The first round of public engagement has just ended on the redevelopment of the shopping precinct and a follow up is planned for the autumn. The information available at the moment can be found here: onechorlton.co.uk
We encouraged our members (if they agreed) to include under the questionnaire’s Other Suggestions the idea of creating a much more connected pedestrianised public space by promoting the idea of creating a new square at the end of Nicolas Road with the two sites developed in tandem.
The CLT Board remain strongly committed to its plans to secure the Picture House (formerly Coop funeral care), and work with a developer to create a food and market hall. We are keen to save the building as an anchor destination at the heart of our district centre.
The Board believe that alongside the precinct, the Picture House would give Chorlton a better-connected townscape that encourages more people to spend more time and money locally, as well provide a space for new businesses to trade from, and for other activities with a social value purpose.
We promised you an update on our involvement in the MMU selection process once a decision had been made on a preferred developer for Ryebank Fields. MMU has recently announced its decision to appoint Step Places and Southway. You can read more about their decision here.
I want to update you with a bit more information on the process and some reflections. In May 2021 we set our general thinking here. The approach involved a sub-group of the CLT Board meeting online with each of the short-listed developers for two hour-long sessions:
MMU have announced today that their preferred developers for Ryebank Fields are Step Places/Southway Housing Trust.
Chorlton Community Land Trust’s position on Ryebank Fields is that should development go ahead, we wish to engage proactively with MMU and their selected development partners to ensure an exemplar development which, amongst other features, maximises affordable housing and has high levels of environmental sustainability.
Last year, through MMU, our Board engaged with the shortlisted developers including Step Places/Southway Housing Trust to challenge them on how far they would comply with the broad range of expectations and aspirations that we developed with members. We will be providing a further update to our members on our involvement in this process.
In March, we learnt that the Co-op had agreed an outline deal with Southway Housing to acquire the Picture House site. Since then, the CLT has been talking to Southway to make the case for our vision to revitalise the Chorlton High Street by retaining the Picture House building for commercial use with a community stake in its future. Southway is an established social housing provider with many properties in South Manchester and a commitment to its future.
We have teamed up with Greater Manchester Community Led Homes to host an event to celebrate community ownership which secures the future of community assets, creates homes that people can afford, and regenerates our high streets. Find out about practical guidance, sources of support and opportunities to meet others working towards similar goals.
We will have a stall at the event that promotes our ongoing work to secure the Picture House. We also be sharing our work on the Chorlton Vision.
Over the last few months, the CLT has been busy working on the Chorlton Vision, with local traders, Chorlton Voice, councillors and others. We have published our Initial Vision which sets out a series of priorities for public realm, the environment, movement, property and identity. Our plans for the Picture House would make a major contribution to realising the Vision.
The news has just come out that the Co-op has sold the Funeral Care/ Picture House site to Southway Housing Trust. The Co-op has decided to reject our long-standing offer which would have seen the community retain the main building.
A lot of people have been asking us for news on the Picture House project. We just wanted to say to everyone that we are still working on it and there are some recent developments that we are currently exploring. When we have got a clearer picture of where things stand and the way ahead, we will provide everyone with a fuller update. We expect this will happen in the next few weeks. Thank you for your continuing interest in this important project and please bear with us.
Chorlton CLT’s 2021 AGM was held on Tuesday 19th October at 7.30pm. The meeting was held virtually, and broadcast via Zoom. Thirty eight members attended, representing 11% of the total membership of 342.
Following a welcome from the Chair, Simon Hooton, and introductions, the minutes of the 2020 AGM were approved unanimously.
This year’s guest speaker, Rose Marley, CEO Coops UK, gave a presentation with an overview of the Coop Economy, referring to the vibrant Coop Economy in Manchester, and their role in the race to Net Zero and driving climate action. She then answered questions from members.
Simon Hooton presented the Annual Report which covered the independent governance review, as well as updates on The Picture House, Ryebank Fields and Chorlton Vision and the report was accepted.
The CLT accounts for the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 were presented by Charles Ward the Treasurer and accepted.
The results of of Board election were announced by Simon Hooton. As there were only six candidates for the eight places available, the candidates were all elected unopposed. Those elected were previous Board members Sian Richards and Steve Goslyn, previously co-opted Board members Charles Ward and Shannon Conway, and new Board members Louise Donohue and Scott Lockwood who were welcomed by Simon Hooton the Chair.
Following the AGM business, questions from members on The Picture House, the Chorlton Vision and Ryebank Fields were answered by various Board members.