Parkfield House: former Rochdale council HQ set to be replaced with new housing and care home

Middleton’s old town hall could be demolished to make way for new houses and an 80-bed care home.

Parkfield House, on Manchester Old Road, was the former municipal borough’s HQ  before the local government shake up of 1974 put the town under Rochdale council’s administration.

Later bought by the North West Water Authority, the now vacant building was most recently used as offices for security firm Chubb. It dates to the mid-1960s.

Having stood empty for three years, Muller Property Group has submitted plans to demolish the ‘brutalist’ structure and replace it with 20 two and four-bed town houses, as well as an 80-bed care home.

The building sits within the Old Road conservation area and planning papers say its ‘modern influence’ is reflected in the design of the proposed new scheme.

“The architectural details have been carefully selected for their ability to provide a subtle reference to the existing Parkfield House’s modern, brutalist aesthetic and add visual quality and purpose to the proposed façades,” documents read.

“The distinct features include canted detailing and ribbons, linear concrete bands and grey tones, repetitive opening frequency and feature brick bands and patterns.”

The care home is largely three storeys with an offset fourth floor dedicated to servicing the home, while most homes are a mix of two and three storey.

The original Parkfield House was a country house with formal gardens, built in the late 18th century, also used as Middleton Town Hall for a period it was demolished in 1978.

Papers say the design ‘aims to create a development that compliments and accentuates the character of the site itself and the wider conservation area’.

The alignment of the original Parkfield House coach road has been incorporated to evoke the site’s previous historic significance, while a proposed pedestrian link along the route is also included.

The existing access road to the site will also be kept with the ‘characterful’ stone wall and piers retained.

Other key features include private and communal gardens, the retention of mature trees were possible and step-free pedestrian access to the neighbouring Garden of Remembrance.

A document submitted on behalf of the applicant claims the proposed development would bring a number of ‘‘compelling economic, social and environmental benefits” to the area.

These are said to include ‘the creation of a high-quality care facility for the elderly’, housing which meets a ‘variety of needs and 112 new jobs connected with the care home. The construction of the scheme would also create 89 jobs, according to papers.

“The existing building was constructed in the 1960s and does not provide suitable high quality office accommodation suitable to meet the requirements of modern occupiers,” documents add.

“The proposed development will create jobs and help support the delivery of regeneration proposals in a priority regeneration area and will bring a vacant, derelict, brownfield site back into meaningful use

While a small part of the site sits within ‘open space’, papers says it is inaccessible to members of the public and has never served any recreational function.

“The proposed development includes the provision of high quality landscaped communal open spaces of a greater quantity and quality to the part of the site that is designated as open space.”

The care home would be served by 33 parking spaces – including six for staff – while the new homes have one or two parking spaces, depending on their size. Secure cycle parking would also be provided for each home.

Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission.


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