The council has signed-off outline plans for a 72,000 sq ft high school on 14 acres off Old Heywood Road next to Bowlee Community Park in Middleton.
The 900-pupil school will be run by the Altus Education Partnership, which successfully bid to the Department for Education to deliver the school through the Government’s Free School Programme.
Altus Education also runs Rochdale Sixth Form College, rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Early plans for the site, lodged by Rochdale Council, show a three-storey school building and separate sports hall blocks.
Subject to the approval of a reserved matters application, the school could open in time for the 2022 academic year.
The DfE approved plans for a secondary school in Middleton in 2019 due a rise in demand as a result of increasing residential development in the town.
Manchester-based ADP Architecture designed the school and Avision Young is the planning consultant for the project.
The school will be called the Edgar Wood Academy, named after the Middleton-born architect whose work included the grade one-listed Royd House in Hale, where he lived between 1914 and 1916.