Swinton Town Centre – managing change
This is your opportunity to respond to the first thoughts on the issues we face and how we should address them.
Why do we need to develop a plan for Swinton?
Swinton has seen big changes in the past 30 years since it was chosen to be the administrative centre for Salford City Council. Morrisons, Aldi, B&Q and Matalan have transformed Swinton into a major retail centre.
More change is on its way. We have to make sure that we fully understand what that might mean so we know how we can best manage it.
Salford City Council has put together its first thoughts on these issues and is now asking residents to put their views to the Council.
What changes are taking place?
Swinton town centre has seen some big changes: the new police headquarters on Chorley Road is now open. The new arts centre next to St Peter’s School is up and running. Ambrose Barlow RC High School has a new sports centre on Stanwell Road. The markets have relocated to Swinton Precinct. The education offices have moved to Minerva House in Swinton. A new church and a medical centre have been developed on Partington Lane.
More changes are in the pipeline: there are plans to convert the old Lancastrian Hall into a health centre with a new library. Planning applications have been submitted for a Magistrates’ Court and for new shops on the precincts.
And we know that there are demands for other facilities to locate in the town centre – for example, a new children’s centre.
What will a plan do?
There is no need for a statutory development plan. The council’s overall planning document, the Unitary Development Plan, and national government guidance set a clear framework for planning decisions.
A Swinton masterplan would set down some clear principles to make sure that if any development takes place in Swinton, it benefits Swinton.
What are the principles?
The suggested principles are:
- To preserve and enhance the green swathe running through Swinton
- To contribute to community safety with livelier, more vibrant streets
- To use land more efficiently
- To improve the amenity of streets around the town centre
- To open up employment and training opportunities
- To have better quality and better choice in shopping
- To secure improved youth facilities
What is the background to these?
If you look at an aerial photograph of Swinton, two things stand out. One is the green swathe which extends from the Post Office to the Police Station. The other is the amount of surface car parking in the town centre.
The lawns that run through Swinton are the pride of the town and they should be protected and enhanced.
- Do you think they could be better used (for example, by having a children’s playground)?
- Would you like to see other facilities (perhaps a café or children’s centre overlooking the lawns)?
- Could the area be redesigned to make it more of a linear park? Or would you like to see a formal civic square?
- Have you any suggestions about landscaping or the design of street furniture which would improve the town centre?
Apart from the green swathe, the level of parking in the town centre really stands out.
Surface car parking means that streets cannot be overlooked from homes, shops or offices. It is an inefficient use of land. And - irrespective of any future development – it is not enough to meet demand. This leads to cars parking in side streets.
The council’s policy is there should be no new town centre development if it makes the car parking problems significantly worse. At the same time, new developments would lead to livelier streets, more jobs and better shopping.
- Do you think multi-storey parking would help (with, perhaps, groundfloor shops)?
- What sort of schemes are needed to stop side street parking?
- How can public transport be improved to encourage some drivers to switch to trains and buses?
- Have you any suggestions that would help to improve the management of traffic in Swinton town centre?
- Some new sites are becoming available – the old Swinton police station, the old Elmstead School and the Partington Lane clinic (which will be in the new health centre). How should those sites be used