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Plans for hundreds of new homes on site of Manchester City's former stadium

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 29/05/2020 Chris Slater
a house that has a sign on the side of a road: The site is currently a freight terminal © Manchester Evening News The site is currently a freight terminal

Plans have been submitted for over 300 new homes on the site of Manchester City's historic stadium in Gorton.

Developers want to build 191 houses and 146 apartments on land on Bennett Street in West Gorton on the border with Ardwick.

Now a freight terminal, it is where City's Hyde Road stadium, which they played at from 1897 until they moved to Maine Road in 1923, once stood.

And bosses have promised a new public square named after the stadium with sculptures and art paying homage to its former use.

Ascena Developments say the homes and the apartments, which will be set in two blocks of four and six storeys in height, will be of "high quality."

a house that has a sign on the side of the street: Developers say the homes and new public square will be a great addition to the area on what is currently an industrial site © Manchester Evening News Developers say the homes and new public square will be a great addition to the area on what is currently an industrial site

Sitting just off the A57 Hyde Road and close to Ardwick station at the side of the railway line that runs into Manchester Piccadilly, a large part of the five hectare site is currently occupied by Olympic Freight terminal and is used for the open air storage of shipping containers.

The rest is used for the storage of scrap metal and vehicles and inert waste.

As part of the plans, developers want to build 34 two-bedroom townhouses alongside 20 two bedroom stacked maisonettes, 12 of which will contain one, two and three bedroom apartments above.

The scheme also includes proposals for 109 three-bedroom townhouses, as well as 28 four-bedroom townhouses.

a group of people posing for the camera: King George V meets Manchester City's players at Hyde Road in 1920 © Mirrorpix King George V meets Manchester City's players at Hyde Road in 1920

The apartments would be in two blocks, one four-storeys high containing 57 apartments set back from the West Coast Mainline in the southwest of the site, with the other located in the northwestern corner of the site.

There would also be 350 car parking spaces and space for some commercial units and a new public square named after City's former home.

A planning statement submitted as part of the application says: "The scheme proposes a 700 square metre public square, namely ‘Hyde Road Square’ which is located to the south of the site where the original Manchester City FC ground once stood.

a group of people walking down a street in front of a brick building: The now demolished Hyde Road Hotel, which the ground stood next to, pictured in 1971 © Manchester Local Image Archive The now demolished Hyde Road Hotel, which the ground stood next to, pictured in 1971

"In order to preserve and pay homage to its former use, it is proposed that a number of sculptures or public art representing this historical connection will be displayed in the square to retain the heritage of the site."

They say a new community hub and café in the middle of the square will "help to deliver a visually attractive gateway into West Gorton."

However there is no affordable housing proposed as part of the scheme.

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The developers say it is "unable to support any affordable housing on a viable basis" and cite the large amount of existing affordable housing in the area.

They say discussions with officers, local councillors and residents before submission have been "largely positive."

a house covered in snow: The five hectare site is currently used for the storage of shipping containers, scrap metal and waste © Manchester Evening News The five hectare site is currently used for the storage of shipping containers, scrap metal and waste

The plans are likely to go before the council's planning committee in due course.

Manchester City started out their existence as the team of St Mark's Anglican church, which used to stand on Clowes Street in West Gorton in 1880.

After playing at on several pitches across the area, the club moved to the location off Hyde Road shortly before changing their name to Ardwick AFC in 1887.

The club struck up a relationship with the landlord of the Hyde Road Hotel, Stephen Chesters-Thompson which owned the land.

He allowed them use of his hotel's facilities as changing rooms in exchange for the club officially basing themselves there, and later on receiving the licence to run all of the new stadium's bars.

They remained there after changing their name to Manchester City in 1894 and the ground grew to a capacity of around 40,000.

However the club were outgrowing it and they left for Maine Road in Moss Side, which had an initial capacity of 83,000 in 1923.

The pub, later renamed the City Gates, remained open until the 1980s and was at one point run by former City player George Heslop. It was demolished in the 1990s after laying empty and derelict for several years.

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