10 developments to look out for in 2024
From arenas to skyscrapers, there is plenty for North West-based built environment enthusiasts to look forward to this year. Here is a breakdown of some of the major schemes in line to progress over the next 12 months.
What is it? Manchester’s first ever 70+ storey buildings.
Who is developing them? Salboy is behind plans for a 76-storey tower as part of its Viadux scheme (pictured at the very top of this article) and Renaker wants to build a 71-floor building at Great Jackson Street. Both buildings are designed by SimpsonHaugh Architects.
Where are they up to? Renaker submitted proposals for its Lighthouse development in July but has yet to receive planning approval. Meanwhile, Salboy is expected to table its proposals for Viadux Two early next year, having unveiled the project in November, as first revealed by Place North West.
What next? If history tells us anything, both developers will want to crack on as soon as planning approval is secured. Expect both of these lofty schemes to start on site in 2024.
What is it? A long-awaited £200m commercial development in Liverpool city centre
Who is developing it? Kier Property and CTP on behalf of Liverpool City Council
Where is it up to? Plans for a 400,000 sq ft office development were approved in October 2019 but the lack of a pre-let means the scheme has failed to get off the ground – BT, which had been lined up for the space, put its hunt for 80,000 sq ft of space in Liverpool on ice in 2020.
What next? The general consensus is that the site will remain vacant until a pre-let is secured because the city council wants to minimise its risk exposure. Work is ongoing behind the scenes to secure an occupier and a way forward for the scheme with Rathbones rumoured to be close to selecting Pall Mall as the site of its new Liverpool head office.
Liverpool’s Strategic Futures Panel, chaired by city region mayor Steve Rotheram has made tackling the city’s scourge of stalled sites a priority. We have already seen action at the long-awaited Littlewoods, so 2024 could be the year Pall Mall finally gets going?
What is it? The redevelopment of eight acres (hence the name) within Stockport’s 130-acre Town Centre West masterplan.
Who is developing it? Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation appointed English Cities Fund to deliver the scheme in 2023.
Where is it up to? Following ECF’s appointment, a project team has been assembled and a consultation is planned in January.
What next? Following the consultation, a planning application for the Shedkm-designed 1,200-home scheme is expected at some point next year. 2024 is due to be a busy year for English Cities Fund and Muse – which is one-third of the ECF consortium – with projects coming forward across the North West in Prestwich, St Helens, and Oldham.
What is it? A potentially transformational project for Morecambe that will see the creation of a family-friendly eco-destination on the seafront. Across four shell-like dome structures, the attraction will showcase the relationships between animals, humans, plants and the environment.
Who is behind it? Eden Project International and Grimshaw Architects, which designed the original Eden Project in Cornwall.
Where is it up to? Planning for the project was approved in 2022 and this year saw the hunt for funding bear fruit after the government stumped up £50m for the attraction from its Levelling Up Fund.
What next? With funding in place, all being well a contractor for the 200,000 sq ft project should be appointed in 2024, paving the way for a start on site and with it, Morecambe’s renaissance.
What is it? A 3.1m sq ft logistics scheme located on more than 200 acres of Green Belt off Junction 20 of the M6.
Who is developing it? Langtree and Panattoni
Where is it up to? The development was approved by Warrington Council in March 2022 and originally okayed by Michael Gove. However, he changed his mind six months later and called in the project for further scrutiny.
The developers’ hopes of consent have been dealt a blow recently following the adoption of Warrington Council’s local plan. The strategy previously earmarked the Six56 site for employment development but the allocation was stripped from the final iteration of the plan leaving the future of the industrial development uncertain.
What next? The developers, which have been made to wait more than a year for a decision on the scheme already, will be hoping that Gove turns a blind eye to the local plan and looks favourably on the scheme. A decision surely cannot be far away.
What is it? A 320-acre, cross-border masterplan to map out the regeneration of one of Manchester’s most maligned areas as well as Cambridge Industrial Estate in Salford.
Who is developing it? The project is being led by Manchester City Council, which appointed a project team led by Avison Young to draw up the masterplan in 2023.
Where is it up to? The project team – comprising AY, Maccreanor Lavington, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Schulze-Grassov, Civic Engineers, Useful Projects, and Placed – is working up the strategy while Manchester City Council continues to lobby the government to move Strangeways prison, seen as a major barrier to regeneration.
What next? We will get the first glimpse of the 10-year vision in the summer. Do not be surprised if development proposals begin to emerge in Strangeways and the surrounding areas in 2024 – we have already seen increased levels of activity on Cheetham Hill Road in recent months as the regeneration of Manchester spreads.
Chorley Super Prison
What is it? A 1,700-inmate facility located on more than 100 acres of Green Belt between two existing prisons, HMP Garth, an 850-capacity category B prison, and HMP Wymott, a category C prison with space for 1,200 inmates.
Who is developing it? Plans for the 575,000 sq ft prison were put forward by the Ministry of Justice as part of its £4bn New Prisons Programme.
Where is it up to? The Ministry of Justice lodged plans for the prison two years ago and has met with rejection twice during that time.
Inspector Tom Gilbert-Wooldridge dismissed the Ministry of Justice’s appeal in October 2022, agreeing with Chorley Council’s assertion some months prior that the threshold of very special circumstances for development in the Green Belt had not been met.
With the council and the Planning Inspectorate both looking unfavourably at the proposals, Michael Gove intervened, giving fresh hope to the scheme.
What next? A final decision on the application is well overdue but no date has been set for its announcement. Expect one before the general election.
Get the latest on Lancashire’s development scene by attending Place North West’s Lancashire Development Update on 8 February 2024.
What is it? A £365m, 23,500-seater arena located close to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Who is developing it? Oak View Group, with a little help from City Football Group and Harry Styles. Populous is the architect.
Where is it up to? The finishing touches are being put on the venue and the roster of performers grows on an almost daily basis. Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow, and Pet Shop Boys are already lined up.
What next? Contractor BAM is scheduled to wrap up the project in the first quarter of next year with the first gig. While the launch of Manchester’s newest venue will be watched closely, the fortunes of the 28-year-old AO Arena in the city centre will also be examined.
When plans for Co-op Live first emerged, ASM Global, which operates the AO, claimed that two large arenas in one city would not work. Next year, we will find out if they were right.
What is it? A 100,000 sq ft wellbeing resort in Trafford costing in the region of £250m.
Who is developing it? Therme Group, which has venues in Romania, South Korea, and Canada.
Where is it up to? Reworked plans for the scheme, which features 35 waterslides, 25 pools, and four distinctive zones offering a range of treatments and activities, were approved in September.
What next? Having previously planned to complete the project this year, Therme will be aiming to make up for lost time and make a start on delivering one of the region’s most hotly anticipated developments.
Stockport Pyramid restaurant
What is it? The transformation of the town’s iconic glass pyramid into an Indian restaurant.
Who is developing it? Eamar Developments owns the building and Royal Nawaab is planning its overhaul into a 1,500-cover restaurant and banqueting hall.
Where is it up to? Located off Junction One of the M60, Eamar’s Stockport Pyramid has been vacant since 2017 after the Co-operative Bank moved its operations to NOMA in Manchester.
Place North West revealed this summer that Royal Nawaab was planning to take over the building, and the company lodged a planning application for the project in September.
What next? The grand opening is scheduled for summer 2024.