The regeneration of Prestwich should take inspiration from schemes in Chorlton, Altrincham, Didsbury and the city centre Mackie Mayor space, feedback has found.

The £100m plans to redevelop the central area of Prestwich village include demolishing the Longfield Centre and replacing it with independent businesses, a mix of homes, outdoor areas and a new community hub focused on health.

The plans were formed by Bury Council and its development partner Muse.

Now the first results of a ‘community conversation’ on plans have been published. The Your Prestwich project states its intention to ‘transform the Longfield Centre and cement Prestwich as one of the best places to live in the North West’.

The exercise led to 892 online and hard copy questionnaire responses and around 300 people attending drop-in events along with 120 online Q&A attendees. A feedback document published this week by Your Prestwich listed the ‘key feedback themes’ for new commercial space in Prestwich.

These included the need to prioritise local and independent businesses and to ensure rents and leases are affordable. Those giving feedback wanted to see existing tenants supported and there were concern there is not enough business space allocated in the draft master plan.

The document said: “We need to take inspiration from high quality schemes and town centre offers across the region.

“Examples include Altrincham, Didsbury, Mackie Mayor, Knutsford, Alderley Edge and Chorlton.

“We need a phasing strategy that allows businesses to operate during demolition and construction; deliver temporary business accommodation, and minimise disruption for local businesses.” One theme emerging was that the current fountain feature  is largely an eyesore, is unsightly and rarely works.

Other comments on the design requested that it should complement and take inspiration from existing Prestwich architecture and heritage and needed to be in-keeping with the character of the area. The current free parking arrangements in the centre of Prestwich were listed as one of the best things about the area. Other feedback themes emerging about parking included concern that planned parking is too far away from the proposed community hub and retail and the need for new homes to have dedicated parking.

On the housing element of the regeneration the document described the feedback as ‘mixed’. Those giving feedback stressed the need for housing to be affordable and supportive of first-time buyers. Other themes were the need for homes suitable for older people and the view that there are already enough family homes and that new homes are not needed in Prestwich.

There is set to be further public consultation before a planning application for the project is drawn up by Bury Council and Muse.