Manchester City Council

Newton Heath social housing development marks momentous finalization

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The Council has transformed a previously unused brownfield site overlooking the Rochdale Canal into a vibrant new housing development. The development includes 36 one-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom apartments, 17 two-storey, three-bedroom houses, and 4 three-storey, four-bedroom houses.

Out of these properties, 16 apartments have been specifically allocated to individuals over the age of 55 who are downsizing from larger council properties in Newton Heath and other areas of north Manchester.

The townhouses in the development come equipped with solar panels, new kitchens and bathrooms, spacious gardens, and private driveways with electric charging points. The apartments feature balconies and shared outdoor spaces, while the entire building will be adorned with living walls and green roofs to promote sustainability.

Residents can expect reduced utility costs, thanks to the utilization of Ground Source Heat Pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery in the properties.

These apartments have been constructed according to HAPPI design principles, which prioritize larger internal spaces that can accommodate wheelchair users and provide additional storage. This ensures that the properties can be adapted to suit the needs of the tenants.


Introducing the Neighbours

Christine Durber 

Christine moved into her apartment in Chiffon House in September.

After living in a four-bedroom home in Clayton for 27 years, Christine felt that it was time to downsize. The Council’s right-sizing officer helped her find a new apartment and provided assistance with the move.

“I instantly fell in love with it,” said Christine. “The Council arranged the removal company for me and provided financial support to cover the additional expenses. It made the whole moving process hassle-free.”

Christine’s apartment boasts low carbon specifications, with no gas supply and electric sourced from a ground source heat pump.

“The flat is wonderfully warm, and the bills are significantly lower,” she said. “Previously, I was paying £160 per month, but now it’s around £58. In the summer, when the heating is not required, the costs will decrease even further.”

Christine’s apartment is one of the 16 units reserved for individuals aged 55 and above who are downsizing, and she has experienced numerous benefits since moving in.

“I feel incredibly content here. I sleep better, enjoy the views, and can’t wait to see how they change during the summer. Previously, I relied on my children for shopping, but now I have numerous shops on my doorstep, and I’m becoming more independent by the day.”


Donna Smith

Donna moved into her ground floor apartment in November 2023.

As Donna and her husband’s five children moved out, their large three-bedroom property in Newton Heath became burdensome. Donna, who has been battling arthritis for years, found the stairs and the extensive garden challenging to manage.

The Council offered them a ground floor two-bedroom apartment in the new development.

“I was thrilled to be offered a single-level apartment. We have ample space, and everything is much easier for me,” Donna said.

With everything on one level, Donna no longer has to worry about stairs, and the bathroom is designed as a fully accessible wet room, eliminating the struggle of getting in and out of the bath.


The development has also prioritized the use of local labor, apprentices, and suppliers, contributing to the overall impact of the project. The Council has fostered a close relationship with neighboring organizations, such as Bright Futures nursery, providing support to enhance outdoor spaces and equipment and arranging VIP visits for the nursery children.

This investment is part of Manchester City Council’s commitment to constructing 36,000 new homes by 2032, with 10,000 of them being genuinely affordable for Manchester residents. This supports the goal of ensuring that residents can live safe, happy, and prosperous lives.


Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of the Council, said:

“We are investing in our communities throughout Manchester, with a particular focus on district centers and affordable housing. Through our housing strategy, we have pledged to build 36,000 new homes across the city in the next decade, with at least 10,000 of these being genuinely affordable for our residents.

“In this development, utilizing Council-owned land, we have made sure that every house is available at a social rent, meeting the demand for high-quality affordable homes in this area and ensuring that as many people as possible can access these properties.”


Cllr Gavin White, Executive Member for Housing and Employment, said:

“I have been involved in this development from the very beginning, from the planning stages to witnessing the arrival of the first diggers. This development exemplifies what we aim to achieve with our affordable housing investments.

“Not only are we providing new social housing and supporting residents in transitioning from larger homes to properties that better suit their needs, but we have also revitalized a long-term brownfield site owned by the public. These low carbon homes are energy-efficient, well-insulated, and heated through ground source heat pumps, assisting residents in reducing their energy costs during the current cost-of-living crisis.

“Most importantly, we are not just constructing buildings; we are building a sustainable, content community of individuals who take pride in their homes and love their neighborhood. This is the foundation of successful regeneration.”


David Chilton, Managing Director of Rowlinson, said:

“This development is truly fantastic, built to an enhanced specification that delivers tangible sustainability benefits, pushing the boundaries of responsible and resilient social housing. From the construction process to seeing the residents settle into their new homes, it’s a success story for all the partners involved.”

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