Farrel said its office extension would enable the business to stay in Rochdale

Rochdale firm to sell land to fund office improvements

Farrel, a rubber manufacturer based in Castleton, is seeking approval for up to 100 homes on land close to its factory on Newchurch Street, in order to raise £8m to fund the refurbishment of its nearby offices.

If the outline planning application goes with officers’ recommendations for approval at Rochdale’s planning committee this week, a land sale could be triggered to generate the funds required to bring forward an office revamp and extension.

A planning application for the office is running alongside the residential proposals. According to the report to the council, “the applicant advises that the company must invest in the existing facilities, or find an alternative site which better suits the operational needs.”

The plans for the residential scheme involve the demolition of disused outbuildings, the largest of these being Harp Mill. The five-acre plot also contains the existing staff car park and a large area of land which has been fenced off for many years.

A previous application for the construction of up to 120 homes was approved in 2011, however work never started on site and the planning permission lapsed.

For the office overhaul, Farrel is planning to demolish a 28,000 sq ft arm of its building, to make way for a 4,000 sq ft three-storey block, alongside the refurbishment of 5,000 sq ft of its existing building.

Almost £500,000 is being sought in S106 contributions towards primary and secondary education.

The planner for the scheme is WSP|Indigo and Millson Group has drawn up initial plans.

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