The Council’s executive will be asked to approve the disposal of the former Chorlton Leisure Centre site to be used for affordable housing at a meeting of the executive next week (Weds 15 Feb).
Subject to securing an appropriate planning consent, the site will be transferred to the housing provider Mosscare St Vincents (MSV) on a 999year lease after they were chosen as the successful bidder for the site following a tender process in 2021.Initial proposals for the site – subject to consultation and the planning process – would be to demolish the existing buildings to create 50 new highly sustainable affordable apartments, each built to modern energy efficiency standards in both fabric and construction.
The scheme would target over 55s, creating quality housing options for Manchester people later in life, with a mix of 40 affordable rent homes, seven for shared ownership, and three properties that would be used by the Council’s Adult Social Care team for neighbourhood apartments.
The homes being used by the Council’s Adult Social Care team will provide accommodation for people who are well enough to be discharged from hospital, but still require some care before they can return home.Each of the homes would be built to the HAPPI design principles, which means they will have large windows for natural light, designed to be spacious inside and can be adapted to meet the care needs of future residents – alongside a sustainable design.
Sustainable features will include Mechanical Vent Heat Recovery Systems (MVHR) and Air Source Heat pumps (no gas supply), alongside energy efficient appliances. The building design itself will aim to maximise the capture and use of daylight and passive solar energy, whilst avoiding excessive solar gain in summer.
A travel plan for the development will encourage active travel options, ample bicycle storage will be available to residents along with electric vehicle (EV) charging. This is alongside Chorlton’s excellent public transport connections to the city centre, Wythenshawe and the airport.
The site is expected to transfer formally to MSV in the summer of 2023 and a public consultation will be held around the proposals for the site in the coming weeks.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said:
“We have had ambitions to bring affordable housing to this site in Chorlton for some years and so it’s a real milestone moment that we can approve the transfer of the site to MSV to then begin a public consultation for affordable housing in this key location.
“MSV have a tested record of delivering brilliant, high quality and highly sustainable homes for older people – most recently at Bowes House in Moss Side. This development will create housing options for older people who may want to move from larger family homes – or ‘rightsizing’ - which will in turn open up these larger homes for other families to settle.
“The Council could have had received a higher value return if we decided to sell this site to a private developer on the open market, but we have made a commitment to increasing the number of affordable homes for Manchester people, particularly in areas like Chorlton where we have an opportunity to create more diversity in the housing market.”
Charlie Norman, CEO for MSV, said:
"It's fantastic news that the land transfer to MSV is underway and I'd like to thank our partners at Manchester City Council for their support. This is exactly the kind of investment we need in Manchester - 50 Later Living apartments for affordable rent, shared ownership and for people coming out of hospital and back into the community.
“The development is aimed at people in Chorlton and the local area and will play a significant part in freeing up larger family homes to those on the waiting list. We plan to deliver a beautiful, bright and modern scheme with lots of light and space to provide residents with a home suitable for their time in life. It's very exciting to see this project get off the ground."