The council will release a masterplan in the New Year for the area around the town’s railway station with the potential to provide thousands of homes and commercial space.
WSP and Broadway Malyan have been appointed to work up the Station Gateway masterplan, featuring major housing developments along with improved public realm and connectivity to the town centre.
Among the key features of the masterplan are the potential for commercial development around the station; “significant expansion” of existing park-and-ride facilities at Miall Street; removing traffic from the front of the station to create a public square; and improvements to the train station.
There are also plans to improve pedestrian and cycle links between the station, the town centre, Milkstone, and Deeplish.
The move is being delivered by Rochdale Council in partnership with the Greater Manchester Station Alliance, which is made up of Network Rail, Northern Rail, the GMCA, Transport for Greater Manchester, and LCR.
Feasibility studies are now under way and a masterplan is expected to be published in early 2020.
The plans form part of the council’s wider vision to bring forward thousands of homes in the town centre, including at the Central Retail Park, the canal corridor, and Drake Street.
Rochdale’s masterplan will also take place alongside work to transform the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum, which will reopen in summer 2020 after a lottery-funded renovation.
Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The redevelopment of brownfield sites around major transport hubs is a key part of our regeneration strategy because people want to be close to key amenities and facilities.
“Rochdale station gateway is a prime location for housing because recent improvements to the North West rail network make the area around stations an increasingly attractive option for people looking for a home.
“The completion of the Ordsall Chord railway line also connects Rochdale commuters to places like London, via the national rail network, and raises the prospect of a direct rail link between Rochdale and Manchester Airport for the first time.
“The formation of this partnership will enable us to accelerate these plans and we’ll be bringing firm proposals forward next year.”
Adam Wisher, head of Manchester for developer LCR, said: “Our partnership with Rochdale Borough Council is a product of Greater Manchester’s forward-thinking approach to maximising the economic benefits offered by investment in its key transport hubs.
“As well as boosting connectivity and providing an enhanced experience for passengers, our work is helping to unlock regeneration and create new community assets that will deliver homes, jobs and public value for the region, starting in Rochdale town centre.”