Bury Town Centre Draft Masterplan - Frequently asked questions
Why is a Masterplan required for the town centre?
Bury town centre cannot afford to 'stand still' - people are now more than ever demanding more from their town centres. It cannot just be about a place to shop, especially as more people are choosing to shop online. Instead, a town centre needs to provide a vibrant and diverse mix of uses to attract people who want to visit and enjoy their leisure time in, as well as a place which provides access to key services and amenities. There is also the opportunity for more people to live in the town centre, and to create a place which is well-connected to existing communities, other townships and make it an easier place to get to, by walking, cycling and public transport.
The masterplan can also be used to encourage new investment into Bury - from both private sector investors and developers, as well as attracting more public sector funding into the town, and encourage the delivery of high-quality new development.
Who is bringing these proposals forward?
The Draft Masterplan has been prepared on behalf of Bury Council, recognising that key changes need to happen within Bury Town Centre to ensure that the town centre responds to changing trends, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide a strong town centre for Bury as a borough.
How do these plans reflect the Council's ambitions?
The Draft Masterplan aligns with the Council's 'Let's Do It' Strategy, adopted and emerging Local Planning Policy and the wider regeneration context at a Greater Manchester level.
What is the likely impact on our heritage and cultural assets?
The development proposals have been carefully considered to ensure heritage and cultural assets are treated sensitively. Key development principles have been prepared to encourage development to respond to heritage assets, such as listed buildings, and the Conservation Area. The intention is for the built environment to be enhanced and through appropriate new development and creation of new public realm and spaces, better reflect the heritage assets. This includes the creation of a proposed new Station Square in and around the Castle Armoury site.
How will you make the town centre more accessible?
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are working on proposals for a redeveloped Interchange within the town centre which will provide a better gateway into the town and encourage people to access the town centre by public transport. Within the draft masterplan we have shown indicative proposals to make it easier for walking and cycling and accessing the town centre from nearby communities, as well as making it easier to walk and cycle between key parts of the town centre (such as between the Interchange, Mill Gate and The Rock).
Where will I park in the town centre if you are removing parking spaces?
The draft Masterplan will come forward over a 20-year period and will be carefully managed and phased to ensure minimal disruption for visitors, businesses and residents. A more in-depth car parking strategy will be commissioned to review what car parking is required, how well used it is and, if there is potential to release some of this for new development. At the same time, and before development of surface car parking commences, the intention is to consolidate this parking and create more land efficient multi-storey car parks which will also include mobility hubs providing cycling facilities and electric vehicle charging points.
How will these proposals address climate change?
The draft masterplan sets out key development principles for all proposed development to have regard to. A key development principle is to consider the impact of climate change and considers the design of new buildings, encourages sustainable travel (minimising the use of the private car), providing greener streets, encourages biodiversity and new planting, promotes sustainable urban drainage solutions and will look at ways of encouraging renewable and low carbon energy.
How will the Bury Town Centre Masterplan contribute towards tackling air quality issues in Bury?
Air pollution has been identified as the top environmental risk to human health in the UK. Within Greater Manchester, transport is the major source of air pollution.
A wide range of actions will be required to improve air quality to appropriate levels, and support objectives relating to health and quality places. Many of these actions are beyond the scope of the Bury Town Centre Masterplan, but the primary focus will need to be on transport given its primary contribution to air pollution.
Redevelopment within the town centre will reduce the need for car travel and improved active travel links will encourage residents and visitors to cycle and walk within and to the town centre helping reduce congestion and pollution.
A Clean Air Zone is currently being proposed in Greater Manchester and further information and can found at Clean Air GM.
Who will design the proposals?
The sketches included in the masterplan have been drawn up by the consultants that have developed the masterplan on behalf of the Council. However, these are just for illustrative purposes at this stage in order to give an indication of how the town centre and, in particular, the identified development opportunities could look in the future.
Detailed planning applications would need to be approved before any of the identified sites could be developed and, were this to happen, it is at this stage that the site owners would commission architects to draw up detailed designs. Similarly, it would be up to a site owner to determine who would be used to develop a site.