hybrid application will now be referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government Savid Javid.
The professional team includes How Planning and IBI, with technical advice from Axis, Regeneris, Cushman & Wakefield, Campbell Reith, REC, E3P, Reading Agricultural Consultants, and Orion Heritage.