We’re looking for a delivery partner for our plans

This week we are launching the search for a delivery partner to help us to complete our ambitious plans for the Rochdale town centre neighbourhoods of College Bank and Lower Falinge.

Our plans represent a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a transformed neighbourhood for current residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge, for their children, and for future residents. We know we can’t deliver this on our own, which is why we’re looking for a partner who not only has the expertise and experience to succeed, but also shares this vision, to work together with us and with the local community to make College Bank and Lower Falinge great places to grow up, grow a career, and grow older.

Our proposals have been shaped by over two years of engagement with those who live and work in the area, and hundreds of responses have been received via a wide range of consultation methods, including drop-in workshops, exhibitions, and online feedback. We’ve also visited every household affected to discuss the proposals.

Our new delivery partner will bring in additional expertise and help to deliver RBH’s long-term masterplan. This includes significant investment in existing retained homes in College Bank and Lower Falinge, as well as new high quality homes, new and upgraded public and green spaces, and brand new community facilities.

We have already delivered 45 brand new homes in Lower Falinge, and these homes have had great feedback from their new tenants. Work is now underway to create a further 55 new high-quality houses and flats for affordable rent at the heart of Lower Falinge, replacing five existing blocks of 1960s flats. We’re pleased to report that we have now supported all residents within these blocks into a new home, and all residents were able to secure a home in their area of choice. It is pleasing that more than half chose to stay within the town centre area.

This investment in College Bank and Lower Falinge is part of the wider transformation of the town centre and RBH hopes that the new homes together with the new shopping and leisure facilities mean that even more people will choose to live in the town centre as these plans are delivered.

This marks an important milestone in the regeneration process and signifies RBH’s long-term commitment to providing the right mix, quality and choice of homes in central Rochdale. The partner selection process is anticipated to run until late 2019.

A statement regarding recent social media posts

Over the last few months, a small number of individuals on social media have made inaccurate and misleading comments about our proposals for Rochdale town centre. They have also made personal and untrue comments about RBH members and employees. Although we have repeatedly tried to engage constructively, we have reluctantly decided to seek legal advice to respond to these comments.

Our proposals for College Bank and Lower Falinge are about building a brighter future for residents who currently live in these neighbourhoods, and for future generations who choose to live there in the years to come. Our proposals are about people, not about bricks and mortar.

Nonetheless, we understand that these proposals are very unsettling for many of those residents who are affected. We are doing everything that we can to provide support and information to those residents. Our door is always open for residents who want to talk to us.

We also recognise that with proposals of this scale, not everyone will agree with our approach. We welcome comments on our proposals – both positive and negative – and we have always tried to take all comments on board as we work together with the local community to develop the plans.

We are aware, however, of a small number of individuals who have chosen to make comments about our proposals which are wrong, inaccurate, and misleading. These comments are not in anyone’s interest, and they have caused undue distress to some residents at what we know is already a worrying and unsettling time for them.

Our door is always open and we have tried (and will continue to try) to constructively engage with everyone. However, we will not hesitate to challenge comments which are quite simply incorrect and untrue.

We’re very grateful to all the local residents who have worked together with us to develop these proposals, including over 400 attendees at our workshops and the 800 households who have spoken to us during home visits, as well as those who have taken part in our online consultation and come along to our weekly drop-in sessions.