Didsbury campus

Executive homes plan for uni’s Didsbury campus

Simon Donohue

An upmarket residential development – including a new school and the preservation of an historic playing field – is being proposed for 17 acres of surplus university land in Didsbury, Manchester.

A draft regeneration framework for land within Manchester Metropolitan University's Didsbury campus will be presented to Manchester City Council's executive committee.

The city council works has been working in partnership with the university to develop surplus asset sites resulting from its relocation.

If approved by the executive, the framework would be the subject of a public consultation exercise in the autumn.

Manchester City Council says the site has the "potential to expand the number of executive homes in south Manchester, contributing to the long-term economic growth of the city and residential growth ambitions".

"This site allows for the opportunity to develop larger homes, expanding the city's housing stock and tax base that will encourage people to settle and remain in Manchester who might otherwise choose to commute from outlying areas," it adds.

The campus currently spans nearly 17 acres, comprising of one grade 2*-listed property, a number of grade 2-listed buildings, and the Simon Playing Fields which would all remain untouched as part of the plans. The site also includes the Broomhurst Halls of Residence.

Cllr Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester's success means we desperately need thousands of new homes of every type and size and we are working with a variety of partners to development suitable sites across the city.

"These exciting plans represent the next phase of a long-standing relationship between the city council and Manchester Metropolitan University, plans which we hope Didsbury, the university and the city has a whole can all benefit from, making a lasting contribution to our growth ambitions and leaving a lasting positive legacy."

Professor John Brooks, vice-chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "Our move to fantastic new facilities at Birley Fields in Hulme in September 2014 brings down the curtain on our long association with Didsbury but opens up new opportunities for the city and the community in the shape of this draft framework."

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