Russell Homes secures approval for £400m South Heywood Masterplan

Planning approval has been resolved to be granted for a major development in South Heywood, which is set to double the number of local jobs, improve accessibility to the M62, and provide a range of new family homes and community facilities. Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council gave the green light to Russell Homes’ hybrid application at a committee meeting on Thursday for a new sustainable urban extension to Heywood.

The 18-year South Heywood Masterplan involves the creation of a new 2.2km link road from Junction 19 of the M62 motorway to the employment areas off Pilsworth Road, providing a direct route to the main employment areas of South Heywood, saving existing businesses some 4,700km road miles a day. This new route will unlock more than 1.45million sq ft of new Grade A commercial space.

Russell Homes will fund the majority of the link road costs, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority having agreed to allocate £10.3m and Highways England £1.75m.

The masterplan will also provide up to 1,000 new family homes, including affordable houses, a new primary school, and a new village retail centre, improved public transport provision, and extensive public open space across the 130-hectares site, and secures investments for enhanced local sports facilities.

It is estimated the development will generate £175million a year for the economy and bring more than 2,850 full-time new jobs to the area. Around 2,400 of those will come from businesses moving into the new commercial premises and retail space, with a further 180 to 370 per year during the construction phase.

The application was supported by a number of existing local businesses, across the several business parks in the area, with many identifying the benefits the scheme will have for them. This includes improving their competiveness, reducing operating costs and vehicle emissions, and providing new opportunities for job creation.

Daniel Kershaw, Russell Homes director, said:

“The South Heywood Masterplan unlocks enormous potential for Heywood and the borough, providing the infrastructure and commercial space to create thousands of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy.

“It recognises the area’s popularity for manufacturing and logistics businesses and removes the two biggest barriers to growth in those sectors – accessibility and available premises. It will benefit existing businesses and allow many more to locate here, indeed we have already had indications of strong interest in the new commercial space. The link road is the key to all of that, and has formed the foundation around which the rest of the plan has developed.

“To support these new jobs, and provide the variety of homes the borough needs, the plan also involves new homes, a school, a new village centre and public open space, thereby creating a sustainable community, which also benefits existing local residents.

“It is a forward-thinking, long term strategic vision that has been several years in the making, and improves prospects for people living and working in the area. We are therefore extremely pleased that the planning committee has supported that vision and approved the application.”

The Planning Committee voted to approve the full planning permission for the link road, with works anticipated to start in Spring 2019, while the rest of the plan received outline planning permission. Due to its scale, this hybrid application will now be referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Savid Javid.

Russell Homes has received design and planning support for the South Heywood application from HOW Planning and IBI Group, and technical advice from Axis, Regeneris, Cushman and Wakefield, Campbell Reith, REC, E3P, Reading Agricultural Consultants, and Orion Heritage.