Northern Roots Masterplan Consultation – help shape the vision

Thank you to everyone who came to Northern Roots consultation events in September and to all of you who took the time to explore the initial masterplan proposal for the Northern Roots site online and feedback ideas and concerns.

We asked you to tell us what you think of the initial proposals? What you want to see and do in the proposed Visitor and Learning Centres?  What excites you? What concerns you? What’s missing?

Northern Roots is currently gathering all the feedback you shared with us and will use this to inform a new, revised proposal. The revised masterplan proposal will be shared back to you for further dialogue and consultation in November 2021.

The first stage of consultation on the masterplan proposal has now closed, but you can still view the interactive site map, explore proposals and look at other people’s comments. For next steps, process and timeline, see below.

Northern Roots Site Tours

Northern Roots is running two site tours in October. Your chance to meet the Northern Roots team, walk the site, and learn more about the project and key elements of the masterplan proposal in situ.

The Northern Roots site is 160-acres, so these site tours will focus on the top third of the site and on key proposals including the proposed Visitor Centre, Learning Centre, growing areas, solar array and Bike Hub. We will also be able to share and discuss Northern Roots approach to enhancing habitat, landscape and biodiversity, and plans for carbon capture and green energy generation.

Tours will run on Saturday 9th October, 10am to midday, and Saturday 23rd October, 10am to midday. Places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Full details and FAQS available via Northern Roots Site Tours booking page.

Meet the architect, help design the Visitor and Learning Centres

As part of the plans to transform the 160-acre Northern Roots site into a destination for leisure, enterprise and learning, Northern Roots is proposing to create a Visitor Centre and a Learning Centre. Come and meet architect Alison Thornton-Sykes, from award-winning practice JDDK, and share your most imaginative ideas with us!

We’ll be asking you what you want to do in these buildings? What should they be used for? What should they look like? What kinds of materials and technology should we use to build them? From spaces to perform, learn and relax in, to building with hay bales or creating tree-top walk ways, we want your imagination to run wild so together we can create something exceptional for Oldham.

Saturday 9th October, 1.30-5pm, at Alexandra Park Depot, 5 Kings Road, OL8 2BH. Drop in, public consultation session, all welcome.

This first session will focus on gathering your ideas. We’ll bring some questions, resources and images to get you started, and you can sketch, sculpt using plasticine, doodle or write your ideas on post-it notes. Whatever feels best for you. Everyone is welcome, including kids and young people.

Saturday 23rd October, 1.30-5pm, at Alexandra Park Depot, 5 Kings Road, OL8 2BH. Drop in, public consultation session, all welcome.

During this session,  architect Alison Thornton-Sykes will come back to share some initial building design sketches with you, based on some of the ideas you shared in the first session. You’ll get the opportunity to tell us what you like and don’t like, and share further ideas.  Your ideas and feedback will directly inform the final building design, so we hope you’ll come and get involved.

Please note: the entrance to Alexandra Park Depot is located towards the end of Kings Road just before it meets Honeywell Lane.

Consultation timeline, process & next steps

Stage 1, August to September 2021: Northern Roots shares initial masterplan proposal. Your opportunity to look at the initial  proposal and share feedback on any element. Digital consultation runs for five weeks until the 19th September, supported by consultation events on the 4th and 16th September.

Stage 2, October 2021: During October, Northern Roots gathers consultation feedback and uses it to inform a revised version of the proposed masterplan. This will be shared back to you for further consultation in early November.

Northern Roots site tours run on the 9th and 23rd October, an opportunity for local residents to meet the Northern Roots team, walk the site and discuss key elements of the initial masterplan proposal in situ.

Architect design sessions run on the 9th and 23rd october, an opportunity for local residents to get involved in designing the proposed Visitor and Learning Centres at Northern Roots. Architect shares initial building design proposals for further feedback.

Stage 3, November 2021: Architects share detailed sketch designs for Northern Roots Visitor Centre and Learning Centre and the updated site masterplan proposal. Opportunity to feed back ideas via digital consultation and consultation event (details TBC).

Stage 4, December 2021: Northern Roots shares final proposal for Northern Roots masterplan and buildings.

Stage 5, early 2022: Final Northern Roots masterplan and building designs submitted for planning application. 

How have we arrived at the initial masterplan proposal?

The initial masterplan proposal is the result of three years of ongoing community consultation, and working with experts in ecology, hydrology, business modelling, landscape architecture and green technologies to see what we can and should create on the Northern Roots site.

What stage is the Northern Roots project at?

Northern Roots has secured capital funding to start delivering this vision. Award-winning architects JDDK have been appointed to design the proposed Visitor and Learning Centres and develop a planning application.  We are keen to hear the thoughts of local residents and communities on the masterplan and wider proposals.

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Northern Roots 160-acre site looking towards Oldham town centre.
Alison Thornton-Sykes, architect, JDDK.