School and homes plan given green-light on site of former Manchester …

Plans for nearly 100 homes and a new primary school at the former Manchester Metropolitan University campus in Didsbury have been given the green light.

Beaver Road Primary School will expand into a new state-of-the-art building on the site of the former MMU Broomhurst halls of residents on Wilmslow Road after Manchester council’s planning committee approved outline proposals.

The halls, completed in 1963, were home to thousands of students, but closed last year. The building will now be knocked down to pave way for the new school.

Developers have also been given the go-ahead for 93 apartments and houses on the other side of the road.

The main administration building on the 17-acre site, which dates back to 1790, will be converted into 19 apartments and 12 houses by The PJ Livesey Group; specialists in recreating heritage sites.

Another Grade II-listed building, the Chapel, will be turned into 10 apartments. Three smaller listed buildings, The Lodge, 801 and 803 Wilmslow Road, will be converted into three homes. Around half of the homes will be new builds.

Take a look around the site of the university

The campus was in educational use from the 1840s until 2014; following MMU’s move to the £140m Birley Campus in Hulme.

Beaver Road, like many Manchester primaries, is in urgent need of expansion after hundreds of children missed out on a place there earlier this year.

The 85-year-old school, which currently has 700 pupils, will be expanded to five forms of entry with 150 children in each year group.

Planning work for the secondary Beaver Road site could begin as early as September with enrolment starting in September 2016.

Nine teachers and staff would teach reception and nursery classes initially and the school would grow year-on-year to eventually accommodate 420 children.

Steve Parle, chairman of Didsbury Civic Society, raised concerns about the number of flats, rather than houses; as well as traffic around the new school.

Bosses at the Eleven Didsbury Park and the Didsbury House hotels raised concerns about loss of privacy and noise for guests.

Didsbury West councillor David Ellison said: “This will bring life vitality to the area and much-needed housing.

“All our schools are over-subscribed, it’s a real issue for people in Didsbury. It’s a disincentive for people to move into Manchester if they can’t get their child a school place. This will start to address that.”

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