Pomona Island
Pomona Island is a largely undeveloped strip of land between Pomona and Cornbrook Metrolink stations

Pomona Island masterplan pushed back 

Dan Whelan

Consultation on the long-awaited masterplan for the 26-acre site will not take place until next year due to delays caused by Covid-19, land owner Peel L&P said. 

James Whittaker, executive director of development at Peel L&P, said the firm hoped to publish the masterplan for consultation in early 2021, adding that detailed plans for a build-to-rent scheme at the site were also being worked up.

The project is for 162 apartments across a 13 storey block.

Pomona Island, which Peel has rebranded as Manchester Waters, is a swathe of land that sits between the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester Ship Canal west of the city centre, straddling Trafford, Salford and Manchester local authority areas. 

A masterplan for the site is being created to map out the regeneration of undeveloped land to create a 2,500-home mixed use scheme. Up to 11 acres of public realm, as well as improvements to canal paths linking the site to MediaCityUK and Manchester city centre, are also proposed. 

X1 Manchester Waters Pomona July 2020 3

The first phase of X1’s Manchester Waters completed earlier this year

Speaking to Place North West in May, Whittaker said a project team comprising Jon Matthews Architects, planning consultant Turley and landscape architect Exterior Architecture, was formulating a masterplan that would be launched for public consultation in 2020. 

Despite delays to the overarching masterplan, some development within Peel’s Pomona Island holdings is already underway. Earlier this year, developer X1 completed construction of the first of five blocks within its Manchester Waters scheme. 

Once complete, the development, designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall, will provide more than 700 homes. 

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A super important plot for both Manchester and Salford as will be key to how Salford Quays and the City Centre are linked. Transport links in terms of the Metro are currently great especially since the new Trafford Centre line has opened. I hope a focus of, and a key design driver for, the Masterplan has been the improvement of Active Travel between the Salford Quays and the City. I’m sure with the team on board this will be the case.

By Matt Pickering

It pains me that this site is being developed in such a bland way when it was such a good location for something like a mini-Manchester Eden Project. I hope the extra time gives them chance to be a bit more creative.

As above, it’s all about the active travel. It needs to be a vibrant walking/cycling route into the city, preferably waterside. My dream is for the spare Castlefield viaduct to be turned into a highline walking/cycling route. There are only three metrolink lines at Cornbrook on what used to be four railway lines, so there is room for a walk/cycling route from Deansgate and dropping down on to Pomona. It could then link onto the Bridgewater and the Ship Canal. It would be great for Pomona, Trafford Park, the Quays and even further afield.

By #highlineandwaterside

This has got to be one of the best sites in the NW and it’s a great opportunity for something different to what’s being done everywhere else in Grtr Manchester- homes with gardens, high quality and diverse green space, streets for people- the councils should be insistent that this site is not squandered this time.

By Graham

The site has huge potential and has excellent transport links. Id like to see a marina included in the dock section which hasn’t been filled in. It would really add character and extra living/ leisure facilities to the site its also connected to the canal system via lock already there..

By Jon P

Agree with the existing comments here from Matt Pickering, highlineandwaterside & Graham. I think the publicly accessible land should be waterfront based, with a park around the part where the river and canals meet. I also love the idea of a highline using the spare viaduct. This on its own sort of ends a bit too early, but it should be possible to drop it down to the waterfront, either at the Pomona side or the Salford side of the river. This would be an amazing walk/cycleway between MediaCity and the city centre.

There also needs to be some sort of retail here. This whole area, while wonderfully connected to the Metrolink, is a little cut off from the rest of society (well, it is an island) and residents should have some form of retail/dining/pub here as well, even if at the minimal level of Middlewood Locks

Pomona has such a great opportunity for GM

By EOD

I’m a little disappointed about this development. This site is an important site in terms of natural habitat for both animals and flora. There are plants in this area which are pretty rare and not often found elsewhere.

By Sbt

This is a wasted opportunity – the area could have been something really special.

By Anonymous

I agree with Graham. Look at Timekeepers Square for inspiration on a grander scale. A garden city could be created here. We have enough dreary medium-sized blocks of flats with cheap cladding. Townhouses here would attract people with a lot of spending power.

By Elephant

More houses needed, apartment living doesn’t work in this country.

By Floyd

I have to disagree with the comments about townhouses and gardens, what we need here is high density and high density living with retail, green space and leisure to animate the area.

By Aaron

Aaron. I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Townhouses are actually a high density urban building form. Mansion blocks would also be great in this spot. I agree with Elephant re Timekeepers Square. One of the great recent residential schemes in the North. Something like this would be aspirational and idea here. The buildings in Manchester Waters seem, so far, a great disappointment.

By Steve Webberley