Whitelaw Turkington and Arup have had plans for the £10.4m Greengate public realm scheme approved by Salford and Manchester city councils.
Approvals for the scheme were given the green light by Manchester City Council on Monday 9 November, following Salford City Council approval in July this year.
The 32-acre Greengate site will provide public open space, which can be used for events such as markets and concerts, with a wider network of existing and proposed green spaces.
Central Salford, the urban regeneration company, hired landscape architect Whitelaw Turkington and Arup to work up plans for improved linkages between Ask and Network Rail's Greengate site and Manchester city centre in September last year.
The project will be delivered in two stages. The first will include new areas of public realm with £8.5m of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency which includes:
- A pedestrian bridge linking Salford and Manchester
- The creation of the Urban Cove – a multi-use public space featuring water and bordered by amphitheatre style seating and extensive tree planting
- A link to encourage movement northwards from the end of the bridge into the future Greengate square, which will be lined with ground floor units, tree planting and lighting columns
The Greengate scheme is being led by Central Salford and funding has so far been confirmed by the Homes and Communities Agency and will be delivered in partnership with development partners Ask Developments and Network Rail.
John Hughes, director at Ask Developments, said: "The level of co-operation between ourselves, Network Rail, Central Salford, HCA and Salford City Council has been excellent. Subject to securing a suitable occupier pre-let we are now in a position to start on site within a relatively short timescale."
Deborah McLaughlin, HCA's North West director, said: "Despite the difficult market conditions, we are all working extremely hard to get started on this important public realm which will connect the cities of Salford and Manchester. With the planning in place and the developer ready to start, we hope to be able to push forward in the very near future."
The planning permission has conditions, which refer specifically to the archaeological survey. Oxford Archaeology carried out the survey on the proposed site with observations from the Greater Manchester archaeological anit and members of Salford City Council's design and heritage group.
The Greengate site is just one of the wider proposals to regenerate Salford and the surrounding area. It will form a link between several proposed developments.
To the east and west are plans by Ask Developments, which adjoin the Greengate site and West Properties have plans to the south west of the River Irwell. On the sites eastern boundary is the plan to re-establish the existing Bijou bar so that it opens on to Greengate.