Middleton masterplan p.Rochdale Council

The masterplan features various development opportunities in the town. Credit: via Rochdale Council

Rochdale progresses Middleton regeneration vision

A four-week consultation will be held to gather the public’s views on future development in the town after the council endorsed a masterplan drawn up by LDA Design, Aspinall Verdi and Civic Engineers. 

The Middleton Town Centre Masterplan aims to guide regeneration in the Rochdale town. The framework identifies a raft of development opportunities across several key sites including Warwick Mill, the area around Limefield Park, and Middleton Shopping Centre.

The shopping centre has been earmarked as a possible location for a new Metrolink station in the town. GM Mayor Andy Burnham told Place North West last year that connecting Middleton to the Metrolink network was high up on his priority list.

Opportunities put forward within the masterplan include a 120,000 sq ft residential-led, mixed-use scheme on land between Eastway and Wood Street, and a 100,000 sq ft office-led development on the site of the town’s former post office and police station. 

“The council has already done a lot of work in the town over the past decade but the Middleton masterplan outlines ideas about how it might evolve towards an even more attractive, accessible and sustainable destination for visitors,” said Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for economy and regeneration for Rochdale Council.

“It will also serve to improve the lives of local residents, making it a place which is even more enjoyable to live in as we celebrate the community, culture and the natural environment the town has.”

Warwick Mill is one of the key housing sites identified in the masterplan. Credit: via WSP

The grade two-listed Warwick Mill has been identified in the masterplan as a key site and a consultation on Kam Lei Fong’s plans to convert it into apartments is due to begin later this year. 

The mill’s owner teased early stage proposals for the overhaul of the building earlier this year and has since appointed WSP as planning consultant and GMA Architects to lead on design. 

The plans feature the demolition of the adjacent London House and the creation of homes and ground floor commercial space within the mill building. 

A spokesman for Kam Lei Fong, said: “Warwick Mill represents a fantastic opportunity to create a high-quality development that can bring investment, new homes and opportunities to Middleton.  

“We are grateful for the support and collaboration the council and consultees have offered, and are confident that we have a scheme that can play a key role in the regeneration and future growth of the town.” 

They added: “This is an important part of the levelling up agenda in Greater Manchester and bringing development and opportunity to those important towns that support the city core”. 

Your Comments

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where will we be able to see the planed develpment as the plan last night was not visable

By B Hamer

The last thing I want in Middleton is a metrolink. All it will do is draw all the business out of an already dying town centre and import more anti social behaviour from parts abroad.

By Omen

@omen you think metrolink drives away business?

By Levelling Up Manager

What about Tonge Hall? A beautiful but sadly in a poor state of disrepair 16th century timber framed building. It would be a great asset to the heritage of Middleton. It is just outside of the centre. Any news on this??

By Jen W

Where will people do their shopping if the Arndale is demolished. I suppose you will change the towns name to Tescotown which will have a monopoly position and you know what happens when there is little or no opposition prices go up. No one will come to Middleton to shop or do business. The proposed trams will only travel one way. Out of the town.

By Anonymous

Why should the people of Middleton put up with what people who don’t live in Middleton decide what should be good for Middleton

By Anonymous

Middleton has always had potential. It has some nice residential areas and the town centre has everything you need.

By Elephant

Some real “woe is me” comments in here

By Anonymous

Interesting in how people see the world 180 degrees different. Metrolink turns up that means Middletonians get better access to higher paying jobs in Manchester, and in reverse it becomes a more attractive place for higher wage workers to live I.e. those people with higher wages to spend in shops, higher skills that attract employers, and maybe higher aspirations, so that when their kids go into the state education system they are quite demanding. Get the tram, then densify the town centre and it will start to turn around. Then the complaint will be how Metrolink gentrified Middleton. We are so screwed up.

By Rich X

So we shouldn’t build the Metro out to anywhere because it will only mean people will leave to shop elsewhere? Oh those pesky roads…why didn’t we think of this before! Maybe we could have some sort of toll bar across them and charge people who want to travel…..What’s that you say? It’s been done before!…is there anything new under the sun at all!!…. Oh…working from home and Amazon…great….Get me the Mayor.

By Charles in Charge

@levelling up manager go and have a look around droylsden and see first hand what the installation of the tram has done first hand. It’s still a ghost town and the tran was completed there 5 years ago it used to be bustling but this process killed many small local businesses

By Uncle bob

The problem is that Middleton should never have been incorporated into Rochdale following local government reorganisation; they have nothing in common and have suffered a lack of investment. It would have made more sense to join up with Manchester as many residents are Mancunians.

By Anonymous

This thread is deja vu for me growing up in 1970’s Rochdale, but having most of my relative’s in Middleton, who incessantly complained about the 1974 local government reorganisation. I’d make the general observation that all the boroughs of GM seem to have at least one satellite town that feels neglected and unloved, Radcliffe, Failsworth, Heywood etc… The thread comment that they wished they’d joined Manchester misses something quite important. If you zoom out on the map you often find these places somewhat stranded by green belt. Their main problem is they are sub-scale, and that starves them of good transit, retail, leisure etc.. they should be able to agglomerate with either Manchester, Rochdale or both, this reality is what the tram is looking to fix. Middleton also got some big public housing from Manchester slum clearance – nothing wrong with that, but to go back to the green belt question, if you can use land for that, you can use also it for stuff that directly adds to the towns wealth. Atom Valley is seeking to do that.

By Rich X

I think this is a fantastic idea. Middleton needs money investing into it and making use of the old building rather than building on our green belt.

By Anonymous

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