Aims and Scope
– Updated 12 May 2022 –
AimsOur overall aim is to create a Vision for Chorlton which will
- Ensure Chorlton continues to be a thriving place for people to live, work and visit.
- Strengthen Chorlton’s identity and ensure our offer mirrors our reputation.
- Boost spending in Chorlton, with an added focus on keeping money within the local economy.
The Vision will set out aspirations for the physical look, feel and purpose of the places that make up Chorlton. It focuses principally on the commercial aspects of Chorlton – its shops, bars, restaurants and public services – rather than its housing and where people live.
The Vision aims to embrace the whole of Chorlton, broadly defined as the two wards – Chorlton and Chorlton Park. Our intention is to have a flexible approach and not to be restricted to a tight physical boundary. The main focus area for the project (marked in blue) runs from the bridge over the tramline at the north end of Chorlton, then goes southwards to the shops around the junction of Hardy Lane and Barlow Moor Road. We’ll also take in the commercial areas along Wilbraham Road, as well as Beech Road, Manchester Road and Egerton Road South, all of which have businesses and services used by residents and visitors.
It is clear from our engagement that there are some essential parts of Chorlton that have the greatest potential to transform perceptions, but these are also the areas most in need of attention.
- The Four Banks: the central heart of the commercial area of Chorlton, through which most people pass as they travel around. The area has suffered in recent times, with vacant units, traffic congestion and a lack of general appeal. The proposed cycleway upgrade will see investment and change in the coming year, and it will be important to capitalise on this development to ensure the heart of Chorlton matches the aspirations of the Vision.
- Chorlton Cross Precinct: although still home to some well-patronised shops, the look and feel of the precinct has been falling behind that of competitor shopping areas for a long time. The office spaces and car area are also under-utilised and could make a much more positive contribution to the district centre. The precinct is currently on the market and the Picture House is under threat. Any development plans that emerge should align with the priorities set out in the Vision.
- Wilbraham Road from the Metrolink Station to the Four Banks: the first impressions of people arriving in Chorlton by tram are likely to be coloured by the poor roads and pavements, shabby frontages and illegal parking along this strip of outlets and shops. This essential route into the heart of Chorlton projects a poor image and is hostile to both pedestrians and unsafe for cyclists.
- Chorlton Bus Station: this is a long-neglected arrival point in Chorlton, which creates a poor impression for people approaching from the south or turning into Beech Road. The bus station properties need creative attention to be brought back into use to make this a more vibrant and active travel hub, and attractive gateway to key business areas.
There are many other places that could play a greater role in improving Chorlton, but these are the four which stand out. They are the ones most in need of attention, with the greatest potential to pull up the general look and feel of the district centre. The Vision is for the whole of Chorlton, but its transformation will be held back and its potential constrained unless these four areas are significantly upgraded.