Ryebank Fields Step Places Southway p.consultation docs

Step Places and Southway were selected as preferred developers last summer. Credit: via consultation documents

Contentious Ryebank Fields overhaul moves forward 

Step Places and Southway Housing Trust have opened a public consultation on plans to build 120 homes on the 10-acre Chorlton site, revealing for the first time what the scheme will look like. 

Working with architect 5plus Architects, the partnership plans to redevelop Ryebank Fields into a “vibrant and sustainable community”, according to the consultation website. 

Step Places and Southway’s proposals for the site include: 

  • 120 new Passivhaus homes
  • A minimum of 20% affordable homes, rising to 35% – these include 18 shared ownership properties and 24 age-friendly apartments 
  • 3.2 acres of retained green space returned as a community asset 
  • 2,700 sq ft community hub surrounded by a market square and growing spaces 
  • Walking and cycling priority, with a new nature path alongside the parkland 
  • A total of five acres of green space across the development, including growing walls, community greens, and allotments 
  • Protection of the historic Nico Ditch 
Ryebank Fields Step Places and Southway p.consultation docs

How Ryebank Fields could look in the future. Credit: via consultation documents

A second round of consultation will be held in spring before a planning application is submitted to Manchester City Council. This first round of consultation is set to complete on 10 February.

Manchester Metropolitan University chose to sell the site to the partnership between Step Places and Southway last summer, bringing to an end a drawn-out sales process. 

The partnership beat off competition from other shortlisted bidders Anwyl Homes, Morris Homes, and PJ Livesey for the Ryebank Fields opportunity. 

Shortly after MMU had appointed Cushman & Wakefield to find a buyer for Ryebank – a decision that sparked anger among some local community groups that use the land for recreational purposes – asbestos was reportedly found at the site. 

This prompted calls for MMU to call off its plan to sell the land and environmental group Extinction Rebellion began occupying the site in protest. 

MMU acknowledged the discovery of potentially hazardous material at Ryebank Fields but said it intended to go ahead with the sale.   

Campaign group Save Ryebank Fields claims that the land is unfit for redevelopment and that MMU does not have a “moral right to benefit financially from the proposed housing development”. 

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Looks fantastic – get it built!


Those balconies look great

By Balcony warrior

Well done to Step Places and Southways along with their professional team – a scheme that delivers mush needed homes with strong environmental credentials.

By Anonymous

Couldn’t agree more – a wealth of very much needed new homes, social and private, together with a third of the Fields being retained, together with remediation of the site – dream opportunity for Chorlton.

By Pragmatist

I live right next to this and never receive a leaflet

By Anonymous

Not much of a “consultation” process is it? It’s ready to go!

By Alan

This looks to be a great scheme in a fantastic location, next to Longford Park. Well done to Step places and Southway.

By Chorlton Resident

Is it me or has the quality of Manchester’s housing designs escalated rapidly in the past year?

By Anonymous

New housing is much needed and this is as about as sustainable a location as I could ever think of. Really pleased to see that the designs will be to Passivhaus standard.

By Anonymous

Excellent proposal — full support

By Anonymous

The headline on your previous article Dan Whelan states that ‘Southway/Step Places buys contentious Ryebank Fields ‘
Is that the case, or is the sale conditional on a planning application being successful?

By S

    Hi S. It is my understanding that the partnership has been selected as the preferred bidder but that MMU still currently owns the land. Best wishes.

    By Dan Whelan

Tragic for the children who have played in our cul de sac that will have that right taken away – not supportive! This is Manchester land and Manchester roads traffic.

By Culdesaclover

Remediating contaminated land, 120 Passivhaus homes, retaining a substantial tree belt adjacent to a park, well located to encourage cycling and walking, sustainable drainage, community facilities. Sets a new bar for developers to create places where people can live healthier and more sustainable lives.

By Chorlton resident

I am still waiting for my leaflet and live next to the fields? Did your leafleted put them in the bin? The plans are not even in keeping with surrounding houses.

By Anonymous

Not supporting. Great stone road is terribly dangerous pulling out onto without adding all the cars that would be added from this development.

By Firswood resident

Fantastic scheme. Well done to the design and project team for creating a beautiful and sustainable place. Just need to get on with it now.

By Longford Resident

These plans are awful and will be challenged every step of the way. The fields are such an important area of local biodiversity and should not be built on.

By Stretford Resident

Looks like an open prison facility. You do not have permission to use Trafford as a convenient back door access and will be blocked. This makes the entire plan unsustainable.
The land is Greenfield. Go and build this on a brownfield site-there are many to choose from. Maybe it’s all about Chorlton prices.
Developers should be ashamed of these plans.

By Local resident

The proposals do look very well considered. Let’s see what actually goes in for planning, hopefully it doesn’t get too watered down.

By Chorltonvillain

Thanks Dan. In that case your headline is misleading people round here to think the land is sold. Thats the point I’m making really.

By S

More traffic. More congestion. More profit for developers. Destruction of nature. Leave Ryebank Fields alone.

By Scott

With a plentiful supply of brownfield land available for development, why would any forward thinking council allow the destruction of a greenfield site (designated greenfield by MCC).
Shameful. We need to protect our environment.

By G

The activists say that MMU have no “moral right to benefit financially from the proposed housing development”.

It’s astonishing that so many people think this is a stunning knockdown argument against development. “But but but, someone will make a PROFIT!”

Well, plenty of nearby Chorltonites live in homes built by private developers. Why is it OK for you to live in private housing but no one else? Why do you want to pull up the drawbridge for others, now that you’re comfortably housed? Who is going to tell them that their houses sit on what was once unspoiled greenfield land?

Anyway, it’s an excellent scheme providing much needed housing. Right next door to a large public park so plenty of green space for new residents to enjoy. Get it built.

By S

I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the plans. It looks like they have considered all issues ie, passivhaus building, biodiversity, green spaces, pedestrian areas and community building. They have also left most of the existing trees, making the whole site a lovely place. I just hope the prices are not extortionate.

By Anonymous

@G…where in Chorlton (where people want to live) is this plentiful supply of brownfield land? This is brownfield, isn’t any more biodiverse than 100s of acres in the Chorlton area that people can enjoy. Homes are needed, this looks to be a good design, the previously ‘saved’ Turn Moss is 100yards away for recreation / walking / etc…get them built.

By harpisord

This is wrong on so many levels. Manchester is one of the most nature deficient cities in Europe. There is no justification for destroying this nature reserve and Manchester history when there are brownfield sites available. It’s yet another example of corporate and corporation immorality, greed and corruption.

By Dee Fyant

In all fairness, Ryebank Fields is currently a site with a degree of toxicity from its previous uses – a site that will benefit massively from remediation, indeed as will the community at large. It’s baffling how people talk up its supposed current environmental credentials – it’s unhealthy in its current state!

As I understand it, other proposed benefits include drainage to help mitigate the near constant flooding of Longford Park adjacent – isn’t that positive?

Furthermore, we’re currently in a dual housing crisis and cost of living crisis – people are talking from a great position of privilege if they cannot see the immense benefits this development will bring in terms of social, age-friendly and private homes, built to a Passivhaus standard – not to mention a community hub.

Let’s crack on and get this built!

By Pragmatist

Generally supportive of the scheme in its current format but;

I think more density is required, increase in height toward the centre.

Obviously artistic impression but please don’t use decking for any walkways or cycle paths.

Renders need to be realistic with cars on front yards – unless a stipulation is put in the leasehold to prevent turning of front yards into parking spaces?

Get it built.

By Firswood resident

Lots to admire in the proposals and it may be enough to dissuade some objections. Keen to understand traffic mitigation on Longford Rd and the Manchester side of Ryebank Rd. Regardless of what the ‘build it now’ cheerleaders say, this development will have multiple and significant local consequences – those concerns are legitimate.

By Chorltonian

Who wants to go to turn moss when they live next to Ryebank fields? That’s our green space!

By Stepdestructors

Hello folks. We’ll be shutting down comments on this story, as we believe all the different points of view have been shared and the key arguments made both for and against the project. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I’m at julia@placenorthwest.co.uk. Thanks – J

By Julia Hatmaker

    As a side note, for those who feel strongly one way or the other – the best place to voice your opinion regarding the project would be by using the consultation link: https://ryebankfieldsconsultation.co.uk/

    By Julia Hatmaker

The traffic will be horrendous. More housing, but fewer local facilities. Ugly grey boxes completely out of step with existing properties. Losing more green space. All about profit.

By Ellis

These homes are desperatley needed and the shamles nimbys should hang their heads in shame

By Anonymous

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