Chapel Wharf Masterplan, Salford, P. OP EN
Optimised Environments, Savills and Civic Engineers have drawn up the draft development framework. Credit: OP-EN

Salford’s vision for Chapel Wharf

Dan Whelan

The creation of a 15-minute neighbourhood in the centre of the city that focusses on the reactivation of underuse railway arches, upgrading riverside sites, and reworking roads currently dominated by vehicles forms the basis of the proposal for the 47-acre site. 

Who is involved? 

Optimised Environments, Savills and Civic Engineers have drawn up the draft framework for Salford City Council, which outlines the development opportunities in the area over the next 15-20 years. 

The masterplan area 

The site is bound by Trinity Way to the north, the River Irwell to the south, Bridge Street to the west, and is intersected by the railway line. 

In the east, the masterplan area stretches to Blackfriars Road but does not encompass the neighbouring Greengate area. It does however incorporate some land beyond Blackfriars, including the Travelodge and Premier Inn hotels on Chapel Street. 

Other notable sites that fall within the zone include the Lowry Hotel, the 1,100-home Chapel Wharf development, and Deva Centre Retail Park.  

Chapel Wharf Masterplan 2, Salford, P.OP EN

The masterplan zone spans 47 acres. Credit: OP-EN

What is proposed? 

The key objectives for the regeneration of Chapel Wharf include: 

  • Reactivating underused railway arches  
  • Creating an “accessible, high-quality riverside environment” along the Irwell 
  • Making Chapel Street and other major roads in the zone more user-friendly and inviting for pedestrians by introducing walking and cycling routes 
  • Connecting the burgeoning areas of Greengate and New Bailey
  • Supplying a more diverse mix of homes. 

The strategy also outlines various development opportunities in the area. These include: 

  • The residential redevelopment of the Travelodge 
  • The creation of a pedestrian route to serve the reanimated arches 
  • The redevelopment of Deva Business Park and !Audacious Church site into a residential neighbourhood. 

In the longer term, a clutch of offices around Browncross Street to the west of the site could be the subject of “more radical” redevelopment  opportunities. This could see partial or complete demolition of existing buildings, resulting in the creation of an improved office-led development with some residential included, according to the masterplan.

Catalyst projects 

Four schemes have been identified to underpin the wider redevelopment of Chapel Wharf.  

Chapel Vaults – a plan to open up and reactivate railway arches along Chapel Street and install unique occupiers to create a vibrant mixed-use boulevard. The project is described in the draft masterplan as “a rich and characterful environment to be experienced, not simply a barrier to pass through or an edge to activate. A setting and offer that is defining for the area”. 

Re-imagined Riverside – this proposal would see a green gateway created around Trinity Bridge, connecting through to Dearmans Place and Chapel Street. 

Chapel Wharf Masterplan 3, Salford, P.OP EN

Making the Chapel Street/Blackfriars junction more pedestrian friendly is one of the catalyst projects. Credit: OP-EN

Flat Iron Square – The junction connecting Blackfriars and Chapel Street, where “pedestrians sit at the lowest order of the movement hierarchy”, is to be revamped to provide a less vehicle-dominant environment. 

Trinity Gateway – This scheme proposes “softening” the barrier to pedestrians between Trinity Way and neighbourhoods to the north. Interventions include creating a paved pedestrian walkway connecting Chapel Wharf with Frederick Street. 

Why now? 

Chapel Wharf is one of the few remaining areas in Salford city centre that is not covered by a formal framework and consequently no cohesive vision for the regeneration of the area exists, according to the council. 

As a result, consultants were appointed 12 months ago to start preparation of a development framework for the Chapel Wharf area. 

What next? 

A six-week period of public consultation on the framework is to begin in September. 

Your Comments

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Any plans that involve demolishing the Travelodge get my vote! Not sure how they are going to achieve that though with all the privately owned flats in there. A very costly CPO maybe!

By Steve

“The redevelopment of Deva Business Park and !Audacious Church site into a residential neighbourhood” – hasn’t the !Audacious Church site just had planning approval from Salford City Council to add a “link building and seven-storey car park” on the existing site?

By Chapel St Resident

In theory this looks excellent but there have been far too many poor quality developments built in the last decade in this area. That new scheme behind The Lowry is particularly awful.

By 1981

Hi Chapel Street Resident,

You are correct that the church has just won approval for an extension. The Chapel Wharf framework suggests that this site could be redeveloped in future for residential but it is worth noting that there are no guarantees either way: !Audacious may not enact its consent and the identification of the site for resi in the Chapel Wharf framework may come to nothing. It would be fair to say, though, that if !Audacious does go ahead with its plans, the redevelopment of the site becomes more unlikely. All we know for now is that everything is on the table.

By Dan Whelan

“A less dominant vehicle environment.”

Has the council secured the full participation of ALL residents or is it catering to the “metro hipster” crowd who skateboard and scooter the 1 km to work?

Just like Manchester Council, Salford won’t stop until the entire central area is pedestrianized.

They’ll say “So what? It’s good for the environment.”

I – and many others – say “Rubbish: the aim is to stuff the pavements and squares and roads with revenue-generating cafes, bistros, hipster ale houses, etc., at the same time causing traffic chaos elsewhere.”

Bollards, orange comes, signs – “Diversion”, “No entry” etc. – all over the streets and pavements are making central Manchester-Salford the ugliest urban environment in Britain.

Both councils bizarrely see this as progress. Yet truly progressive cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam manage to find a way to make their centres friendly to all modes of moving about – including cars. This shows that their motivation is ideological and not practical.

Finally, to add insult to injury, just like their real estate and land policies, it is all ramraided through without the full participation of ALL road users.

By Geoff Mancowitz

So the Council have spent a lot of money to develop a scheme that involves re-developing land they dont own? Sounds like a complete and utter waste of tax payers money. Again. Pity they dont put this amount of effort into something more productive that is actually needed now.

By D

Cars are ugly, period. We need to rid our cities of them completely. Cities are for people, not soul-less metal boxes. If you want easy access to a city centre, live near a train or tram station. Society has had enough of selfish motorists taking up all the space in cities and polluting the air we breathe in the process.

By Anonymous

I hope the excellent general store will not be affected or can relocate if necessary

By Disgruntled Goat


Your comment doesn’t make sense. One minute you’re saying the streets are being made vibrant, the next they are ugly, yet the road traffic signs are temporary. Not that I want hipster cafes everywhere.

Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been cycle-centric for years. Manchester and the UK haven’t, that’s the point. How else are people going to stop using cars if changes like this don’t happen.

Go to the online consultation if you missed the public one, nobody is stopping you. Isn’t there a Bee Network consultation map?

By Anonymous

Very welcome piece of news! To the point about the council masterplanning land that it doesnt own; this is a framework for the future and its important that the council convey its aspirations to developers and planners.

I welcome the vision: greener, safer streets and enaging with some of the few heritage assets this part of town has – whats not to like?

By Local resident