Oldham fleshes out plan for 160-acre Northern Roots
Feedback on an initial masterplan for the eco-park and farm is being sought as the council aims to finalise its vision for the project early next year.
Billed as the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park, Northern Roots spans 160 acres from Alexandra Park, through Snipes Clough to Limehurst.
An interactive map created to showcase Oldham Council’s plans for the project displays what is proposed across the narrow swathe of land.
The vision includes:
- The creation of tracks for walking, cycling and horse-riding
- Glamping pods
- An adventure area with mountain bike track
- A festival field for weddings, markets and other events
- An amphitheatre and performance area
- Pens for livestock and poultry
- Community orchards
- A learning centre
- A swimming and fishing pond
- Solar panel arrays
- A garden centre and market garden
- New sports pitches
- A visitors centre.
Oldham has appointed architect JDDK to design the visitor and learning centres and draw up a planning application for the buildings.
Earlier this year Oldham approved plans for a revamped council depot at Alexandra Park, part of the Northern Roots masterplan. That project was designed by Walker Simpson Architects and features a two-storey office building.
The council’s hopes Northern Roots will become “self-financing in the longer term through a blend of social investment, enterprise, tourism, licensing and commissioning”.
The project is part of Oldham’s efforts to become the “greenest borough in the region” and would be powered using a combination of bio-mass and solar energy.
The council will use part of the £24m it was awarded through the government’s Towns Fund to pay for the scheme.
Local stakeholders are invited to have their say on the plans during an online consultation that runs until 12 September.
An in-person engagement event will also be held at Spindles Shopping Centre on 4 September from 11am until 3pm.
Three further consultation periods will be held before the final plan is approved early next year.