Countryside completes Belle Vue Stadium buy
The developer has acquired the 12-acre Kirkmanshulme Road site from Crown Oil Pension Fund for an undisclosed sum, enabling it to demolish the greyhound track and build 247 homes.
Campaigners had been hoping to pull together a bid to buy site in Gorton, Manchester, to save the stadium from being knocked down, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Countryside Properties was granted conditional planning approval to redevelop the stadium in December 2019, but construction work could not start until the housebuilder had acquired the site. The sale was delayed due to a moratorium that was implemented at the time the stadium was designated as an asset of community value.
Now that the moratorium has expired and the sale has completed, the developer can progress its redevelopment plans, which were given final approval by Manchester City Council last November.
The homes, a mix of 80 apartments and 167 houses, will be available on a variety of tenures.
A total of 130 are to be designated as affordable and those will be managed by Great Places Housing Group.
Known by some as “the home of greyhound racing”, Belle Vue stadium opened in 1926. The proposal to demolish the stadium was first lodged in 2018 and has proved controversial: popular with animal activists and unpopular with racing fans.
Gordon Innes, Countryside’s managing director of partnerships for Manchester and Cheshire East, said: “We have been working on this project for a number of years and what continues to be evident is the role the stadium has played throughout the years for people near and far.
“The new development will recognise the heritage of the site and pay homage to its iconic status, and this is reflected in its official name, Belle Vue Place.”
Innes added: “Offering a mixed-tenure development through our partnership with Great Places is an essential part of fulfilling the appetite for local housing and also provides the fabric for a vibrant and diverse new community.”