Morris Homes, PJ Livesey, Anwyl Homes, and a joint venture between Step Places and Southway Housing Trust are in the running to acquire the 10-acre Chorlton site owned by Manchester Metropolitan University.
MMU is considering proposals for the redevelopment of Ryebank Fields from each party and could make a decision before the end of the year, Place North West understands.
Urban Splash and several volume housebuilders are also rumoured to have expressed an interest in the site but are no longer in the running.
The final four
- Morris Homes – Wilmslow-based housebuilder most prevalent in Cheshire and Lancashire. In Greater Manchester, the company is redeveloping the former Linotype Works on the Bridgewater Canal in Broadheath
- PJ Livesey – Trafford-based developer with a track record of restoring listed properties. The company has more recently branched out into new-builds
- Step Places/Southway Housing Trust – developer Step Places is bringing forward 248 homes on the site of the former Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, among other schemes. Meanwhile, Southway Housing is a registered provider that manages 6,000 homes across Manchester
- Anwyl Homes – North Wales housebuilder delivering homes on both sides of the border.
Last year, MMU appointed Cushman & Wakefield to market the site, which is earmarked for more than 100 homes under a masterplan drawn up by 5plus Architects in 2019.
Some local residents who use the land for recreational purposes have fiercely opposed the university’s plan to dispose of the land for redevelopment.
In May 2020, asbestos was reportedly found at the site, prompting calls for MMU to call off its plan to sell the land. The site has since been fenced off.
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 claims MMU does not have a “moral right to benefit financially from the proposed housing development”.
MMU would not confirm the shortlisted names but said: “We are currently looking at a shortlist of developers to whom we would be happy to sell the land. Once the right developer has been identified, a planning process is likely to take 12-18 months and involve further local consultation.”
PJ Livesey and Anwyl declined to comment.
Step Places, Southway Housing Trust and Morris Homes were contacted for comment.