Ruth Richardson wrote:

Masterplan for a Rochdale estate

We are working with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to develop a spatial framework for Lower Falinge, a housing estate on the edge of Rochdale town centre.

The neighbourhood is currently characterised by four storey blocks of stacked maisonettes, with no clear fronts or backs to buildings, garage sites and poor quality public realm. The neighbourhood is also segregated from the town centre by St Mary’s Gate – a four lane dual carriageway that acts as a physical barrier for pedestrians and cyclists to access local services, facilities and public transport. Many of the other surrounding roads are also considerably car dominated with very few safe crossing points.

Our masterplan, pictured above, will address these issues. It creates a clearer street hierarchy and more defined urban blocks. The connections between Falinge Park to the north and the town centre to the south have been strengthened with a new green landscaped route which is traffic calmed and safer for pedestrians and cyclists. East to west connections have also been reinstated to improve general permeability through the site. A new central landscaped park is located at the heart of the masterplan, with integrated play offering safer and inclusive spaces for leisure and recreation.

We have designed buildings which front onto St. Mary’s Gate to activate to the street and provide community uses at ground floor level. The footpaths along St. Mary’s Gate will be widened and designated cycle paths created with new safe, shared surface crossing points at key locations which allow easier access to the town centre.