Upper Brook Street PBSA , PAG Moda, p PAG

The scheme would see the redevelopment of an under-utilised area of the Oxford Road Corridor. Credit: via planning documents

£450m Manchester student/life science cluster tipped for approval 

The four developers behind plans for 700,000 sq ft of lab space and almost 2,000 student bedrooms across two connected projects off Upper Brook Street could be in line for an early Christmas present when the city council’s planning committee meets next week.

Manchester City Council is expected to give the go-ahead to the projects, which have a combined GDV of £450m and are being developed by Property Alliance Group, Moda, McLaren Property, and Kadans.

The schemes would bring an underutilised site in the Oxford Road Corridor into use. 

PAG and Moda 

Upper Brook Street , PAG, p.PAG

The development would feature three acres of public realm. Credit: via Property Alliance Group

Planning reference: 137401/FO/2023 

Life sciences architect: Hawkins\Brown 

PBSA architect: SimpsonHaugh 

Planner: AshtonHale 

Landscape architect: Reform 

Alliance plans to develop 470,000 sq ft of life sciences accommodation on its portion of the Upper Brook Street masterplan, which comprises the former Williams garages.   

The lab and office space would be spread across three buildings ranging from five to nine storeys. 

Meanwhile, Moda Living will deliver around 983 student accommodation units in a 30-storey tower in partnership with Alliance on the northernmost portion of the site. 

The student element was originally 42 storeys but was significantly scaled back to address concerns of local residents. It will still be the tallest element of the scheme and will feature 22% affordable provision. 

The student beds are the first to come forward from Moda Living’s 4,000-bed student accommodation pipeline, announced earlier this year.  

Moda’s student scheme, located on the northernmost part of the site, will provide the masterplan’s tallest building. 

WSP, Turley, Curtins, Ridge, Focus Transport, and Design Fire are also involved in the scheme. 

McLaren and Kadans 

Upper Brook Street , PAG, p.PAG

Credit: via planning documents

Planning reference: 137399/FO/2023 

Architect: Sheppard Robson 

Planner: AshtonHale 

Landscape architect: Reform 

McLaren Property wants to deliver 737 student beds within a 23-storey building on the site of the former Citroen garage on Upper Brook Street.  

Life sciences operator and developer Kadans, which recently won approval for Europe’s largest life sciences campus at Canary Wharf, is planning to develop a 215,000 sq ft lab complex on the site of Elizabeth Yarwood Court.  

The building would comprise eight floors, with its ground floor set to feature a startup incubator space. 

The city council is preparing to dispose of land on Upper Brook Street to pave the way for part of the scheme. 

Manchester City Council is planning to sign off the sale of Elizabeth Yarwood Court to Kadans.  

The site was previously earmarked for residential development as part of the Brunswick Housing Private Finance Initiative but was withdrawn in 2021 as the city council looked to facilitate regeneration along the Oxford Road Corridor.  

Landscape studio Reform is advising on the development’s public realm, which amounts to three acres and includes two public squares.   

Your Comments

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God, I hate the word ‘cluster’

By Anonymous

Not needed


Truly refreshing to see a SimpsonHaugh tower penned for Manchester, just what the city needs – hopefully the first of many.. :\

By Anonymous

Sorry it is needed – Manchester and the city region need to build on those economic sectors such as Life Sciences where we can be globally competitive, spin out new businesses from our universities and create good quality jobs. The PBSA is also very much needed – pity the University of Manchester objected to almost every PBSA planning application in the city for the last 15 years.

By Anonymous

Compare this ambitious plan to liverpool council who have refused another project

By Stuart wood

@DH I’m interested why you think space for life sciences isn’t needed. It’s not the simple case of working from home with this. As for student units, they are very much in demand in the city if only to remove the HMOs from the suburbs. It’s a shame the developers gave in and reduced the tower by 12 floors.

By Andrew

Manchester University Ltd earns millions off tens of thousands of foreign students who need apartments for a while.

By Anonymous

Great to see, hope it gets approved. This will be a valued addition to the Manchester economy and enhance the student and graduate lifestyle.


Best not to respond to DH – bit of a troll

By Anonymous

What I would give to have Manchesters leadership in Liverpool

By Tom 85

Read more DH. Life sciences not needed? Strange then then that both Manchester and Liverpool are intent on developing them. Manchester has an entire corridor coming in from Oxford Rd growing by the year dedicated to Life sciences.

By Anonymous

It’s not near where students want to live, it’s not near public transport, it’s next to a deprived estate and will offer nothing to people there, god forbid we allow some critical thinking, everyone is a troll


@Anon @ 4.29 not everybody is an Uber capitalist


A solid and sensible addition. Can forgive the slightly uninspiring nature given the location and purpose.

By Tom

Spare a thought for those of us who will have to live in the shadow of this monstrosity.

By Steve

DH – explain your reasoning in the first post next time then instead of just commenting “Not needed”. That’s what makes you a troll, not your critical thinking (or lack of).

It’s right next to the universities, a 5 min walk from Piccadilly station, and the estate has been regenerated recently and looks quite nice – you should take a trip down there and see for yourself instead of relying on your 1980s stereotypes of Brunswick.

By Anonymous

DH , you are on the wrong site if you think Life sciences is not needed. I know it’s easy to try and hit out when things aren’t going the way you would like or rather where you would like, but pick your battles otherwise as others have pointed out it just comes across as a strop, and they belong on Instagram.

By Anonymous

Not sure why anyone would get their Huggies in a Heimlich over this one. The location is actually perfect for students boarding the city centre and with many Life science companies nearby. Well done all, good to see this site being developed.

By Adam

Oxbridge seem allergic to expanding their cities for lab space. The north can catch them if they want to, albeit without the academic institutions they have.

By Anonymous

I though the whole point of a masterplan is turning into a place where people want to live?

It’s also located next to the wider Manchester Unit Campus and less than a minutes’ walk from one of the busiest bus routes in Europe.

I can understand why neighbouring properties would have concerns (despite them being deprived!).

By Give it a rest

As a person who lives in the community who are going to be affected by this, I’m furious. Members of the community have been working against this as our community needs better than MORE student accommodation in the area. They’ve already taken over hulme and so many parts of Manchester as it is. Not good enough

By Latoya

This is not needed and necessary in Ardwick at all

By Anonymous

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