Socialist Worker

Rochdale tower blocks under threat

Issue No. 2577

Tower blocks on Rochdales College Bank estate

Tower blocks on Rochdale's College Bank estate (Pic: Robert Wade)

A giant redevelopment project in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, threatens to wreck hundreds of lives.

Four of the Seven Sisters tower blocks on the College Bank estate are under threat of demolition.

Neil Emmott, Rochdale’s lead councillor for housing, said the plan “smacks of social cleansing”.

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has claimed that 120 townhouses will be built on the demolition site—and the remaining three would get facelifts.

Over 760 flats would be affected by the proposals—

528 would be demolished—and around 1,000 people would have to move while the work took place.

RBH said the proposals “could result in a net increase of 500 homes”, but offered no explanation or evidence for the claim.

It has also used the deprivation of the area as justification for the redevelopment.

Unemployment there is four times the national average. But the redevelopment won’t change that.

It is more likely to compound problems as people’s support networks, built up over decades, could be ripped apart if the proposals go through.

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