Manchester’s new neighbourhood: vision for 5,000 new homes and park in city centre

The Victoria North project includes a new park - and could eventually see 15,000 new homes created in future.

The first phase of a £51.6m project to create a new neighbourhood near Manchester city centre has been revealed as plans are formally submitted.

The Victoria North development will see up to 5,500 homes built at Red Bank with a new park which will become one of the city’s largest green spaces.

Plans to clear the site, making way for the development, have been submitted with the work to be funded by the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The application submitted by Manchester council includes the demolition of the Creamline Dairies buildings and the removal of invasive trees and plants.

The vision for Victoria North from the Northern Gateway Strategic Regeneration Framework. Credit: Manchester City Council.

It comes more than four years after the Far East Consortium was chosen to develop the Northern Gateway masterplan, now known as Victoria North.

The vision for the area north of Victoria Station is to build 15,000 new homes – of which around a fifth would be affordable – over the next couple of decades.

Manchester councillor Gavin White, who is the executive member for housing and employment, explained the importance of this first phase of the project.

He said: “This is a landmark planning application for Victoria North and will help to unlock the untapped potential of the Red Bank neighbourhood.

“For some decades this part of the city has lain dormant, almost cut off from the rest of Manchester.

“The Housing Infrastructure Funding will open access to the future Red Bank area, which will facilitate 5,500 new homes – including significant affordable housing – and begin the exciting works to bring forward the new City River Park, and the beginning of the wider investment that will deliver 46-hectares of new high-quality green space in the coming years.

“The former Red Bank Carriage Sidings provides 25 acres of brownfield land on the edge of the city centre which can be repurposed for residential uses, meaning that we can continue to provide much needed housing without using greenbelt land.”

Red Bank is one of seven neighbourhoods that make up the Victoria North area – one of the biggest urban renewal projects the city has ever undertaken.

The 25-acre former Red Bank carriage sidings closed for rail use in the late 1980s and has since been blighted by fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

The site is currently inaccessible due to low quality self-seeded, invasive species of trees and vegetation which will be removed as part of the plan.

New trees and plants which are ‘more appropriate’ will be introduced as part of a long-term commitment to developing an attractive, green neighbourhood.

According to the planning application, these initial works are ‘essential’ to meeting the strict requirements and programme for the wider Housing Infrastructure Fund monies which needs to be spent by March 2024.

Further planning applications will be submitted on a phased basis in 2022, seeking permission for the main infrastructure works, improvements to St Catherine’s Wood and the first elements of the City River Park.

These will be followed by applications for residential development.

Public consultation events will take place again in December and they will continue as proposals for the wider neighbourhood are further developed.