5plus is the architect behind the gold Store Street building. Credit: North Made Studio

Distinctive gold block among Manchester schemes tipped for consent 

Almost 600 apartments and a controversial 261-bedroom student development in Hulme are in line for permission when Manchester City Council’s planning committee meets next Tuesday.

The major projects that will be discussed at next week’s meeting are: 

  • Vita Group’s 485-apartment development on Port Street 
  • M1 Piccadilly’s 54-flat gold block on Store Street 
  • Curlew’s redevelopment of the former Gamecock pub on Boundary Lane into a 261-bedroom student complex.  

Port Street 

The scheme will reach 34 storeys at its tallest point. Credit: via planning documents

Developer: Affinity Living, part of Vita Group 

Architect: SimpsonHaugh Architects 

Planner: Deloitte Real Estate 

Reaching 34 storeys at its tallest point, the scheme would see the delivery of 485 apartments on a site off Great Ancoats Street. 

The apartments, to be operated under Vita’s Affinity Living brand, would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom properties available for rent. The development would also feature co-working spaces, cinema rooms and a residents’ gym.  

A viability report submitted to Manchester City Council estimates the project’s gross development value is £154.4m, reflecting a developer profit of 15%. 

Following two rounds of public consultation on the scheme, the city council received 210 letters of objection raising concerns about issues including design and a lack of affordable homes. 

Vita has offered an initial contribution of £1m towards offsite affordable housing, according to a report to the council’s planning committee. 

Credit: via planning documents

The developer bought the Port Street site, currently used as a surface level car park, from Leeds-based Town Centre Securities.   

The proposals aim to link Ancoats and Piccadilly Basin and have been guided by the design principles set out in the Piccadilly Basin Strategic Regeneration Framework.  

Earlier stages of Piccadilly Basin’s regeneration featured the creation of the 160,000 sq ft Urban Exchange Retail Park, a 232-space multistorey car park on Tariff Street, and the Dakota Hotel on Ducie Street.  

The project team also includes Re-form as landscape architect and Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture.

Store Street 

Credit: North Made Studio

Developer: M1 Piccadilly, part of LW Group 

Architect: 5plus Architects 

Planner: Zerum 

The 15-storey scheme will provide 54 apartments on a site close to Property Alliance Group’s Oxygen on Store Street. 

M1 Piccadilly’s project, which has a striking gold façade, features a cinema room, gaming room, covered terraces, residents’ lounge areas, and private office space.   

A previous planning consent on the site secured by Westward Estates Developments lapsed in 2020. Westward’s proposal was a 13-storey block with 34 apartments designed by BDP.  

LW bought the site following the expiry of Westward’s permission.  

The project has a gross development value of £14.6m and will not provide any on-site affordable housing. 

The developer has offered a £125,000 contribution towards off-site affordable housing. 

Gamecock redevelopment  

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell has opposed the development. Credit: via Cratus

Developer: Curlew Opportunities 

Architect: SimpsonHaugh Architects 

Planner: Turley 

The London real estate group’s development arm lodged plans for a 261-bedroom student accommodation block 12 months ago. 

Under the plans, Curlew Opportunities wants to demolish the vacant Gamecock pub on Boundary Lane, south of Manchester city centre.  

In its place, a 13-storey scheme designed by SimpsonHaugh would be built.  

The development is to feature a community hub that could be used by residents of the wider Hulme community, according to the developer.  

The Gamecock Community Hub would front Booth Street West and Boundary Lane and feature a gym as well as space for meetings, exercise classes, and community activities.  

The prospect of Curlew’s development has angered some residents in neighbouring residential blocks Cooper House and Hopton Court.   

A campaign to stop the project has been launched amid claims from residents that Manchester does not need more student accommodation and that the development would block sunlight to their gardens.  

Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central has also objected to the project. 

However, a report by Manchester City Council’s planning officers said the project is “wholly consistent with planning policies for the site and would help realise regeneration benefits and meet demand for student accommodation in a sustainable location”. 

Your Comments

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The gold ( banana yellow) block on store street is yet further proof of the sheer mediocrity of buildings being built in Manchester. The city is being wrecked by such horrendous designs.

By John

Comments like ‘the city is being wrecked’ are simply ranting and lose any credibility in the context of the scale of development in a city like Manchester.

By Anonymous

I’m normally a fan of most developments – but this is hideous, tacky and totally not in keeping with the Brick/Stone heavy architecture of the area. Vile.

By Anonymous

The problem Manchester now faces with rising building costs everywhere coupled with gyms swimming pools etc being including in many residential developments is affordability to the average Mancunian
Where then will The City s work force come from if they are priced out of the Market ? ?

By Daniel Gaunt

I like the Port Street development. The yellow building, is interesting and I can’t decide on it. As for mediocrity in the city, I am not sure what people want? If 60 storey skyscrapers being flung up on every corner is mediocre, then bring on mediocre.

By Elephant

Shiny yellow does not gold make.


All of these schemes are of poor architectural merit.

You only need to look at how knackered the early 2000s stuff in Ancoats now looks to see what we are heading towards.

By 1981

I’ve grown to like the Port Street development. The mid-rise will fit in with the area and once the other plots are developed the tower won’t appear as overbearing. The Store Street development is not so good. I expected better from this particular architect.

By Andrew

The Store Street proposals lack any architectural merit whatsoever

By Dover

Yeah I quite like this surprisingly.

By Anonymous

I’m not sure what people want built here but all the proposals look ok to me. We’ll never achieve the architecture of the Victorian era. But these look like ok plot fillers. With the Ancoats scraper wasn’t so stumpy and had s roof on it or something

By Yoda

Anodised aluminium is a high quality and expensive material whatever it’s colour. It’s probably a bit of a risk amongst the red brick but most of that red brick is less than 30 years old and is mediocre itself

By Why?

I would like to know if any of the councillors on the planning committee , would like a 13&9 storey tower block being built opposite their homes. I can imagine what they would say, well neither do we. In Hopton Court an over 55’s block we have many elderly vulnerable tennants, who on a sunny day come down to the garden for a chat , a cup of tea, even a game of bingo. If the developers get the go ahead to build these monstrosities then are days in the garden are numbered .Noise, pollution, traffic problems, Anti social behaviour, crime. Will no doubt increase, as some of us have been saying for some time we are now becoming a community of ghosts. No one listens, no.one understands, & definitely no one cares.


By Roy Bennett

Roy Bennett, you over estimate the power of the planning Committee members, there will be few if any planning reasons to prevent these proposals.

By Anonymous

I’m really surprised at the negative comments regarding the Store Street proposal. Usually the comments are “get it built” no matter what the proposal looks like. While it may be mediocre, architecturally it is no better or worse than everything else going up in Manchester at the moment. At least it will be different and perhaps brighten up our all too frequent dull days.

By Mancunian

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