Artist's impression of the Hollinwood Development. Red indicates existing buildings, blue shows possible new buildings and pale blue shows the suggested water feature. (Picture courtesy of Roger Tym and Partners)
Re-development of Hollinwood
Oldham Council is hoping to see a major re-development of the area of Hollinwood between Roman Road, Mersey Road North, Oldham Road and the M60. This is the area around Albert Street and includes the former gas works site.
The council would like to see a co-ordinated master plan for this area, which is being referred to as Hollinwood Business District, rather than a piecemeal development of individual plots of land. This has the potential to create a stunning and attractive result which will re-vitalise this area of Oldham.
The council has engaged Roger Tym and Partners as consultants to come up with proposals for the type of scheme which could be appropriate for the area. We are very pleased that the consultants have taken into account that the line of the Hollinwood Canal runs through the middle of the site and that there is the potential for future restoration.
The suggested layout includes creating a linear shallow water feature based on the proposed line for re-opening the canal. This line takes into account the proposed diversion to avoid houses on the original canal line and the proposal to create a link to the Rochdale Canal.
The inclusion of the "water feature" is important for the future of the canal as it protects a route through the development which could be used as the route of the canal at some point in the future as and when funding becomes available.
Artist's impression of the Hollinwood Development, looking from Roman Road along Albert Street. (Picture courtesy of Roger Tym and Partners)
The suggested scheme puts Albert Mill (now Hollinwood Business Centre) in the centre of an oval-shaped park, surrounded by low-rise offices.
The water feature would sweep through the site in big curves, with arms that could be used for mooring areas on a restored canal. The water feature continues to the north of the A62 Oldham Road. It could be on a lower level here, as a lock would be necessary to take the future canal down under the A62. This would be the first stage of the proposed link to the Rochdale Canal.
The suggestions for the Hollinwood Business District were presented in public consultation sessions and accepted in priciple by Oldham Council in December 2006.
Since then the scheme has been affected by the recession and has made no progress. The Society will be watching out when the economic climate improves again to see whether alternative schemes are proposed for this area, as it is important to have some form of route for the canal safeguarded through the development.