The governors of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have now decided to progress with the sale of the Ryebank Fields site and has begun to market the site to developers through agents Cushman & Wakefield.
Should development go ahead, the CLT wishes to engage proactively with MMU and their selected development partner to achieve an exemplar scheme at Ryebank Fields.
We acknowledge that some people in our community, including some CLT members, are opposed to any development on Ryebank Fields. To ensure we have appropriate support, the CLT surveyed its members last month and has secured a mandate to engage in the process and to aim for a development that exceeds the Development Framework adopted for the site by Manchester City Council.
The CLT Board believe that a high-quality development on this site, building on the expectations of the Development Framework, can raise the bar for sustainable low carbon community living alongside nature within the City of Manchester.
To this end, we have captured the views of members from the Early Feedback Engagement Survey and fed these into an overarching Expectations and Aspirations Statement that sets out our broad position as we begin to engage in the development process, given the Development Framework’s commitment for developers to “work with a local community housing group to develop part, or all of the site” and to ensure there is “extensive engagement with the local community”.
Our first AGM is confirmed for 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd October, to be held virtually so you can join from the comfort of your own home. Formal notification will be sent out to members nearer the time but please save the date for now.
Chorlton CLT’s first Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on the evening of Thursday 22nd October 2020. The meeting was held virtually, broadcast via Zoom from Stretford Public Hall. In total we had over 60 members attend, representing almost 20% of our total membership of 318.
We were delighted to open the AGM with a presentation by Claire Stocks from the Climate Change Action Partnership who presented on the new Big Lottery funded initiative. Her presentation can be found below.
Following Claire’s presentation, our Chair Steve Goslyn took us through the main matters of business including the presentation of the Annual Report and the Annual Accounts – both accepted by a majority of members present.
The results of Board election were also announced as voting for the election had taken place online prior to the AGM. Our successful candidates were congratulated and welcomed: Carl Emery, Pam Barnes, Zainab Suleman, Rowena Salmon, and Joseph Breen.
Following the election results, we had one resolution to consider – to dis-apply the requirements to appoint an auditor in line with the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. This was moved by our Treasurer Charles Ward and seconded by Vice Chair Margaret Manning. The resolution was approved by over 80% of members present at the AGM voting in favour.
The final part of the meeting concentrated on updates of our key projects The Picture House (Co-op funeralcare) and Ryebank Fields. Following these updates, we ended with a Question and Answer session.
The key documents from the AGM can be found below:
In February 2020 members of the CLT were invited to a consultation workshop to discuss the benefits they would like to see from the Picture House project. Their contributions were grouped within 4 themes – ‘Strength of community’, ‘Health and wellbeing’, ‘The building and the environment’ and ‘Jobs and the local economy’. This enabled a set of social value outcomes to be developed for each theme.
In June 2020 the Chorlton CLT Board initiated a Governance review which was carried out by The Greater Manchester Community Led Housing Hub. The work was undertaken by the Hub Interim Director, Tom Hopkins in the period June – August 2020.
The overall aim is to ensure that the CLT board is fit for purpose and has a clear plan for actions to take forward.
As stated previously the CLT Board decided not to put a paper to the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) governing body who discussed the Fields at their meeting at the end of March, 2020 so as not to stand in the way of those campaigning against any development. Despite groups making submissions asking the governors not to sell the land for housing and presenting alternative uses, the governors decided to progress with the sale. Since then asbestos has been found on the site at surface level. MMU has commissioned more site investigations, installed fencing and urged local residents not to access the land.
In September 2019, Chorlton CLT was one of sixteen community land trusts to be awarded a share of £329,000 to strengthen their membership base and be champions of inclusivity, equality and diversity.
Polly Adams-Felton, Project Manager at the National CLT Network, said:
It’s been a while since we’ve posted an update. Rest assured, we’ve been busy pulling together plans for Stayin’ Alive and moving forward to nail down our agreement with the Co-op – so we can take the project forward using your generous pledges. Since early January we have been:
Chorlton CLT has been invited, along with other community groups, to make written representations about Ryebank Fields to landowner MMU’s Board of Governors which meets in March. We have decided not to write in at this point. We don’t want our position to interpreted as simply being “pro development” and in opposition to groups who don’t want any development at all. If these groups are successful in convincing MMU not to sell the land the CLT will be happy to accept this position.