Red Bank: plans for new park & 5,500 homes progress as estate to be demolished in Manchester city centre

The scheme is part of the wider Victoria North project which will see 15,000 new homes built on the edge of the city centre over the next 20 years.

A major regeneration of land north of Victoria Station which will see new neighbourhoods and a ‘river park’ created near Manchester city centre is moving forward – but compulsory purchase order powers might be required.

Proposal would prepare land in the Red Bank area, create new green spaces on the banks of the River Irk and revitalise St Catherine’s Wood.

The planning application is part of the first phase of a new neighbourhood with 5,500 homes, a park and the transformation of former railway architecture.

These plans are part of the wider Victoria North project which will see around 15,000 new homes built on the edge of the city centre over the next 20 years.

Manchester city council has joined forces with the Far East Consortium to deliver the scheme which will also see 274 new properties built in Collyhurst Village.

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But this part of the major development will require demolishing 29 residential properties – mostly council homes – and a village store at an existing estate.

The town hall is now preparing to use Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to acquire some of these properties ‘as a contingency measure’.

What has been said about the project?

City council leader Bev Craig said the latest application creates a ‘tangible sense of progress’ for the Victoria North regeneration programme.

She said: “This application takes the proposals for Red Bank – and the City River Park – from ideas to reality and will begin the journey over the next two decades to completely transform this part of our city.

“What is currently underused brownfield and unmanaged, unwelcoming scrub land will become attractive green neighbourhoods, 15,000 new homes and 46 hectares of interconnected green space.

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Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig

“This is a long-term, aspirational programme of regeneration – and represents exactly the type of vision we should be striving for in our city to meet demand for new housing, many of which will be social and genuinely affordable homes while creating sustainable and attractive neighbourhoods.

“It’s brilliant to see this ambition begin to come to life.”

What else is needed?

The submitted proposals will ready the Red Bank neighbourhood for future residential development – including land remediation, earthworks and change in site levels – and begin the major investment of new green spaces on the banks of the River Irk, while also revitalising the existing St Catherine’s Wood.

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The application also seeks approval for preliminary transport infrastructure, including facilitating a new permanent road and junction into the Red Bank neighbourhood, along with drainage, street works and utilities for the area.

These infrastructure works, funded through a £51.6m grant from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, will pave the way for the new neighbourhood, bringing more than 25-acres of brownfield land back into use.

Red Bank Victoria North planning application. Credit: Manchester City Council / Far East Consortium.

This is part of the first phase of a long-term investment to create the City River Park, which will eventually link Red Bank close to the city centre to Queens Park in Collyhurst through interconnected, high-quality green spaces.

The latest proposal follows an initial planning application in November 2021 that approved the start of enabling works at the Red Bank site, including the removal of invasive trees and vegetation, the creation of a temporary haul road, and the demolition of the former Creamline Dairies buildings.

Manchester city council’s executive will meet on Wednesday (16 March) to approve plans to use CPO powers to progress part of the development.

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Tenants and owner-occupiers who are displaced as part of the Collyhurst Village development will be prioritised for relocation to another council home.

The council ‘remains committed’ to buying properties which are privately owned ‘through negotiation wherever possible’, according to a report.