Campaigners protest against plans for new homes on Ryebank Fields in South Manchester | ITV News Granada

INVASIVE SURVEY WORK COMMENCED WEEK BEGINNING 1st July 2024 – Contractors from e3p , TreeTops, and representatives from MMU arrived on Friday 28th June to clear a route through the gates, they tore through brambles and the bug hotel under supervision of an ecologist from Urban Green who are also working for the proposed developers. Local people were on the scene immediately, to challenge their actions and particularly their presence during mammal breeding and bird nesting seasons. The M.E.N. were on the scene, and you can see and comment on their live blog here

Details are available at this link:


WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SAVE RYEBANK FIELDS? Click here for suggestions.

A second stage consultation is also imminent. The developer team are revising their proposals, based on consultation feedback from February 2023, subsequent discussions with Manchester Council Planning Department, and ongoing survey work on the Fields. We estimate they are likely planning to then submit a full Planning Application to Manchester City Council this Autumn/Winter 2024. At that point there would be a further formal opportunity to make objections to the planning application.

It is only if the Developer Team are successful in gaining planning approval that the Developer is contracted to buy the land from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Until that point, Ryebank Fields still belong to MMU.

Please visit the proposed developer’s website to examine their existing plans, comment and sign up to their email list to be included in their updates. You can also sign up to our email list at the bottom of this page.

Meanwhile please watch this space and follow and comment on our socials (links at top of this page) for updates, comments, and suggested questions to the developers. Also check out both the FAQs and Responding to Consultation tabs for further info, and join our mailing list using the yellow button at the foot of this page.

Beautiful Ryebank – slideshow

Ryebank photos by kind permission of Jay Clarke

Why we need to save Ryebank Fields:

Ryebank Fields is a 4.6 hectare patch of open green space on the border of Chorlton and Stretford in South Manchester. It was gifted by Manchester City Council to Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) for use as playing fields. The University abandoned the fields in 1996, since when the land has re-wilded into a mosaic of natural habitats. It is a fantastic green area accessible to all and a well used and loved Community asset. The fields are home to over 1400 trees and countless birds, bats, mammals and insects, as well as providing invaluable food and shelter for pollinators. They also act as a carbon sink and natural floodplain and combat air pollution in this densely populated urban area which is bordered by a local school.

Currently Ryebank Fields is under threat of development from Manchester Metropolitan University who are in the process of selling the fields to property developers. A development framework was adopted by Manchester City Council with proposals for 120 houses. Subsequently, MMU commissioned a number of reports as part of the process of selling the site to a developer.

As part of the campaign to Save Ryebank Fields, the Friends of Ryebank Fields (FORF) group was established in 2018 with the express aim of opposing any development of the site. FORF are continuing to commission reports which challenge statements in the MMU reports, and have employed a planning consultant on how best to oppose any planning application which may eventually be brought forward. These have been funded by donations and crowdfunding.

Meanwhile, FORF and our supporters continue to introduce people to Ryebank Fields, through events and activities , video interviews with locals and a series of stunning photographs capturing the natural beauty her and on our Facebook page. See also the Media tab for press coverage.

If you would like to support FORF, please sign the petition, sign up to our email list – and if you are able, support our JustGiving appeal