Rochdale moves forward on town centre housing

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing has revealed its initial proposals for College Bank and Lower Falinge, following nine months of consultation with residents of the town centre neighbourhoods.

Currently, College Bank comprises seven blocks containing 750 flats, 715 of which are owned by RBH, a co-owned mutual housing society. RBH proposes retaining three of these, which would be modernised; and replacing the remaining four blocks with new housing of various type.

Public realm improvements would be made, with a focus on improving access to the town centre.

At Lower Falinge, which is dominated by four-storey blocks of flats, the proposals also include some demolition with a wider mix of housing type introduced, along with improvements to play areas, better parking for residents and investment in the retained flats, including new windows and doors. Up to 560 new homes could be built in an area that currently houses around 1,000 people.

Clare Tostevin, director of communities at RBH, said: “We will continue to consult with the local community over the coming months to help shape the plans and ensure that the neighbourhoods meet the needs of local residents now and in the future. We have more consultation events in the pipeline and will also be visiting every resident individually to discuss the proposals with them.”

“We understand that some people have concerns about redevelopment, but we would like to reassure them that we always ensure first and foremost that our residents are looked after.

“If moving becomes necessary, all those affected will be given at least a year’s notice, compensated financially and most importantly, provided with a new, high-quality home that meets their needs. We will work to keep the community together in Rochdale town centre.”

Any tenants and owner-occupiers needing to be moved would be offered a £5,800 compensation package.

In January, RBH announced that architect Levitt Bernstein had been brought in to help develop the plans. GVA is also working with the group, while Curtins carried out an assessment of the College Bank blocks.

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The Seven Sisters are part of Rochdale’s fabric and character. David Bloor would be sad I’m sure.

By Grant Butterworth

I moved in to a bedsit on the 14 floor of the 4th high rise block from the Spotland rd end when new, as the first tennant. My sister moved into the same on the 12th floor. I stayed there for just under a year and then moved on. even at that juncture I had developed the thought that the whole complex would surely go down hill and would inevitably end up as it is now. I consider and always have had the thought that you would only live there if you really had no other choice!…. Knock them down and make something nice like open green park lands. All will benifit and as far as housing those in need, well I’m sure that when they have to, the authorities will find a way forward without taking the path of the least line of resistance as a remedy that ultimately will only partially work and only for long enough for people in general to forget how awful it was to have to live in that awful poverty driven way…. KNOCK EM DOWN!!!

By Graeme

Don Estelle once lived in these flats and played live piano at the Wheatsheaf shopping centre.

By Elephant

Whatever they decide to do the decision has probably already been made anyway. But they keep having these meetings people taking time from work to attend only to find it’s exactly the same as the past god knows how many meetings!!! They’re not telling us anything new! In the mean time they must be saving a fortune on the repairs bill for the flats as only the basic repairs are being done since over a year ago. The cleaning of the communal area’s seem to have gone down hill and i’ve noticed how scruffy the place is getting. People are still paying rent to live here and deserve a full service unless they are willing to reduce our rents. So is it in RBH favour to string the decision out so either people who can afford to leave will get fed up and do so saving the pay out and keeping the housing list down and those who can’t will go where they’re put!!!! Let’s face it are there going to be enough properties to rehouse everyone in the centre or are they planning on people being moved out and unable to return?? Stop with the meetings which are probably just to tick boxes unless you have something new to tell us. It’d just wasting money and time.

By Miss A Kelly

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