Princes Gate Oldhgam p.Oldham Council

Lidl would have delivered a 28,560 sq ft store and a 68-bedroom hotel. Credit: via Oldham Council

Oldham goes back to the drawing board at Prince’s Gate  

The council will next week terminate an agreement with Lidl that would have seen the supermarket giant deliver a food store and a hotel on a plot next to Oldham Mumps Metrolink stop.

Oldham Council agreed terms with Lidl in 2019 after M&S, which had planned to build a store at Princes Gate, pulled out in 2016. 

Under the terms of the conditional agreement, Lidl would have delivered a 28,560 sq ft store and a 68-bedroom hotel for a national chain. 

However, Oldham is looking at new possibilities for the site at Prince’s Gate after talks between Lidl and the hotel operator broke down. 

Under the terms of the contract between the council and Lidl, the entire project needed to be delivered in full. 

A statement from Oldham Council said: “Since the Covid pandemic, the hotel hospitality sector has been particularly hard hit for new locations with many operators now concentrating on their existing sites rather than expanding into new developments.”  

A decision to terminate the contract is set to be approved at Oldham Council’s cabinet meeting on Monday 23 January. 

Oldham Council said it is “reviewing options” for the site and will announce shortly its preferred uses and re-marketing timescale.  

“We are obviously extremely disappointed by the outcome of the situation,” said Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of the council. 

“I want to reassure people that we are continuing to work hard to deliver a positive outcome at the Prince’s Gate site, and we aim to turn our focus now into making this a positive opportunity for the land.  

“Unfortunately, global events out of our control have affected the hotel market to such an extent, that they have told us this is no longer viable for them, given how hard they have been hit financially over recent years.” 

Future uses for the site will be assessed against plans for the wider regeneration of Oldham town centre, including the overhaul of Spindles shopping centre and the redevelopment of a clutch of key sites totalling 24 acres in the town centre that are earmarked for 2,000 homes. 

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Should just turn the land into an indoor sports facility to give people a reason to get on the tram to go through Oldham.

By Adam Smith

The more important question is, where has the £3.3 million gone that’s been wasted on consultancy fees between 2019 and now?
Heads should roll from the very top downwards within the council.

By Jay bee

The real point is that investors and developers do not see any viability in any development in Oldham, there is little confidence in the council or many of the officers. There is simply no real vision for the borough unlike the strategies that Rochdale and Bury are currently pursuing, they are the towns that will attract the available investment.

By Anonymous

Right next to a tram stop and the best they can come up with is a supermarket and hotel! Surely this should be high density mixed use development… supermarket can be integrated into the ground level, if necessary. Brownfield site in an accessible location – should maximise housing provision!

By Anonymous

Oldham has never recovered from losing Sean Fielding, a visionary for the town, with real ambition. Oldhamers deserve what they get when they throw out the best leader that they have ever had, and replace him with the current bunch . My hometown is an embarrassment. It should be riding on Manchester tails and instead there is nothing being built and nobody is investing. The immense creative talent from Oldham, certainly doesn’t stretch to the Civic centre.

By Elephant

In response to the two points made about the metro link stop, there is a mounting reluctance to use the metro except in the rush hours when the tram and station are full and people feel safer with potential help at hand. There are increasing reports of muggings and threatening behaviour both at quiet tram stops and on the tram itself particularly at nights and in the quiet times of day. Oldham Police say they will put more surveillance on but there is a limit to their resources. For places like Oldham and others the metro link is turning out not to be the golden calf that it was trumpeted as, the places you can access using it are limited, the car will continue to be king in the future whether electric or hydrogen powered. In my view it does not assist this site much and may even be a drawback.

By P. J. W.

I can agree with everything Elephant says except about Sean Fielding. When Labour realised his seat was at risk just before the local elections, pressure was applied to have the greenfield site at Woodhouses in his ward for over 200 houses to be removed from PfE / GMSF and that was done. The same happened in Royton North at green sites on Thornham Lane and Hanging Chadder. It did not help Labour as they lost both seats. OK, I agree with what others say that these were not the best placed green sites to use anyway and there are others much better placed, but if Oldham is to retain the people who make it in life in the Borough and attract others from outside the borough they will have to make use of nicely located green sites to provide the necessary attractive family housing and industry. If Sean Fielding was the man you claim he would have argued that point for the site in his ward. That’s the issue with Oldham, many people in the Civic centre are acting for their own interests and not those of the greater population.

By A. R.

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