Carpino Place, Salford
Salford, a city now largely contiguous with neighbouring Manchester, was once a larger town than it’s eastern neighbour. Although Bronze Age remnants have been found during excavations, it remained a small town up until the Industrial Revolution. Having been a textile town for hundreds of years , both of wool and heavy cottons, the town was well placed to take advantage of the new methods of textile manufacturing offered by the Revolution.
The textile mills lined the banks of the River Irwell, the defining line between Salford and Manchester, and as steam powered mills became available, the mills moved inland and housing for the workers was built across the town. Population exploded from 12,000 to over 70,000 in over 30 years and continued up until the end of the 19th Century, when over 220,000 people called Salford home. This led to overcrowding and very poor living conditions, with poor housing spread across the city; this was the city that was painted by its’ most famous son, LS Lowry. Row upon row of terraced housing, back to back with large cotton mills dominated the landscape from the east border with Manchester to the busy Salford Docks on the west.
Salford has recently undergone massive regeneration over the past 30 years, so much so that little of the original remains except some of the municipal buildings. Part of this regeneration was centred on the junction of Oldfield Road and Chapel Street where previously housing, a textile mill called the Islington Mill, a public house called St Phillips Tavern and poor housing had been. In the 1960’s a Seamen’s Hostel was constructed on the site with interesting architecture – modelled on a ships bridge – and provided accommodation for sailors whose ships were at the Docks. This building was converted to a Salvation Army Centre in the 1980’s and finally demolished in 2012.
This well-connected site was an obvious residential development opportunity; less than a mile from Manchester City Centre and as part of the Salford Central Development Scheme, Carpino Place was constructed consisting of 22 townhouses, each with their own parking spaces, roof terraces and gardens. As part of the planning permission, a sustainable drainage system flanking a new cycle path was constructed on Oldfield Road, including raingardens and trees. These green elements were supported below ground by the GreenBlue Urban ArborFlow system, with RootSpace soil cells and Root Directors allowing the soil to remain uncompacted and healthy, whilst diverting roots to a lower level. This allied with carefully chosen plant and tree palette means that the planting continues to thrive whilst attenuating and cleaning storm water running from adjacent hard surfacing.
The Greater Manchester area is committed to increasing the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) and has plans to install several retrofit schemes in areas where canopy levels are low. This forward-looking objective will mean that the whole city conurbation will benefit from these truly multi-functional elements for decades to come, improving the quality of life for all those to reside, work or visit this Northern metropolis.