Manchester literally cannot stop expanding, with constant developments being planned and leaping into action, including the tallest planned building in Manchester. In an unusual yet lovely turn of events, Great Places Housing Group has launched a public consultation on proposals for a plan to create the UK’s first purpose-built and co-produced majority LGBTQ+ Extra Care housing scheme in Whalley Range, south Manchester.
The development is planned for the site of the former Spire Hospital in Russell Road, Whalley Range, which was demolished in 2019 and the brownfield site has since remained vacant. The proposals for the majority of the Extra Care housing scheme have been developed with the input of the Russell Road Community Steering Group, Manchester City Council and LGBT Foundation.
The planned scheme will deliver 80 one and two bedroom social rented apartments for older people in a brick building of four to five storeys. The low-carbon scheme will include shared facilities, lounges and treatment rooms and landscaped gardens which will look to ensure an overall net gain of trees on the site.
Extra Care housing developments look to increase the affordable housing opportunities for older people to move into high quality accommodation, with flexible care and support services available to meet changing needs encouraging independent living.
The residents of the housing development will be required to be aged 55 years or over, with the majority of residents being members of the LGBTQ+ community from Manchester. Living alongside allies and other members of the local community, the aim is to provide an open and inclusive, physical and psychological place of safety for the older LGBTQ+ community and a welcome addition to the Whalley Range area.
The site will also include a neighbouring separate shared ownership block consisting of around 40 apartments, a mix of one and two bed apartments, delivering affordable homes to first time buyers and eligible customers, helping to address emerging affordability issues in places such as Whalley Range.
Commenting on the launch of the consultation Helen Spencer, our Executive Director of Growth, said: “We are delighted to launch our public consultation for this exciting and innovative project, which aims to create the UK’s first purpose-built and co-produced LGBTQ+ Extra Care housing scheme in Whalley Range.
“Russell Road will provide high-quality, affordable, and inclusive homes for older people who identify as LGBT+ or allies, as well as shared ownership opportunities for local residents. We believe this scheme will not only meet the specific needs and aspirations of the LGBT+ community, but also enhance the diversity and vibrancy of Whalley Range as a neighbourhood.
“We look forward to hearing the views of the local community and working with our partners, Manchester City Council and LGBT Foundation, to make this vision a reality.”
Residents will be able to see the plans and give their views at public consultation meetings at the site on Russell Road on Friday 12 January 2-8pm and Saturday 13 January from 12-2pm.
Members of the local community will also be able to provide their views online here, or by contacting Chris.Baldwin@greatplaces.org.uk by March 8.