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Manchester Metropolitan University, Birley Fields Campus, Hulme, United Kingdom 
Thursday 02 Jul 2009
 
Super campus to regenerate slum town 
 
 
 
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Editorial

Manchester City Council approve masterplan for £120 million sustainable super-campus 

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is closer to receiving a £120 million campus in Hulme following its planning application submittal this week. Designed by UK based architecture practice John McAslan & Partners the project will amount to a sustainable supercampus covering 12 hectares. A report was submitted to the City Council's Executive on June 24 to consider the University's proposals. There will now be a three-month period of public consultation to refine and develop a detailed proposal with the local community before a more formal planning application is made.

The new Birley Fields Campus proposal represents a significant and exciting chapter in the regeneration of Hulme, which was the site of the biggest slum clearance in Europe during the 1960s. The MMU proposal would breathe new life into the site that has been earmarked for development since the 1990s, creating around 340 jobs and adding approximately £29million additional annual value to the economies of Hulme and neighbouring Moss Side. Bordered by Stretford Road, Royce Road and Princess Road, the integrated ‘community campus’ would house the university's teacher training and health faculties, educating up to 6,000 professionals for the region's schools, hospitals, health and social services.

The campus would also be used as a test bed for research and evaluation of new models of sustainability within an urban environment. Its significant size allows for large areas of greening and landscaping and, at its heart, an extensive green space linked to surrounding areas of trees and grassland. An open square area would be entirely accessible to the community and buildings will be designed to incorporate the latest environmental technologies to minimise carbon, water and waste and maximise ecology, and would be supported by a sustainable travel plan.

Aidan Potter, Director at John McAslan & Partners said, “We anticipate that the campus would be the greenest in the UK. Currently urban campus developments are often restricted by existing services and planning constraints, however by creating a mixed-use estate with integrated activities we can reduce energy consumption, minimise waste, maximise passive natural resources, harvest and recycle rainwater and build in flexibility. The project will also enable us to develop and test cutting-edge solutions for the future.” The £120 million scheme is part of a £400 million investment in MMU campuses across Manchester and Cheshire.

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John McAslan + Partners
www.mcaslan.co.uk

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