Closure of Melrose Play Area

We have had to make the difficult decision to close the Melrose play area in order to protect the safety of residents and workers on the adjacent demolition site. These measures have been implemented with immediate effect due to recent serious anti-social behaviour in and around the vicinity of the play area.

The new RBH kick pitch located at Toad Lane will continue to be available for the community to use and there are also the fantastic play facilities available within Falinge Park.

The footpaths around the play area will mostly remain open; however, there may be some temporary diversions in place to protect the public from moving machinery and vehicles. Any such diversions will be clearly signposted.

We have hand delivered a letter to all residents in the neighbourhood so that they are aware of the closure.

Next steps for Mitchell Hey

In the summer of 2017, RBH set out long term proposals for improving the quality and mix of homes in the College Bank and Lower Falinge neighbourhoods. These proposals included some homes which would be demolished as part of the redevelopment.

On 26th March this year, we visited everybody in College Bank whose home is affected by these proposals to deliver a legal notice called an Initial Demolition Notice.

Mitchell Hey is the first phase of re-development at College Bank and we have already started conversations with residents in this block to discuss their rehousing needs and preferences and any support they may need to move home. A number of residents have told us that they would like to have written confirmation from RBH that we are now starting the rehousing process for residents in Mitchell Hey.

As a result of these requests from residents, this week we have sent a letter to all RBH tenants in Mitchell Hey providing this written confirmation that we have started the rehousing process in this block.

We understand that how much time residents need to move home will vary from household to household; some people will prefer to move sooner and won’t need a full year, and others will need the whole of this time. We recognise that people affected will need different levels and types of support at different times and we will make every effort to help and support them.

We know that this is an unsettling time for many residents and we are committed to offering personalised support to any residents who need it. Our dedicated project managers, Syed Hussain and Michelle Kelly, are on hand. You can contact Syed and Michelle on towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk or by calling Freephone 0800 027 7769 (option 7).

Lower Falinge residents supported into new homes

We are pleased to confirm that all residents included in the latest phase of redevelopment in Lower Falinge have now successfully moved to new homes.

All residents in the affected blocks have now moved to a home that meets their individual needs and requirements in the area of their choice. We have guaranteed that all residents who need to move as part of the redevelopment who wish to stay in the town centre will be able to do so, and more than half have chosen to do so.

We are really pleased that all residents from the blocks included in this phase of the redevelopment have now been supported to move. We are particularly pleased that all those residents who wanted to remain in the town centre area were able to do so, in line with our promise to the local community.

RBH team members provided one-to-one support for each household right through the process and we have had some lovely feedback about how moves to new homes have helped to support a better quality of life.

The next stage in Lower Falinge will see the completion of 55 brand new homes, comprising 33 one and two bedroom flats and 22 two and three bedroom houses, together with a new park and play space to provide a new “green heart” at the centre of Lower Falinge. This new green area will provide improved public open space for both new and existing residents, and better connections and routes through the neighbourhood.

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.