St Catherines Wood Red Bank
Improvements to St Catherine's Wood are a major part of the Red Bank plans.. Credit: Manchester City Council

Manchester puts £51.6m HIF Victoria North package to work

Neil Tague

The city council has submitted plans for the first phase of work backed by the Housing Infrastructure Fund at Red Bank, where 5,500 homes are planned.

Victoria North is the city’s flagship housing project, representing a masterplan area of 15,000 homes to be delivered over 20 years, in partnership with Far East Consortium.

An application has now been submitted to bring a swathe of brownfield land at Red Bank ready for development.

The HIF-backed programme will address a series of infrastructure constraints to enable delivery of homes and green spaces, including the first phase of a 114-acre city river park within the Red Bank neighbourhood

Manchester’s planning application seeks approval for enabling works including invasive tree and vegetation removal, creation of a temporary haul road and demolition of the Creamline Dairies buildings.

The project is being led by Bam and Arup. The professional team also includes planner Avison Young, demolition contractor PP O’Connor, and heritage advisor/archeologist Orion.

This summer, the local authority completed the acquisition of the 25-acre Creamline depot, its cabinet having signed off on expenditure of up to £2m from the HIF pot in July 2020.

Red Bank, one of seven neighbourhoods within Victoria North, will see the delivery of up to 5,500 new homes across a range of types and tenures, including affordable homes, as well as supporting social and community infrastructure.

FEC appointed design practices Maccreanor Lavington and Schulze+Grassov this summer as masterplan leds on Red Bank, as it built up the Victoria North team.

The area includes the 25-acre former Red Bank carriage sidings, currently inaccessible but earmarked to be repurposed for housing.

Further planning applications will be submitted on a phased basis during 2022, seeking permission for the main infrastructure works, improvements to St Catherine’s Wood and the first elements of the City River Park.

These will be followed by applications for residential development. Initial consultation started last month.

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and employment, said: “This is a landmark planning application for Victoria North and will help to unlock the untapped potential of the Red Bank neighbourhood. For some decades this part of the city has lain dormant, almost cut off from the rest of Manchester.”

Elsewhere in Victoria North, Lovell Partnerships emerged this summer as the preferred partner to deliver the 274-home first phase of new homes in Collyhurst.

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