Manchester-based CW Studio has designed the landscape elements for the Spindles town square re-development project in Oldham, in association with AEW Architects and Oldham Council.
The wider re-development includes removal of the former TJ Hughes building and a new market hall, with event space for arts and culture and a heritage archive, bringing more people into the town centre. The proposals have been submitted to Oldham Council’s planning committee for consideration.
With sustainability at its forefront, the landscape scheme includes planted areas to act as rain gardens, incorporating urban pollinators and result in an overall reduction in the amount of impermeable paving to reduce surface water runoff. Existing Yorkstone paving will be re-used wherever possible and existing trees and lighting retained.
Carolyn Willitts, managing director of CW Studio, said: “This is a fantastic project being spearheaded by Oldham Council, who bought the Spindles Shopping Centre in 2020 to boost the town’s economy through redevelopment. We’ve designed a fresh contemporary outdoor space for visitors to enjoy, while focusing on sustainability and biodiversity.
“The new interface onto Parliament Square will see more planted areas and seating formed through terracing to address the sloped topography of the square. A variety of seating types allow people to enjoy the new-look development. The proposed planting scheme brings in bright, colourful plants, including flowers for pollinators, and year-round interest, from spring bulbs right through to autumn flowering plants.”
Phil Hepworth, director at AEW Architects, said: “These transformational proposals blend retail with a new produce and food market, high quality workspace and performance and cultural spaces. Together with high quality landscaping and improved linkages, the scheme will provide enhanced amenity and a vibrant, whole day offer for the local community and visitors alike. The scheme will also provide a platform for future development by freeing up adjacent sites and will add to a growing number of already successful interventions within the town.”
The aspiration is for artwork to be designed into the seating area, including the long-eared owl which is the civic symbol of Oldham.
Materials have been chosen to complement the existing character of the square and harmonise the proposed market and events building within Parliament Square.
A roof terrace, incorporated into the new building, will have space both for events and biodiversity and include an extensive low maintenance sedum green roof, reducing rainwater runoff and increasing plant and animal life.
Subject to planning approval the main building work is expected to start later this year.