Castlefield residential scheme revived 

Prestbury Estates has bought a site at Slate Wharf from Waterside Developments four years after plans for 24 homes were approved on what is known locally as plot G. 

A website set up by Prestbury Estates confirms that the developer, headed up by Simon Kimble, bought the site earlier this year and intends to deliver the consented project. 

GA Architects designed the scheme, which will sit on a small site next to the Wharf pub close to Castlefield Basin. 

“Prestbury Estates…will soon begin work to build the scheme that was approved. We are not making any amendments to the development,” the company said. 

Manchester City Council’s planning committee gave Waterside the go-ahead for the Castlefield project in March 2017 but a final decision notice was only granted in January this year. 

The development includes a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. 

The plans have proved controversial among some residents who want to plot to be preserved as public green space. 

“We’re committed to engaging with our neighbours and the wider Castlefield community at every step of the way,” Prestbury Estates said. 

Site investigation work is due to begin next week, according to the developer. 

Plot G Slate Wharf, Manchester, P.Planning Docs

The plans have proved controversial among some residents who want to plot to be preserved as public green space. Credit: from planning documents

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Great to see another small green space built on.
Deep joy

By Outside

Once again (as per Islington Park) another vital pocket of green space is to be built over. An ever growing city should be expanding on its outdoor spaces for the health & wellbeing of its residents. Where or how exactly are people expected to enjoy this area? Yes there is a pocket park at Circle Square, the proposed Highline & Mayfield but these should be in addition to the existing spaces, not alternatives. Hopefully common sense prevails with this one.


So long to one of the few remaining spots in the city centre where you can actually get some sunlight on you all day, all year on the days when it finally comes out.

Let’s all sit in our glass boxes all day and eat vitamin D supplements.

By Bye bye sun

Since 2017 and the onset of Covid, I would have thought the council would have sought for further public consultation of the site. This area is an intrinsic part of the Manchester skyline and homage to its industrial past. I would’ve thought that the developments of the site would have been based around retaining public space and encouraging tourism to the area.

By Daveylee Coward

Really unfair for people to buy up £250,000 city centre flats and then try to pull up the drawbridge behind them. Cities aren’t just for current residents, they’re for future residents as well. Get them built.


I thought these buildings were supposed to be in keeping with the industrial heritage. They are so ugly! There is NOWHERE safe in the area now for locals to sit, picnic and relax. What happened to green space for everyone’s mental health. Planning is a joke.

By Disgusted

This development has no respect for what was a nice green area. Not that our opinion matters!

By Robert

Re loss of green space – it’s not like local residents really care for it anyway? It’s usually littered with rubbish and dog cr*p anyway and treacherous in rain. There’s green space across the water at the Roman Gardens and slightly further up at St John’s Gardens.


There won’t be one blade of grass left in Manchester city centre soon. The blame lies squarely at the feet of Richard Leese. It’s such a shame that no one in Manchester Labour party will stand against his vision on a concrete city.

By Martin

dear god what are they doing to this beautiful city

By Michael

It always gets through in the end if you wait long enough

By Jo

More green space disappearing, great, great. How does this fit with Manchester’s environmental and clean air plans out of interest?

By Alex

The cobbled area that is in front of this plot really needs some benches to allow people to use the space properly and mitigate for the loss of the plot behind when developed.

By Bradford

@Bradford – the space infront your are referring to will be overshadowed by the building for over half of the day.

The unique point of Plot G is that it gets sun exposure all day long. There are barely any places in the city centre where you could say that. We have very occasional and quickly intermittent sun in Manchester; people need quick access to it when it’s available.

The Roman Gardens are in shade for most of the day and the bowl is paved. Hulme Park is 20ish minutes away, this is Manchester, set off when the sun is out and it’s highly likely that it’ll be raining by the time you got there.

People need quick and easy access to greenspace and sunlight.

By .

It’s a tiny bit of grass that was never intended to be a green space (as is the case on Pollard St) and the design is lovely. Very in keeping with the surrounding developments and 100 times better than the ugly rubbish built at Slate Wharf. There’s plenty of places for people to sit in Castlefield, so why does it have to be on a bit of grass? I agree more benches/picnic tables should go in at the front of it though

By Steve

Completely agree JS with your comments. St John’s and, the Roman Gardens and Castlefield Urban Heritage Park on Liverpool Road, very close by. Along with the proposed High Line, what more do people want!

By Steve

I am well acquainted with this area, having lived in Castlefield for 5 years. The plot under discussion is a scrappy piece of left over development land, not now or ever high quality green space. Under used spaces such as the cobbles can and should provide more for people ie benches etc. For high quality local green space in Castlefield you have the Roman ruins park/s, St Johns, Hulme Park, all within 5-10 mins walk. People really need to get a grip when living in the city centre, you cannot expect a large park literally on your door step. You don’t get that in the suburbs so why expect it here? I fully support more well planned, high quality green spaces within the city centre, but this is not one of them.

By Bradford

Come on MCC, surely you can find a way of having more green space in the city centre

By Chris

@Steve It is how people use it now in real life, all very well saying “it was always intended to be built on!!” but things change, places change. Decisions like this are made by people, it’s not some kind of manifest destiny that all the green spaces have to be built on. Just because there’s not a big sign in the ground saying PARK it doesn’t mean that people don’t use it as such

By Alex

“We’re committed to engaging with our neighbours and the wider Castlefield community at every step of the way,” Prestbury Estates said.”

Oh really? Then why haven’t I heard from you at all, and my property is direct in line of site with this loathed development? Your words mean nothing, it’s all about your bank balance.

By Chris

Why on earth would you support this unless you work for the developer? This is the place everybody congregates on a nice day . anyone in their right mind would be gutted if this space goes to more development.


People move to the city centre in apartments built on green spaces then proceed to complain about new apartments being built. The mind boggles, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

By New Wave

This site will always be fiercely debated. I’m all for high quality local public green space in cities, but people need to get real about this plot of land. As others have said, there are plenty of green and paved spaces within easy walking distance of this location. This is a privately-owned piece of left-over development land that could have been built on decades ago. The owners are well within their right to put a fence around it to prevent people trespassing and letting their dog sh*t all over it, before leaving their beer cans everywhere for others to clean up. It’s not a public park, full stop, and people need to stop acting like it is!

By Ardy

@New Wave – So according to this argument, if you’ve ever moved anywhere that was ever a field you don’t get a say on anything? Sorry to hear that your mind boggles, but it’s really not that unreasonable for people to not want a bit of green space being built over. Development for the sake of development isn’t a virtue in itself if it doesn’t serve a community – which these don’t

By Alex

Do we really have people moaning that their view in a city centre in being ruined by development? What exactly did you expect; the land was ear marked for development almost 2 decades ago, there was clearly going to be a decent chance of it being built on at some point.

By Red Rose

This piece of land is known as plot G, doesn’t that give a clue that it was always earmarked for development?

By Anonymous

The reason ‘plot g’ was left undeveloped as part of the whole Slate Wharf redevelopment was that it was allocated for a site of community use, such as small boat House or community centre if it was to be developed at all.

Why you would cheer for this development befuddles me. The only people happy are those that make money from it. The rest of you obviously don’t care about the space or have never visited so there is no need for your input.

By Check your facts

@checkyourfacts – the officer’s report for the most recent consent states: “Whilst neighbours have objected to the application on the grounds of the loss of open
space, it should be noted that the site is not designated public open space but is
privately owned land that has long been held as a brownfield development site with a
history of planning permissions for redevelopment.” Facts clear as day, for you.

By Ardy

Yes @Ardy, all those previous permissions were also the same as this one, given permission when they shouldn’t have. Two, three, four wrongs don’t make a right.

As part of the original master plan, the whole wharf was divided up, ‘plot g’ was left empty and designated for community use. So the original planners got that right (they got the volume of surface carpark horribly wrong). It was offered for sale for a paltry sum which MCC could have easily afforded in around the early 00’s.

The council didn’t take it up and allowed a private developer to buy it for an eye wateringly low amount, MCC then accepted one of the original proposals. then people like you have since followed saying well it’s got permission for something before so that’s the precedent for allowing anything now. When actually, the precedent is that ‘plot g’ was supposed to be a building or space of community benefit, not private gain.

By X

A modern day equivalent scenario to this would be Deansgate Square, if they didn’t deliver the gym/restaurant/River front element of their plan and instead left it unfinished for years. Then sold a lump of the site to another developer and they were allowed to come in and build another 50 storey tower in the middle of the development.

By .

Unfortunate for the forty or so geese that live in the basin and have lost their last waterside food source all the way down to panoma.

Wonder if these apartments values will fall when there is a regular rotting carcass floating by the marina.

Soulless cash grab

By Fred

I’ll be so sad to see this little patch gone. This is the only place close by where I can safely let my dog have a good run around. We have a lovely community of dog walkers who are stuck without any green space

By Jessica Ketley

To all those complaining at the ‘loss’ of this PRIVATE land, why don’t you all chip in and make the owner an offer? Sure a few million quid will do the trick. Thought not….

By Anon

There is so much brownfield undeveloped land in the area. Building on pretty much the only green space in the area is just lazy and short sighted.

By Rc

Yet another green space gone: very sad.

By Joe

Manchester’s Green and Blue Strategy – The vision for green and blue spaces in Manchester is that: “By 2025 high quality, well maintained green and blue spaces will be an integral part of all neighbourhoods.

Great way to maintain green spaces.

By Anonymous

I did my Masters in Town Planning at the University of Manchester and my client group project was for this specific site in 2015.

We came up with 5 possible solutions with what to do with Plot G. Ranging from basically leaving it as an open green space with small scale improvements, all the way up to this sort of scale of development.

Our client was a local residents committee who were explicit in the fact our work was not to be shared to any outside in case it assisted developers at all!

By Michael W

The green space isn’t in public ownership. What exactly did the residents think would happen to it? It was always going to be developed. If it’s that important to them they should stump up the money to buy it.

By Pragmatic

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