Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

122160/FO/2018 - Belle Vue Stadium Kirkmanshulme Lane, Manchester, M18 7BD - Longsight Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The application submitted relates to the proposed residential development comprising of eighty apartments within one part three, part four storey block and one 3 storey block and the erection of one hundred and sixty-seven, two and two and a half storey dwellings with associated car parking, boundary treatments and landscaping, the creation of new roads and access points off Kirkmanshulme Lane, site remediation and other associated engineering works following the

demolition of the existing buildings.


The application site is approximately 4.82 hectares in size and is bounded by

Kirkmanshulme Lane to the north, Mount Road to the east, existing residential

properties on Stanley Grove to the south and the Belle Vue Sports Village, Leisure

Centre and Speedway track complex to the west.


The site is located approximately 550 metres to the north-west of Gorton District

Centre and approximately 4 kilometres to the south-east of Manchester City Centre.

The topography of the site is predominantly flat but does have some areas of

mounding due to previous earthworks and movements around the site. The site is

regular in shape and is currently occupied by the Belle Vue Stadium and associated

car parking and operational areas around the track. The stadium is currently used for

regular greyhound racing and stock car racing and the site is also used by the MSM

Motorcycle Training Centre.


The Chair indicated that in view of the interest expressed in the application from various groups in attendance he would, on this occasion, allow more than one speaker to address the Committee.


The Planning Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the late representation that had been submitted regarding comments received from a member of the public supporting the need for affordable homes and stating that greyhound racing is no longer viable at the race track. Further comments had also been received from representatives from Friends of Belle Vue and Startax Oval Motorsport Ltd which presented reasons opposing the application. A ward Councillor had also commented on the location of the development welcoming the mix of housing and the possibility of achieving 20% affordable housing contribution. The applicant/ agent had provided further detail on boundary treatments and plans for the development. The Head of Planning had provided reasons in response to the objections raised.


An objector spoke as a local resident against the application and expressed concern on the level of affordable housing within the proposal (14%) and quoted the national guidance which recommends 20% affordable properties. Reference was also made to the human rights considerations and the loss of the amenity through the loss of the race track which had been used by millions of visitors to Belle Vue since 1926.


An objector spoke on behalf of the Friends of Belle Vue Stadium highlighting the loss of a working class sport and valuable facility within the city that has been in place since 1926 and continues to hold numerous sporting events each year. Reference was made to the granting of an Asset of Community Value order and the ongoing viability of the of the businesses associated with the race track and the welfare of the animals involved in racing. The site currently provided car parking for the adjacent speedway track which will be moved on to residential streets if the development proceeds. The point was made that the reports used in the application have included misleading information.


The applicant’s representative addressed the Committee on the application.


The Planning Officer responded to issues raised and advised the Committee that the site of the proposed development does not fall within the Council’s Core Strategy, UDP or the MCC Citywide Open Spaces Sports and Recreation Study. The sports of greyhound racing and stock car racing do not fall within the sports protected under Sport England. In considering and balancing the issue of the loss of a sporting spectator facility it is considered that the demand for housing outweighs the loss of the facility. The issue of affordable housing has been tested and this will take place again to test on profits made from any uplift in the value of the properties. The issue of a community asset has been taken into account as part of the planning process. The issue of animal welfare is the subject of separate legislation.


The Chair invited Committee members to ask questions and comment on the application.

A member referred to:

·         The covenant in place on the site regarding its use for leisure and asked for clarification from officers.

·         Tree cover, in view of the comments from the arboricultural officer that more trees could be included in the landscaping proposals, could conditions 13-17 be amended to require the planting of additional trees.

·         In view of the proximity of the development site to the city centre, could conditions be included to ensure that the properties are for private family residential use only to prevent them from being used for private rental purposes.


The Planning Officer reported that the covenant on the site is not a matter for planning and would be for the developer to address separately. With reference to trees on the site, it was reported that there are one hundred trees proposed for the site, as part of a landscaping plan yet to be agreed. Through negotiation, planning officers will push for the inclusion of additional trees with the developer which are appropriate for the location. It was reported that legal advice had been sought and officers were satisfied that the proposed conditions were sufficient to enable enforcement action to prevent properties being used as houses in multiple occupation, hostels or bed and breakfast accommodation.


A member referred to arrangements for parking in view of the adjacent leisure facility and asked officers if these are sufficient to deal with the demand for parking of visitors to the speedway track.


It was reported that there is over 100% parking arrangements for houses and 61 spaces for the apartments and 100% cycle parking. The parking management plan has been assessed by officers from Highways and the plan is considered to be acceptable, in view of the traffic calming and other highways works. The adjacent speedway track is subject to a management strategy to address major events and car parking arrangements.


A member referred to the major road junction of Mount Road and Kirkmanshulme Lane and asked officers if any conditions had been included in the proposal, and had community use of the new stadium been factored into the closure of the Bell Vue Stadium.


It was reported that a traffic impact assessment had been submitted as part of the application and the impact on nearby junctions had been assessed including the junction of Mount Road and Kirkmanshulme Lane and a package of off site highway works were proposed including a cycle lane and were to be delivered as part of a highway works Condition. Community facilities are available at the adjacent speedway stadium for community use.


The Chair made reference to the comments received from Councillor Richards (ward Councillor) that the scheme addresses the need for affordable housing and the future uplift from the increase in value of the properties could be used to contribute to future affordable housing.


The Committee was informed that the financial uplift would be tested at two separate points in the future as part of a legal agreement to be included in the planning agreement.




The Committee were Minded to Approve the application, subject to:

·         The conditions and reasons set out in the report and as amended (Condition 2) in the late representations submitted.

·         The signing of a legal agreement for the delivery of affordable housing at the site.


(Councillor Hitchen arrived after consideration of the application had started and did not take part in the consideration or the decision.)

Supporting documents: