The site is currently home to the existing shopping precinct, the Graeme House office block and a ground-level car park. It is bordered by Barlow Moor Road, Wilbraham Road and Nicolas Road.
As the current layout doesn’t make the best use of the site, we’re proposing to take down all of the existing buildings and replace them with design-led, high-quality new buildings that complement Chorlton’s character.
Our work in pulling together the planning application will look at a whole range of factors including the best site layout, access arrangements, opportunity to create green open spaces and design of the buildings, alongside many other considerations.
Working with award-winning architects, we’ve developed a draft masterplan to transform the shopping centre site.
The draft masterplan for the site includes…
A MIX OF NEW HOMES:
Around 200 new homes for owner occupiers who want to put down roots in Chorlton. There will be a diverse mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, duplexes and townhouses all with outdoor space such as balconies and gardens. Around 20% will be affordable homes, which we will work with a Registered Provider to deliver.
RETAIL SPACES FOR DIVERSE OPERATORS:
A variety of flexible commercial spaces that can become home to a range of operators, from independent retailers to food and drinks enterprises. The layout of these modern, fit for-purpose spaces means the businesses will face outward from the site – helping attract footfall, integrate with nearby existing businesses and create opportunities for outdoor seating.
NEW GREEN SPACES:
New green spaces and increased biodiversity through new planting throughout the neighbourhood. We plan to enhance and create a ‘linear park’ along Barlow Moor Road, with the aim to keep the majority of existing mature trees and create new spaces where people can sit, spend time and connect with the landscape. The neighbourhood’s buildings will sit within planted streets and green spaces, including some raised gardens for residents’ use.
A people, pedestrian-first approach will see streets and outdoors spaces planned to underpin safe movement around the neighbourhood. Vehicle access will be carefully controlled, with Manchester Road closed at the junction with Nicolas Road. This approach will promote sustainable movement, with walkable streets, as well as connections to cycleways and local transport networks including the nearby tram stop.
CHORLTON INSPIRED CHARACTER:
Designs that draw inspiration from Chorlton’s existing architecture and heritage. The neighbourhood will provide a new, but familiar look and feel that complements the distinctive Chorlton character. Our designs take cues from the area, such as the local use of bay windows, extensive brick detailing, the presence of balconies and rich colour palette. We aim to use these elements across the buildings to ensure the neighbourhood sits in harmony with its surroundings.
A ‘stepping-stone’ development that continues to raise the bar of how new buildings can address environmental issues. As well as including green spaces and increasing biodiversity, we plan a fabric-first approach to deliver carbon conscious buildings that reduce emissions. The design is optimised for onsite energy generation through rooftop photovoltaics (solar panels) and heat recovery systems.
CONSIDERED PARKING AND ACCESS:
We are looking closely at parking demand for the development and the existing town centre uses. We will be commissioning new surveys and examining historical data. We don’t want the site to have a negative impact on surrounding streets, so all parking for the site’s residents and their visitors will be provided within the site through a mix of basement car parks and within the plots of the townhouses. A robust strategy for allocating and managing onsite spaces will make sure that the parking needs of different residents are met. Cycle parking for residents, commercial spaces and visitors will be provided, as well as staff car parking and service areas for the retail units.
CONSIDERING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD LAYOUT
We have used the adopted framework and the height of Graeme House as starting point references for our design, trying to improve the layouts where we could.
We have departed from the development framework, which showed buildings right up to the edge of the pavement along Barlow Moor Road. Instead, we have stepped the buildings back. It means we can keep and improve the existing community green spaces and create a ‘linear park’. When combined with the new shops and cafes facing out toward the road, this will really activate the street.
We have also included breaks between the proposed buildings, which step down in height from the tallest being at the ‘gateway corner’ on Nicolas Road. All of these decisions significantly reduce the visual impact of the neighbourhood from the street.
Here’s what to expect over the coming months.