A hybrid planning application has been submitted for the Royal Horticultural Society to establish a 150-acre garden on the outskirts of Salford on designated Green Belt land.
The new garden, to be known as RHS Garden Bridgewater, is part of the RHS 10-year £160m investment programme to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and will bring back to life the site of the former Worsley New Hall, a locally listed heritage asset, owned by Peel Land & Property.
The revival of a site of this scale would represent one of the largest contemporary gardening projects in Europe.
Barton Willmore advised on the extensive plans, which were designed by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith and Manchester architect Hodder + Partners.
The scheme includes the development of a new Welcome Building, demonstration and teaching allotments, a shop and café, an events and learning space, a new glasshouse and school of horticulture, and the restoration of the historic Walled Garden and its accompanying buildings.
Vincent Ryan, planning director at Barton Willmore, said: “Through returning this historic site to active use the new garden will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Greater Manchester and the North West region, enhancing the growing cluster of tourist attractions.
“Alongside the improvement and benefit to the local natural and historical environment, the multiple opportunities for the local communities is immense. From direct jobs and valuable upskilling from a dedicated volunteering, training and apprenticeships programme through to improved access to nature and the regenerative benefits of gardening via a large number of community gardening projects and partnerships with local schools and hospitals and social services.”
RHS Garden Bridgewater is a collaboration between the RHS, Peel Land & Property and Salford City Council. The RHS predicts that it will see visitor numbers reach between 600-700,000 by 2029.
If planning permission is granted, work could start on site by spring 2017 with the aim of opening the Walled Garden to the public in June 2019.