Friday, 21 August 2015

What's the future for Cornbrook and Pomona Island?

The Canal at Cornbrook
The last entry talked about the Council’s proposed development of Great Jackson Street. This article is about the Council’s plans for Cornbrook and Pomona. The Council plans to build a large hotel, a ‘commercial business hub’ and a number of flats. In addition, it is working with Trafford Council to build a large number of flats on Pomona Island in the future.

As with the Great Jackson Street plan, the Council has no desire to build any affordable homes or social housing on the site. The promise of some new commercial space at least shows that the Council does know that people need to have somewhere to work as well as just live. However, the Council does not look set to overturn its existing policies of attempting to attract in new employers rather than supporting local businesses to grow. We want to see some of the commercial space be set aside for either small businesses, or for an office to support small businesses and local charities. We also want to the plans to have more imagination when it comes to retaining the current environment of Pomona Island.

We also want to see a plan which takes into consideration the environment. Pomona is currently an Oasis of green at the edge of the City Centre. The site was home to a pleasure garden in the 19th century and it would be good to see Pomona continue to have green space rather than seeing it become overdeveloped like the rest of the former docks.

The most troublesome thing about this proposal is that it has been designed without consulting the public. It has been dreamt up by the Tory heads of Trafford Council and the Labour heads of Manchester Council behind closed doors. Even Hulme Councillors were not consulted about the plans. Cllr Lee-Ann Igbon was concerned that she had not been consulted about the plans before they were released.

The Council leader Mr Richard Leese said that as only a small amount of the plan was actually in Hulme he didn’t think it was much of an issue. That statement appears to be disingenuous as Mr Leese must have surely read the report which has plans to build hundreds of flats and directly states that existing services such as schools, dentists and doctors’ surgeries would be used by the new residents.

The impact of all these new homes and other developments on transport is also a major concern. There is no plan to deal with the increase in traffic created by these plans. Chester Road, Bridgewater Way A57 are already extremely busy at peak times and a heavily built development on this site will greatly add to this problem. While there is an existing tram stop it is not plausible that this will cater for all the transport needs of the new homes and other planned buildings.

Change is always going to occur and the Hulme Greens are not against that. But we believe that changes to the city should be made with the people, not made behind closed doors with the leaders of other Councils. In addition we will be arguing for new developments to provide affordable homes, social housing with controlled rents, space for small businesses, green spaces, and amenities for the community and be designed to tackle climate change. 
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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Housing Association ‘No DSS’ housing proposal despite waiting list crisis.

Hulme Living - Leaf Street image
 Social landlord OneManchester’s [1] controversial plans to build new housing in Hulme reveal that none of the 170 properties will be available as social homes.
The scheme called ‘Hulme Living’[2], which OneManchester hopes to begin in early 2016, will be across 2 sites in Hulme, one approximately 100 property build on Leaf Street the other Chorlton Road.

Dave Power, chief executive of OneManchester
 justifies the proposal, saying “…Greater Manchester desperately needs to be building at least 10,000 new homes per year in order to play its part in tackling the national housing crisis” [3].

Deyika Nzeribe, Manchester Green Party and resident of Hulme said “OneManchester is supposed to be a social landlord. Where are the social homes in this plan? Dave Power is right in saying that there is a housing crisis in Manchester but that crisis is that there are 20,000 people on the council waiting list[4], the worse in the North West of England. If not organisations like OneManchester, who is going to build the social housing we desperately need?

“If all the accommodation in these plans are for rent, why not have a mix, have 40% of the tenants in there from the housing list? THAT would be a small step but it will be in the right direction.”

Manchester Green Party Chair Steffeny McGiffen commented “With 20,000 people on the housing waiting list evidence of the lack of accommodation for people in need can be seen every day on the streets of Manchester. Those charged with the welfare of the city are failing to tackle the issue and arguably, wilfully ignoring it."


1.    One Manchester -
2.    Hulme Living -
3.    170 new homes expected to be built in Hulme -

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Claremont Resource Centre to Close

Claremont Resource Centre
Over the last few months it has become apparent that the Claremont Resource Centre on Rolls Crescent is to close.

The substantial expansion of Rolls Crescent Primary School next door will mean that the Claremont will be demolished to make way.

Though in the past the building was home to the much-loved Hulme Resource Centre and a Citizens Advice Bureau, its main current occupant is the African Caribbean Care Group (ACCG).

Though initially there were fears the Care Group was also closing down, this appears not to be the case.

The Care Group is however, looking for a new home and as of this moment is still uncertain as to where that would be.

We hope that the Group is aiming to and able to remain in Hulme.
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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

What's on the horizon for Hulme?

Hulme has changed in the past and will change again. Hulme in the 1870s was home to 75,000 people and was predominately made up of terraced housing. Then the 1960s and 1970s saw the building of big blocks of flats like the Crescents. Now the large blocks have gone and where they once stood we have Hulme Park and private houses. Recently Hulme has seen Manchester Metropolitan University building on Birley Fields.

Hulme and the surrounding area is about to change again. The Council has drawn up plans to drastically change many areas in and around Hulme. This blog entry is the first in a series which will be seeking to inform people about the changes planned for the area and to spark debate over whether these plans are what the people of Hulme want.

This article focuses on the Council’s strategy to develop the area around Great Jackson Street, which is just across from Hulme Park. The plans include proposals for a 58 storey tower and five other towers over 20 storeys high. While there are also some houses, the Council have ruled out providing any social housing or affordable housing. We believe that if the demand to build is so great for developers then surely the Council can push them to build some social housing or affordable housing. The Council claims that the site will have a mix of different types of properties but if the plans exclude affordable and social housing this mix seems to be pretty shallow.

There is also little provision for new shops or any other amenities. Without new plans these new properties will put a strain on doctors’ surgeries, dentists and schools in the area. In fact the Council has specifically mentioned that residents would be using existing services in Hulme. The people of Hulme need more jobs but this plan does not offer them. The building work would be covered by the same work schemes that the MMU Birley Fields campus was and the building work there created only a handful of jobs for local residents.

The plans have also not considered how these buildings will look to the people of Hulme. The plan makes an effort to show how the buildings will look from different positions around the city centre, but when it comes to Hulme there has been no consideration. The proposals also have little provision for public space.

Manchester does need new homes and Hulme Greens are not opposed to building in general. However, we believe that all changes to Hulme should have the clear backing of residents. The Council thinks that putting a consultation form on its website is sufficient and that this is reaching out to the public. We disagree and believe that the Council should consult more with the public before endorsing plans to radically change an area. It’s not just the public who aren’t properly consulted about new plans in the area. At a meeting on the 29th of July, Labour Hulme Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon complained that she had not been consulted about plans proposed for Cornbrook. This is despite the fact that another Labour Councillor for Hulme, Nigel Murphy is part of the Council executive which runs the Council.

The plans are just that at the moment and can be changed. At this stage it is important to make your views heard whether they be positive or negative. The Council may not be interested in hearing your views but we are, so get in touch and tell us what you think.

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