Listening to residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge

Consultation with our local communities is really important to us. Our starting point for looking at the best options for people and place in Rochdale town centre was to speak with the local community. We have sought to be open and honest with residents at every stage. However, we are always keen to learn and do better, so welcome any feedback on additional ways to consult with and support the community.

We know that our huge investment plans mean big change, and we’re here to listen and to provide any advice or support that residents need.  We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to this conversation and these voices have helped to shape our plans. By engaging with residents early on and continuing to share information, we’ve been able to adapt our plans to reflect these views.

It is really important that all voices are heard and that everyone affected has the right to participate in shaping the plans and we will not tolerate aggression or intimidation or trying to shut down voices that represent a range of views, whether at workshops or online.

What we’ve done

  • By June 2017 we had over 300 contacts with residents to shape the proposals.
  • By September 2017 we had visited over 1,000 homes and had face to face conversations with people in over 600 households.
  • Held twice weekly drop in sessions from May 2017.
  • Held 17 workshop sessions.
  • Developed a Residents’ Deal with the community.
  • Held Facebook chats and set up a dedicated website and email contact.

Additional support available

 We know that this process can be worrying, so we’ve put in place additional support for those residents who need it.

  • We’ve undertaken additional home visits when requested.
  • We have had a dedicated point of support for tenants since early 2018.
  • Additional intensive work and support for those households affected by the next immediate phases of development.

What we’ve promised

  • Guaranteed a minimum of one year’s notice for those who need to move.
  • Support for an early move for those residents who have a need to do so.
  • All affected residents will have a choice to stay within the town centre.

Those residents in earlier phases of redevelopment who have chosen to move to a different area have all been able to move to their preferred location – this may have been closer to work or family.

Contacting us

  • We have a dedicated e-mail address (towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk)
  • We have a dedicated website (www.collegebankandlowerfalinge.org.uk) together with dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Residents can also call us on Freephone 0800 027 7769.

We know that there will always be a range of views about proposals of this scale. We will continue to take on board all views, whether positive or critical. Our proposals are about people, not buildings. We think that these plans represent an opportunity to build homes fit for the future – especially for those residents who already live in Lower Falinge and College Bank. We do know, however, that these are people’s homes, and that any plans for demolition are difficult and unsettling for the residents who live in those homes. That’s why we’ve shared information as early as possible, it is why we have always shared information directly with local people first, and why we’ve put in place additional support for those who need it.

We are sad and disappointed that we needed to cut our February consultation workshop short, due to aggressive and abusive behaviour from one individual towards a fellow resident. We welcome all residents to our workshops, regardless of their views on our proposals, but we will not tolerate such behaviour. We’re looking forward to rearranging the workshop so that all residents have the opportunity to attend.