Construction of a new rooftop park above Stockport Interchange – the redevelopment of the former bus station by Transport for Greater Manchester and Stockport Council – has reached its next milestone with the planting of the park’s first trees.
While the distinct oval structure of the podium park is already in place, further landscaping work is underway to transform the area above the new bus interchange into a two-acre public greenspace in the heart of the town centre.
The project is committed to complying with Stockport Council’s 2:1 tree planting policy, with a minimum of two trees planted for each one removed. This includes the planting of 95 new trees in the new park and approximately 400 more across the wider development and town.
In addition, the park has an in-built ‘blue-roof’ drainage system that will capture and store rainwater to allow controlled run-off into drainage outfall and watercourses, mitigating any flood risk and to further supplement the sustainable features within the development. These include an array of PV solar panels generating renewable energy both within the interchange and on the residential building roof.
Key stakeholders and local leaders marked this latest step in the Interchange’s development by gathering to plant one of the first trees going in at the new park.
Attendees included Stockport Council Leader Cllr Mark Hunter, Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt, Stockport Council Member for Climate Change and Environment Cllr Mark Roberts, Cabinet Member for Parks, Highways and Transport Services Cllr Grace Baynham, Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) Interim Chief Operating Officer, Alex Cropper and managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, Anthony Dillon.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “The Interchange is a key part of our borough’s £1billion transformation and the park will become a real asset for our town centre.
“The new park will be a fantastic new green space in the heart of our town – a space that everyone will be able to use.
“It was a great moment to be able to plant one of the first trees in the park and once they are established, they will have a positive impact on the area.
“I’m really looking forward to revealing more details in the upcoming months.”
The Interchange project, due to open in 2024 is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stockport Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and contractor Willmott Dixon.
Stockport Interchange is one of the landmark schemes within the Town Centre West regeneration masterplan, a 130-acre site, being driven forward by Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC), that will see 4,000 new homes, leisure space, workspace, public realm and amenities delivered alongside major transport and infrastructure improvements.
Eamonn Boylan, Interim Chairman of Stockport MDC, said: “The development of Stockport Interchange has progressed at pace, and is well on track for completion by Spring 2024.
“It is exciting to see literal green shoots emerging in the town centre, and these new trees are just the beginning of a significant environmental strategy as part of the Town Centre West masterplan and wider town centre regeneration, that will radically improve the town’s access to green public spaces.
“With its new park, its new accessible walkways and active travel routes that link the Interchange to the River Mersey and the train station, and the creation of new homes and public spaces, the Interchange is set to establish a new benchmark for town-centre transportation hubs.”
The new interchange will feature a fully accessible, covered passenger concourse with seated waiting areas, 18 bus stands with capacity to accommodate 168 bus departures per hour, cycle storage facilities and more.
The scheme also features a 14-storey residential building incorporating one and two-bed apartments which will be available for rent once completed. Solar panels are to be installed on both the roof of the residential development and within the interchange itself to provide additional renewable energy resource.
Vernon Everitt, Transport Commissioner, added: “The progress towards delivering this new transport interchange and the wider regeneration of Stockport town centre is so impressive.
“The new Interchange will make it much easier for people to get around as part of the integrated Bee Network, joining up all public transport, cycling, walking and wheeling facilities.
“The inclusion of green space open to everyone has always been integral to this project and the new rooftop park is already an impressive sight.
“The entire project is fantastic feat of design, planning and engineering and all the hard work of Stockport Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and Willmott Dixon is really paying off.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, added: “This landmark development is already having a positive and transformative impact on the Stockport skyline, so as we reach yet another milestone, we’re proud to showcase the positive sustainable legacy the project and this fantastic new park are going to create.”