Many a day I've spent a couple of hours pottering around Rochdale train station - waiting for a Sunday Rail Replacement bus back home - wondering; "What the hell am I doing here?"
Well, plans have been drawn up for a major redevelopment of the land around the stations in Rochdale, Castleton, Smithy Bridge, Littleborough and Mills Hill - which will likely be great news to the people making millions of journeys through them per year.
The plans look set to create 7,000 new homes, 2.5m sq ft of commercial space and an £11m cycle corridor - all with the aim to increase connectivity and boost the local economy.
Here's what's planned...
- 1,500 new homes around Rochdale Station, catering for 3,500 people
- 43,000 sq ft of new retail and commercial space around RochdaleStation
- 26,000 sq ft of offices or managed workspace around Rochdale Station
- A new public square at Rochdale Station
- 1,500 new homes around Castleton Station
- Extending the Met to Bury and Heywood via Castleton
- An £11m cycle corridor connecting Castleton to Rochdale
The plans also include development around a potential sixth railway station in the borough, which would be Slattocks in Middleton, proposals for which form part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s 2040 strategy.
Cllr John Blundell, Rochdale’s cabinet member for economy, business and skills, said: “The land around our railway stations has huge potential for regeneration because you’re putting people close to the transport connections and local facilities that you need to create sustainable neighbourhoods.
“Rochdale’s incredible connectivity, with five railway stations, and a sixth on the cards, puts us in unrivalled position to repurpose brownfield sites along the Calder valley corridor to unlock thousands of new homes a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre, for a fraction of the price.”