Hundreds of ‘high quality’ new homes planned for site of mill that burned down 20 years ago

Reporter: Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 20 July 2021

More than 300 ‘high quality’ new homes are planned for the site of an old cotton mill that burned down over 20 years ago.

Developer Kellen Homes Ltd has submitted full plans for the former Rex Mill site in Middleton.

The proposals would see 330 houses – ranging from one-bed mews properties to large detached properties – built on a 30-acre piece of land off Don Street.

Planning documents say that ‘the location of the site represents an opportunity to create a well-designed, high-quality residential development’. 

The River Irk will run through the heart of the development, which the applicant says has been designed to ‘complement the surrounding area, create local identity and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Documents add that this would have a ‘positive’ impact on the area, ‘‘in filling the space between existing estates and nearby open spaces’.

And it is claimed the scheme would deliver ‘considerable benefits in the form of a range of different tenure types.

Just over a third of the homes would be ‘affordable’, with the rest split roughly equally between houses for market-rate sale and private rent.

The estate has been designed to create a ‘pleasant, low-traffic environment’, preserving ‘existing site features such as trees and hedges in order to screen the development’ from neighbouring residential areas.

And it would be split into four distinct ‘character areas’, which include:

Green Edge – Featuring a ‘diverse mix’ of properties overlooking the denser, wooded parts of the estate.

Riverside – Almost exclusively semi-detached, this creates a ‘consistent visual style’ across the river-front.

The Lanes – The centre of the development, made up of higher density dwellings, including semis and mews-style properties.

Boulevard – This follows the spine road east-to-west through the estate. It features generally larger houses typified by their ‘generous frontages’.

The layout of the estate has also been drawn up to ‘design out crime’, with all public areas created within the development overlooked by houses.

Every house within the estate would enjoy ‘adequate private family gardens as well as their own ‘designated off-street’ parking space.

Some 717 spaces are proposed for the development in total.

Planning documents also note that the area is well-served by public transport and that eateries, pharmacies, shops and religious establishments are all within 1km of the site.

The design and access statement reads: “Due to the site’s close proximity to services and public transport, reliance on the private car will be reduced, which can only have a positive impact on the environment."

However, it is further noted that Middleton has ‘excellent access to the rest of Greater Manchester area and the north via the M62 and M60’.

Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission in due course.

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