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Specialist transport and highways planning for pioneering This City housing development

This City | Wates Construction Manchester
Rodney Street web hero 2


Homes in a rapidly expanding area of Manchester


Cycle spaces


Affordable housing provision

Connecting every corner, our transport planning and highways specialists help ensure accessible infrastructure for This City’s landmark scheme.


This City (Developer | Wates Construction (Contractor)



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In a region known for adopting a pioneering approach, This City is a new kind of housing company, owned and run by Manchester City Council (MCC).

This City will boost the number of new homes in the development pipeline across Manchester. Initially MCC will free up its own land for this housing and also finance the schemes directly, beginning with the first site on Rodney Street.

Built by Wates Construction, the main contractor, Rodney Street will welcome 129 new high-quality homes, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom townhouses, that meet the needs of a wide range of people. Of these, 30% of homes are designated for Manchester Living Rent which is capped at the Local Housing Allowance rate.

The overall ambition for This City is to build up to 500 homes a year, making sure growth benefits the people of Manchester, and raising the bar by making good quality housing available to more Mancunians.

Rodney Street is landmark as the first development to be approved by planning for our This City housing company. But it’s also the beginning of the next phase of the Ancoats regeneration story, bringing a brownfield site back into use while delivering much needed new housing in our city centre. “Crucially many of these homes will be affordable to residents on housing benefit and thereby increasing the number of homes available to families on lower incomes.

Cllr Gavin White
Executive member for housing and development, Manchester City Council

The location and context

The Rodney Street site is in a great location within the increasingly popular Ancoats neighbourhood, which has seen lots of regeneration activity in the last few years. It sits on the border with Miles Platting, a friendly and well-established residential neighbourhood.

On the other side of the popular public space at Ancoats Green, the Ancoats Mobility Hub and a new residential development called Eliza Yard on Jersey Street are taking shape — these are exemplary of connected communities, which we’ve also supported with transport consultancy.

It’s an easy walk from Rodney Street to all the local amenities in Ancoats as well as the wider city centre. Public transport via the Metrolink, bus and train are all within easy reach, making this an ideal location for sustainable new homes.

Transport and accessibility

Building sustainable, low carbon homes is a key priority for This City. New homes will be built in sustainable locations where there are a range of local amenities and great public transport links so that living without a car is a genuine option.

A strong emphasis is being placed on active travel, which is why the development will have provision for 128 cycle parking spaces.

For those that require a car though, parking spaces will be available in the Ancoats Mobility Hub, while seven accessible spaces will be provided on-site for the apartments, and each townhouse will have its own parking bay. With these spaces, the parking provision for this development is in line with other recently approved schemes in the local area and also with the local Neighbourhood Development Framework parking strategy. All of the on-site parking spaces will be provided with electric vehicle charging points.

Specialist transport consultancy

Our team has provided support from the feasibility studies taken at RIBA Stage 1 and guided the successful planning application, including advising and finalising a critical stopping up order.

Early in the design process we suggested that a large area of redundant highway, currently used for commuter fly parking, could be “stopped up” as it would pave the way for an increase in the developable area providing more housing and an increased amount of public realm to tie in with the public realm ambitions of the area, especially the planned improvements to Ancoats Green.

Saving green space and streamlining traffic

We helped plans to transform Rodney Street into a greener, more efficient place, one negotiation and clever design at a time.

Instead of sacrificing precious public space for a rarely used turning head, we teamed up with the landscape architect to design a smarter solution. We successfully negotiated for, and designed out, a giant paved area used by rubbish trucks — and only used once a week. Our designs for a small landscaped loading area close to the main road means bins will still be collected, just without such an intrusive feature.

After reviewing the adjacent planning applications, we spotted that a consented scheme nearby required some speed bumps to be relocated via an S278 agreement. These traffic calming features would need to be relocated for a second time once the Rodney Street development was completed, which would be inefficient.

Keen to drive efficiencies and reduce costs for This City, our transport team saw this as an opportunity to play matchmaker. We convinced MCC to hold off on the move until Rodney Street was finished, saving This City from unnecessary planning conditions and double the cost.

With the planning hurdle cleared, we knew time was of the essence to keep our Rodney Street project moving. A key part of this involved fast-tracking negotiations for the stopping up order — a crucial document that leads to the closure of unused sections of streets, making room for the development of the stunning new Rodney Street vision.

We brought MCC, the Department for Transport, and even the utility providers to the table ahead of schedule so there wouldn’t be any delays to the construction programme.

Unlocking Rodney Street: Section 278 agreement

Regenerating Manchester isn't just about new buildings and buzzing streets. Just as important are the meticulous details that weave a city together, ensuring smooth flow and accessibility for all.

This is where the intricacies of the Section 278 technical approval process come into play. For Rodney Street, our highways team are delving deep into the heart of the matter, meticulously crafting solutions for each critical intersection point.

From carving out a seamless access route to the new car park to ensuring Rodney Street's substation hums along undisturbed, no stone is left unturned. Jersey Street's driveway crossings will be meticulously designed, while Wadeford Close receives essential improvements, complete with accessible dropped crossings for disabled parking bays.

Our work will help to create a harmonious urban experience in Ancoats, building an area of Manchester that truly works for everyone.

A landscape with a green edge

The landscape improvements proposed as part of the Rodney Street development have been designed to support the wider vision for the surrounding area set out in the Ancoats Poland Street Zone Public Realm Strategy, complementing Ancoats Green and providing pedestrian routes between Ancoats and Miles Platting.

The tree belt along the eastern side of the site will largely be retained and will benefit from additional planting and a new footpath through the landscape.

Related specialisms

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Addressing the impacts of climate change on developments by harnessing the benefits of sustainable drainage systems as a real-world environmental solution.

Fire Safety

Safeguarding communities, businesses and assets, through pragmatic design solutions and managing the risk of fire in the built environment.

A regeneration story 20 years in the making

A vibrant new chapter unfolds in Manchester's heart, where history and innovation intertwine. Ancoats Phase 3 is the last piece of a 20-year puzzle; the seed of a thriving future.

This grand finale is weaving together 1,500 homes with leafy green spaces, seamless movement for pedestrians and cyclists, and a pioneering Mobility Hub that redefines urban living, providing off-site parking for a number of residential units, cycle hub, car hire, parcel delivery hub and several ground floor commercial units.

Photos courtesy of Buttress

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