Agenda item

Agenda item

Gorton District Centre Development Framework

Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached


The Executive considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which provided an update on the on the future plans to regenerate Gorton District Centre and the outcome of the public consultation that had informed it.


The Executive Member for Growth and Development reported that the Development Framework was being prepared to guide future regeneration and redevelopment in the District Centre.  This included, but was not limited to, long-term aspirations to maximise the potential of the centre through creating a more attractive environment that was more comfortable for residents/visitors to dwell in, extending the periods of activity of residents and visitors within the centre, beyond the traditional Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, encouraging more diversity through an increased provision of commercial offers and opportunities to deliver 400 new homes on brownfield land with a mixed tenure approach that matches local housing demand.


Consultation with thirty local businesses was carried out October 2022 and a public consultation was held online from 9 December 2022 to 6 January 2023.  Overall, the consultation feedback was very much supportive of the objectives for the Gorton district centre.


92% of responses supported the objective of creating a more attractive environment that was comfortable to spend time in. Several respondents felt that the indoor market, as an asset to Gorton, had a good selection of stalls, but that the exterior of the building was unwelcoming and needed improvement. The wider commercial offer was noted to be limited by available space and that a diversified retail offer was welcomed.


87.5% of responses were supportive of extending periods of activity with a particular aspiration for new uses during evenings and at weekends and supported the diversification of uses that would appeal to different communities and age groups with reference to a lack of space for younger people.  81.6% of respondents supported making the centre more accessible by walking and cycling, especially through the improvement of non-car dominated connections north to the surrounding housing estates, south to Sunny Brow Park and west to Debdale Park. Additional comments were made in support of safer road crossings and cycle lanes, especially when crossing Hyde Road and accessing the new Gorton Hub.  Furthermore, 87.5% of respondents supported the objective to make the centre greener, with comments regarding aspirations for new tree planting.


Following this feedback a number of amendments had been made to the draft Framework:-


·                     Early engagement indicated strong community feeling regarding any plans for the redevelopment of the existing gymnastics site. Amendments had been made within the document that any redevelopment would be subject to identification and delivery of a new futureproofed facility.


·                     Aspirations were very clear about the ability for the redevelopment of the town centre to unlock opportunities to walk and cycle as appose to drive. Strong linear connections to the adjacent neighbourhoods had been incorporated, footpaths had been widened and Garratt Way now included a best-in-class segregated cycle way.


·                     Along with better pedestrian crossings across highways, the carriageway width on surrounding secondary roads had been narrowed. Improved lighting on all existing and new footpaths will improve perceptions along with improvements to the market frontage providing natural surveillance.


·                     Respondents agreed with the principle of promoting the historical Garratt Way as the new focus of the town centre and the framework proposes a new town square, reconnecting the indoor market back and providing opportunities for an outdoor makers market or facilitation of community events.


·                     It was also recognised that Gorton was well connected to the local public transport network yet the town centre currently felt disconnected to the nearest station. Improvements had been proposed to the public realm from Chapman Street along with new development investment to animate uses and build density running towards the new town square.


The feedback, engagement with stakeholders and local businesses had been invaluable in informing the formation of the future plans for Gorton District Centre. The interventions and future development opportunities outlined in the proposed framework would guide future investment in Gorton. And would provide a town centre that met the local community aspirations along with unlocking opportunities for new homes and employment.


Councillor Reid (Ward Councillor) addressed the Executive, stating her complete support for the long-term aspirations for Gorton District Centre, recognising that investment and improvement had been long overdue.




The Executive:-


(1)          Note the outcome of the results of the public consultation on the Development Framework Gorton District Centre.


(2)          Approve the Development Framework for Gorton District Centre and request that Planning and Highways Committee take the Development Framework into account as a material consideration when considering planning applications with Gorton District Centre.

Supporting documents: