Charities team up with housebuilder for scheme to transform Gorton fields

Kellen Homes has submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council, alongside Greater Manchester Youth Federation and the charity Centrepoint, for a scheme it says will transform the former Mellands Playing Fields in Gorton.

The plans have been subject to opposition from local community members concerned about the loss of green space.

But the application aims to “bring the site back into active use” and provide “enhanced sports and youth provision, a range of high-quality new homes including affordable housing and Centrepoint’s independent living accommodation for young adults.”

The planning application follows a public consultation held in May and June of 2023.

The plans for the site include: 267 new homes delivered by Kellen Homes and Southway Housing Trust, which will contribute to the longstanding need for high quality, sustainable new homes in Gorton. 60 of the 267 new homes will be affordable homes, delivered as a mix of Shared Ownership and Social Rent; two new grass football pitches for year-round use by GMYF and local clubs, including West Gorton Junior FC; a new youth, sports and community hub building, providing a new home for GMYF’s programme of youth-focused activities as well as spaces for local community groups to meet; 36 independent living apartments for young adults to be operated by Centrepoint.

Mark Calvert, Land Director of Kellen Homes said: “The homes would deliver much-needed new homes for Gorton alongside a host of new community facilities and wider benefits. We are also pleased to be able to deliver 60 of the 267 new homes as affordable homes in partnership with Southway Housing Trust in a mix of Shared Ownership and Social Rent.

“Environmental sustainability also sits at the forefront of our priorities. The homes will boast enhanced insulation, promoting energy efficiency and cost reduction. Furthermore, our dedication extends to green initiatives such as tree planting and landscape enhancements, aimed at supporting local wildlife and biodiversity. We are also dedicated to improving walking and cycling routes, encouraging sustainable travel for a greener, healthier community.”

Karen Wilson, chief executive of GMYF, said: “The planning submission marks a key milestone in our mission to create a vibrant and inclusive space for the youth and community in Gorton and surrounding areas.

“We are a charitable organisation that has been providing vital youth services to young people in Greater Manchester for over 110 years, and the proposed youth hub and football pitches will provide a home for our extensive programme of youth-focused activities and provide safe spaces for young people in the area.

“Our proposals received a very warm welcome from the local community during our consultation earlier this year and we were astounded at the positive comments we received to create a new youth, sports and community hub in the area.

“By working in partnership with Centrepoint, Kellen Homes, and now Southway Housing Trust, we can put our youth, sports and community provision on a financially sustainable footing and ensure we have a positive, active presence in Gorton for generations to come.”

Subject to planning, construction could get underway in late 2024.

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