College Bank Rochdale

Rochdale moves forward on town centre housing

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing has revealed its initial proposals for College Bank and Lower Falinge, following nine months of consultation with residents of the town centre neighbourhoods.

Currently, College Bank comprises seven blocks containing 750 flats, 715 of which are owned by RBH, a co-owned mutual housing society. RBH proposes retaining three of these, which would be modernised; and replacing the remaining four blocks with new housing of various type.

Public realm improvements would be made, with a focus on improving access to the town centre.

At Lower Falinge, which is dominated by four-storey blocks of flats, the proposals also include some demolition with a wider mix of housing type introduced, along with improvements to play areas, better parking for residents and investment in the retained flats, including new windows and doors. Up to 560 new homes could be built in an area that currently houses around 1,000 people.

Clare Tostevin, director of communities at RBH, said: “We will continue to consult with the local community over the coming months to help shape the plans and ensure that the neighbourhoods meet the needs of local residents now and in the future. We have more consultation events in the pipeline and will also be visiting every resident individually to discuss the proposals with them.”

“We understand that some people have concerns about redevelopment, but we would like to reassure them that we always ensure first and foremost that our residents are looked after.

“If moving becomes necessary, all those affected will be given at least a year’s notice, compensated financially and most importantly, provided with a new, high-quality home that meets their needs. We will work to keep the community together in Rochdale town centre.”

Any tenants and owner-occupiers needing to be moved would be offered a £5,800 compensation package.

In January, RBH announced that architect Levitt Bernstein had been brought in to help develop the plans. GVA is also working with the group, while Curtins carried out an assessment of the College Bank blocks.

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The Seven Sisters are part of Rochdale’s fabric and character. David Bloor would be sad I’m sure.

By Grant Butterworth

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