April 26th 2011
Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) plans for a super campus development built on Hulme’s Birley Fields, are currently before Manchester City Council (MCC).
Local residents have been concerned about MMU’s plans since they became public over 18 months ago. Particular worry has been around the
- height and mass of the buildings
- increase in traffic and parking congestion
- strain on current local resources
- effect that a sharp increase in student numbers will have on the community.
Though MMU claims to have done extensive consultation, its own internal report is critical of its consultation process.
Recently a large group of tenants living close to the Birley Fields area wrote a letter of objection concerning MMU’s Hulme campus plans, setting out their anxieties. The letter concludes “unless the issues raised above are addressed, the current application for development should be refused”.
The Birley Fields Campaign Group (BFCG) calls on organisations that own property, have tenants, bring up children, provide services to Hulme or use facilities in Hulme, to examine the MMU plans. And if there is concern, if there are questions, to express those to MCC’s planning department. (Guidance can be found here.)
It is the single biggest issue for Hulme. This is because, aside from Birley Fields, the initial cascade effect of MMU’s plans include
- two new private student accommodation blocks being built on Stretford Road
- plans for a 650 room student accommodation block on Coupland Street, its plans currently before the Council
- the recent acquisition of the landmark community pub, ‘The Salutation’. It is expected this will be demolished and the adjacent car park, extended.
The extent of MMU’s intrusion into Hulme and activity around this will have a long-lasting effect on the community. MMU needs to take its plans back to first principles starting with real community engagement. Have your people been consulted? If not, why not?
Support your residents, support your children, support your users.
On behalf of the Birley Fields Campaign Group.