A new planning application has been submitted by the City Council to provide the critical infrastructure that will create the development platform for 5,500 new homes in Red Bank.
The submitted proposals will ready the Red Bank neighbourhood for future residential development – and include 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.
The planning application also seeks approval to build preliminary transport infrastructure, including facilitating a new permanent road and junction into the Red Bank neighbourhood, along with new drainage, street works and utilities infrastructure for the area.
These key infrastructure improvements will pave the way for future planning applications for new homes from the Council’s Joint Venture Partner for Victoria North – Far East Consortium (FEC) – and other third-party developers.
This phase of the Victoria North regeneration programme is being funding through a £51.6m grant award from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), which is being provided to address various infrastructure constraints at the site and support the delivery of up to 5,500 new low carbon homes (across a range tenure types, including affordable housing) in the coming years – while bringing more than 25-acres of brownfield land back into use.
The investment in 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 area is currently characterised by underused brownfield land and invasive species – including Japanese Knotweed – and these works will being the process of removing vegetation, create welcoming and managed routes through the area for walking and cycling, and become a catalyst to clean the River Irk.
The first phase of the City River Park will begin work to transform former railway architecture to develop the new Viaduct Linear Park north of Victoria Train Station, new stepped public realm space (Red Bank Terraces), along with new green space by the River Irk and the key improvements to St Catherine’s Wood.
This investment also looks to create new habitats and attract wildlife back to the Irk Valley. The commitment is to deliver a BioDiversity Net Gain of 10% in this part of the city through a series of linked planning applications relating to infrastructure, green space, river improvements and new residential development.
This application 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.
Victoria North is a joint venture programme between Manchester City Council and developer Far East Consortium (FEC).
Over the next 15 to 20 years, the Victoria North project will deliver more than 15,000 new homes (at least 20% of which will be affordable housing), with each neighbourhood connected by high quality green spaces and 46-hectare City River Park, which will open up and celebrate the Irk River Valley for the first time in decades.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and employment, said:
“The emerging Red Bank neighbourhood will eventually deliver 5,500 new homes across a range of tenures, including affordable housing. It’s fantastic to be out of the starting blocks for this programme of development and it’s a pleasure to see Victoria North beginning to realise its potential.
“This application continues the journey for the Red Bank neighbourhood, unlocking a large swathe of underused brownfield land, readying it for residential development, along with new walking and cycling routes through newly created and revitalised green space.
“The River Irk and St Catherine’s Wood hold a huge amount of potential and have been underused for decades, so it’s great to begin the journey of development that will celebrate this area and bring it into active use."
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig, said:
“There now feels a tangible sense of progress for the Victoria North regeneration programme. 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 46hectares of interconnected green space.
"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."