Alternatives

The thinking on the alternative plans for the MMU/Hulme development falls into three categories; revising the planned buildings, relocating the planned buildings and third, a combination of the two.

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1)   Revising the planned buildings

The current campus consists of a development of 9 buildings:

  • 2 academic buildings,
  • 5 student accommodation buildings,
  • 1 energy centre/ waste management building and
  • 1 car park

Student accommodation consists of over half the new buildings. While there maybe financial case for the building of so many accommodation blocks for the MMU, there is a cost to the Hulme community to having such a large campus

Benefits of a revised plan

  • The campus does not need to be so big, which means it will have less of an effect on the area
  • The campus can be built on a smaller physical space, so the green space can be maintained and enhanced for the community and the new students
  • There will be less strain on local resources, with the student population living more diffusely around Manchester.
  • It will be less expensive for the MMU, which is already facing cuts
  • It makes the goal of the ‘green’ Hulme campus much more likely.

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2)   Relocating the proposed campus (as currently presented)

In looking at the MMU plans for the Hulme campus (as available in public) it is evident that most of the development is ‘outside space’ rather than buildings, with a significant area being the campus ‘square’ and some trees surrounding the proposed building. The buildings themselves take a much smaller area.

In fact the building themselves, when taken in isolation could be moved to the smaller area of green space and office space opposite the Asda supermarket.

The diagram below consists of 4 images:

Image 1: The plots sites that the Hulme campus is proposed to be built on. The six sections are labelled B, F, G, H, J and L

Image 2: The planned campus as proposed by the MMU (as currently publically available). (There is a diagram that labels the various buildings. Can we include that one here?

Image 3: Removing only the building from the plans so illustrate the ‘open space’ areas.

Image 4: Below Plot B (see figure 1) are two additional areas, opposite Asda (on both sides of the supermarket’s petrol station. One side is just grassland, and the other has consisted of an office block and car park which have been empty for over 5 years.

All of the proposed campus buildings can be fit into these two areas and plot B, which leaves 5 of the 6 plots of green space intact.

Benefits of relocating the proposed campus

  • It will maintain most of Birley Fields as open green space, which can be enhanced to benefit local community AND the MMU students and staff. This area would be much greater than what is currently being proposed.
  • Hornchurch residents can expand their already impressive community garden into the empty plot that is proposed to be a carpark.
  • Birley Fields could be managed with Hulme Community Garden with support from MMU/ MCC.
  • Having the campus closer to the supermarket would enable discussion of building a multi story car-park with the Asda, which would shoppers and MMU.
  • The campus next to Princess Road, a dual carriageway, will make the transport of students and staff less problematic than currently proposed.
  • The new plans will draw the students over towards Hulme Market and the high street where they can spend their student loans in the local economy.
  • The empty offices can be used by supporting organisations.

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A combined plan reducing the campus AND relocating it would minimise the negative impact of the Hulme campus development and maximise the benefits. It will also allow MMU to look at keeping in place its plans to provide resources for the community.