Northern Roots: Oldham's plan for the 160-acre Largest Urban Farm & Eco-Park in the UK

Plans have been submitted for a 60-acre portion of the huge green spaces project...

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 24 May 2022

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This week saw Oldham Council officially lodge a planning application for the ‘Northern Roots‘ project which will see a 66-acre site close to Alexandra Park transformed into the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park.

The plans for the eco-park and farm include some rather impressive features, from a state-of-the-art Learning Hub, to a Visitor Centre featuring meeting pods, events space and more. It’ll also include an Amphitheatre and performance area, plus much more…

– A 7,750 sq ft visitor centre with meeting pods and events space
– An 8,700 sq ft learning centre
– A 3,000 sq ft forestry depot
– A 93,000 sq ft solar array
– 66 acres of hard and soft landscaping across the site, including an amphitheatre performance space
– A swimming pond

This 66-acre site is just a part of the proposed 160-acre project, with the remaining 100-acres set for additional planning applications over the coming months. Also included in the project will be glamping pods, an adventure area with a mountain bike track, a festival field for events and pens for livestock and poultry.

The aim is for Northern Roots to attract more than 100,000 visitors a year by 2026, and to “take an under-utilised asset and develop it in such a way to enhance the biodiversity and ecological value of the site.”

The plans also include a swimming and fishing ponda garden centre and market gardennew sports pitchescommunity orchards and a learning centre all on site.

In addition, Northern Roots will also include Oldham Council’s revamped plans for the rather tired Alexandra Park (designed by Walker Simpson Architects).

Northern Roots will use part of the £24m that Oldham was awarded through the government’s Towns Fund, and will aim to progress efforts to become the “greenest borough in the region“.

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