Plans advanced by Russell Homes for a link road from junction 19 of the M62, which will enable 1,000 homes and 1.5m sq ft of commercial space, have managed to avoid a call-in by the Secretary of State.
The proposals were put forward in a hybrid application last month, with Russells seeking full consent for the road, and outline consent for the rest of the scheme, which will also include a primary school and 20 acres of open space. How Planning is working for Russell Homes.
With the scheme being fully Green Belt, it had attracted opposition locally, and a call-in by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, was widely expected, but with the decision made, Russell Homes and Rochdale Council will move into gear.
The 2.2km road will provide connections for what is described as a sustainable urban extension to Heywood, to be built out over 18 years. It runs from the motorway junction to the employment areas off Pilsworth Road. One of the benefits for the area is that vehicles accessing South Heywood Distribution Park will no longer have to travel through Heywood town centre or up to Simister Island and onto the M66.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is to contribute £10.3m to the project and Highways England has committed a further £1.75m, with Russells meeting the majority of the cost.
According to the developer, the scheme is estimated to be worth £175m per year to the local economy once complete, providing around 2,800 jobs including 2,300 located at a new business park.
Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Rochdale Council, said: “This decision will unlock millions of pounds of Government funding, which will directly benefit our residents by creating thousands of new jobs, high quality homes, transport links and community facilities.”
The link road is expected to be complete by 2020.
Daniel Kershaw, Russell Homes director, said: “This decision is great news for the economic future of this area. The development will, over the next 18 years, see around £400m invested in the delivery of new employment space, homes and community facilities and, crucially, the link road which will unlock all of that potential.”
Although Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has made much of a brownfield-first approach in the city region, this is countered by a desire to promote the boroughs most in need of support, and the Northern Gateway project, which South Heywood effectively forms the first part of, is central to that.
Kershaw continued: “The economic impact of the new route cannot be underestimated. Improving journey times makes South Heywood even more attractive for firms looking around the Manchester motorway network for the best place to locate their operations, and it removes one of the biggest barriers to growth for existing businesses. We have already had significant interest in the space available.
“Now this decision has been reached, we can progress negotiations with occupiers which have the potential to bring many thousands of new jobs to the borough.”
How Planning’s senior partner Richard Woodford told Place North West: “This shows what can be achieved with a bold local authority. Everybody now knows there’s a shortage of employment land around Greater Manchester, and this plugs a short-to-medium term gap ahead of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. If you look at Logistics North in Bolton, they’ve had phenomenal success, because there haven’t been many options.”
The developer will also invest more than £1m into local bus services and new bus stops.
The professional team also includes IBI, Axis, Regeneris, Cushman & Wakefield, Campbell Reith, REC, E3P, Reading Agricultural Consultants and Orion Heritage.