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Didsbury MMU Campus Developer Named: PJ Livesey

Family Homes for 17 acre prime site

Published on July 9th 2014.

Didsbury MMU Campus Developer Named: PJ Livesey

INTERESTING press release this for Didsbury readers.

Let's hope the Livesey development will be open and permeable to the city; part of not separate from.  

'THE PJ Livesey Group has been named preferred developer for Manchester Metropolitan University’s Didsbury Campus.

'The Manchester based company was selected after a five way bid for the 17 acre site which includes a number of listed buildings.

'PJ Livesey propose to convert the existing buildings, including the Grade II* listed Admin Building into apartments and construct a number of upmarket family homes in the grounds in line with Manchester City Council’s development framework for the site.

'The site is surplus to MMU’s requirements following the development of the new Birley Fields Campus.

'James Woodmansee,  PJ Livesey Group Development Director said: “The Group’s experience, track record and commitment to quality ensure we will be able to deliver the aspirations of MMU, Manchester City Council and local residents for the site.

“This is an opportunity to create a development that will form a natural part and extension of Didsbury Village providing new homes of a scale that can really make a difference to the provision and profile of housing within the city.

“It is an opportunity not to be squandered. We have a responsibility to deliver on these aspirations without compromise. A diluted version simply will not produce the legacy and standard which should be demanded by all those involved.

“The historic assets of the site are not constraints they are opportunities for which will find a sensitive solution and we will be working with Calderpeel Architects and Ryder Landscape Consultants to create the very highest quality bespoke new build homes with a  variety of styles, designs and sizes to nestle within the mature landscape.”

'The sale is subject to planning approval being granted.'

Fair enough. But Confidential hopes Livesey delivers.

A little closer into 'the village' proper is a development arranged along a little cul-de-sac named in a cringy manner Heritage Gardens. The houses look decent enough in a faux-olde stylee but there's a big wall round the whole thing making it resemble 'a gated community'.

Such hints of exclusivity in Manchester are not pleasant to see. Let's hope the Livesey development will be open and permeable to the city; part of, not separate from.  

Certainly it will be interesting to see how they dream dreams of the listed buildings on the site and how they allow these to breathe whilst integrating them into the whole.

The former mansion from the 18th century of the Broome family which became a Wesleyan Training College in 1842, presents one of the best main road facades in Manchester - see picture above. 

For the record PJ Livesey's work includes Withington Hospital - now Didsbury Place; Kingsley Park, Frodsham; Bostock Hall, Cheshire; St Annes Hospital, Bowdon; Allerton Priory, Liverpool; Stone House Hospital, Dartford; Ingress Abbey, Kent. Current projects include Lancaster Moor Hospital , Mostyn House School and former hospitals in Beverley and Otley.

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 9th 2014.

P J Livesey - great. CalderPeel - not so sure.

Didsbury ResidentJuly 10th 2014.

I live in a PJ Livesey flat in Didsbury. Their health and safety record is horrific and they cut corners with their buildings. If you are thinking of buying ask for details of their guest car parking spaces in writing, as these are usually sold off to the highest bidder, leaving no visitors spaces for residents. However this will only be revealed to you after all units have been sold. Also ask specific questions about the resources they have in place for any after sales problems that arise (as is often the case with new builds). There is little or no provision for this at the moment leaving residents with outstanding issues for many months. Don't let them kid you into thinking the predicted service charges will remain low either. Their predictions are based on a minimum shoestring budget, which has to rise significantly after completion when 'real world' bills need to be paid for. Also bear in mind that they install cheap electric boilers which result in extortionate electricity bills. £200 a month for a 2 bed flat is pretty standard here, even with economical measures in place. Oh and if you have any questions, their sales staff will be fantasic. Post sales, all calls disappear into their mystery 'customer services' centre never to be heard again. You have been warned!

Voice of the Ironing BroadJuly 10th 2014.

Why are the Didsbury Councillors so silent on the loss of the all the sporting facilities when MMU departs [ones that the council funded prior to transfer of MMU. I know there is the promised trade off for a new primary school but is there cogent evidence that there is a lack of places in Didsbury for local children or is it simply that the massively subsidised faith schools mean that kids are transported from across the city to school here. Primary schools are critical infrastructure for local communities and should be in the areas they serve. There has been a pathetic smokescreen about "saving" the playing fields from lazy labour councillors..but of course the only building possible on these would have been houseboats so quite how they have been saved is a mystery. If the school is needed here then it should come from core funding. Some of the existing residents might like to ask their councillors 'how close will the new build be to my own home' There are some very high current rooflines on that site. Councillors in Manchester don't operate on National Planning guidelines on separation distances. The thoughts expressed locally are that the new homes will need to be packed in for Livesey to get their money back on the site.

Voice of the Ironing BroadJuly 10th 2014.

And another thing? Will there be any covenant against wholescale buy to letting? Or any affordable housing?

Peter CoppingJuly 10th 2014.

All your questions shows up why writing up press releases are don't help. Put the ironingboard away. Get nearby residents into a Neighbourhood Association. Ask Castlefield how to campaign effectively and make objections.You need expertise.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Voice of the Ironing BroadJuly 13th 2014.

Made all of the points to the developers and to the deadleg excuses that serve as councillors. But hey, when all you need to do in the planning committee is read off the developers script... what chance do ordinary folk stand. My local councillor argued that a 2 storey four bed detached would be smaller than a 2 bed bungalow it replaced. What chance do you stand with incompetents drawing their pound from the public purse. I say stream the planning committee and at least then there's a chance of the wider public watching what these idiots get up to.

SquirrelitoJuly 11th 2014.

Prime candidate for a ManCon architectural inventory before work starts, Jonathan?

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