Consultation opens as Manchester Life presses on in Ancoats

The development vehicle has opened consultation on the first project beyond its six-site first phase, a 171-home scheme designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects on the Vesta site between Old Mill Street and the Ashton Canal.

A public event yesterday at Halle St Michael’s is being followed by online consultation running to 16 March as information is shared and feedback sought on a project that sits close to heritage assets including a listed Lock Keepers Cottage and the Ancoats Dispensary.

The site has long been earmarked for residential development, and consents have been granted previously. Since being cleared it has been used for surface car parking and a compound for works on the adjacent Islington Wharf Mews. Manchester Life is looking to go for planning this year, with completion in mid-2019.

The Vinoly scheme is stepped from seven storeys on the Ashton Canal side, up to eight storeys and then nine at the Old Mill Street frontage. The whole scheme will be available for sale, a section of the market that Manchester Life believes to be currently under-served in the area, with the 155 apartments for sale among the 1,000-plus units in its first phase schemes selling rapidly.

The Vesta site project will comprise 54 one-bedroom apartments, 98 two-bedroom apartments, eight three-bedroom apartments, five three-bedroom duplexes, three four-bedroom duplexes and three four-bedroom townhouses.

Martin Clancy, head of Vinoly’s Manchester office, told Place North West: “We’re pleased that the scheme fits the context of the area – there is a good deal of variety in the local buildings, and we’re looking to respect the heritage elements and the scale.”

The firm has previously worked on the Manchester City football academy in the city, and is also the architect on the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre.

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By Schwyz

Horrifically dull development! What a perfect way to detract from the visual interest provided by the historic assets in the area and modern designs such as Chips and Islington Wharf.

Hopefully feedback from public consultion will result in some positive changes

By Anonymous

The development provides no active front onto Vesta Street turning it into just a car park access. Vesta Street should be designed as a proper street with houses fronting onto it otherwise it will attract anti-social behaviour. The development should actively turn the corner into Vesta Street creating a gateway, not just provide an end elevation with a random tree.

By David McKenna

Dead frontage along the canal will NOT encourage use or make it feel safe. Why no balconies or terraces overlooking the water. A lazy scheme which doesn’t start with the assets the site offers – but just parachutes in a boxy scheme that could go anywhere. I hope they will be sent back to the drawing board. Offended the architects think people of Manchester would find this an acceptable.

By Mark H

Who is managing the procurement of mcrlife projects – there is a distinct lack of transparency considering the public sector involvement. Who appoints the professional team and decides on the main parameters? Most of the mcrlife projects have been distinctly unimpressive so far which is totally unacceptable considering the stake that our council and the HCA have in the partnership.

Once again our council appear to be prioritising commercial needs over social needs and design quality. Planning and procurement need a big shake up – hopefully the incoming Chief Exec can be the catalyst.

By Unimpressed

Unfortunate for the city of Manchester this design. Looks like a soviet era block of flats. Cheap and brings ZERO life to the canal side.

By Anon

This looks terrible and it wouldn’t cost any more to provide a more active frontage to the canal.

By Rooney

How uninspiring!! Try again!!! Take some inspiration from the Dispensary adjacent.

By Will

Link to online consultation please Place NW?

More productive for people to share their views formally than whineing on here

By Rooney

It’s East Manchester not East Berlin

By Anonymous

Hideous. Bland. Saps the spirit just looking at such a drab & unimaginative design.

By Chris

This is horrendously bad….really hope it doesn’t get built. Need to do much better.



By Sharon

Wow, was the brief to come up with the most uninteresting, dull and uninspiring scheme possible? That is truly awful and reminds me of some of the worst examples of 70’s architecture. Try again as that is abhorrent!

By Dave C

What happened to those quirky houses which people designed themselves?

By Elephant

Some gorgeous looking steel security fencing fronting the tow path there.

This will be an interesting test of the city councils new housing design guide. What Im expecting is that they say, “yeah but it broadly accords with the basic principles so its ok”. Bernstein, Bartoli and Roscoe steamroller it through, box ticked, complacency wins out, move onto the next one.

By Unholy trinity

“showing what they might be like in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic time when the world’s been taken over by monsters.”
Is this the right article?

By Poly Vinoly

This looks like self-catering accommodation in Lanzarote.

By Elephant

Someone is having a laugh. Either that or they are extracting the proverbial:

“We’re pleased that the scheme fits the context of the area – there is a good deal of variety in the local buildings, and we’re looking to respect the heritage elements and the scale.”

Utterly risible comments.

By Blather

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