MCC refused Watkin Jones' scheme last September. Credit: via planning documents

Fallowfield student scheme advances

Developer Watkin Jones Group has lodged an application with Manchester City Council to redevelop the site of the USDAW trade union building on Wilmslow Road into a 425-bedroom student housing development.

The submission of plans follows a period of public consultation on the project, which was designed by Tim Groom Architects.

Watkin Jones’ proposal includes demolishing the majority of buildings on the site and constructing a pair of residential blocks. An internal landscaped courtyard, as well as communal facilities such as a cinema room, multimedia or gaming room, lounge areas and meeting rooms, also feature in the plans.

Oakley Villa, the oldest building on the site and part of the trade union’s complex, would be retained and extended.

Watkin Jones Fallowfield Courtyard Sketch

The developer said the flats would provide an alternative to HMOs

The villa is earmarked to house the development’s communal facilities.

The developer said it hopes the project will free up properties in Manchester’s mainstream residential market, an objective outlined by Manchester City Council last month, and provide an alternative to houses of multiple occupation for students. 

The flats will be managed by Watkin Jones’ management arm, Fresh.

Turley is the planning consultant for the project and is the landscape architect.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which currently occupies the site and has done for more than 100 years, has decided to relocate due to high maintenance and running costs, an unsuitable building layout and outdated facilities, according to Watkin Jones. 

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Something needs to be done about Fallowfield, it’s a student area that the students have deserted and the high street has suffered. Students are far better off in Newcastle and Leeds nowadays.

By Floyd

High quality shared flats for second / third years are a great alternative to HMOS. They need to have decent living rooms though and be a marked improvement upon first year halls.

Prices should be kept down because often HMO’s are cheaper than purpose built student halls. Private halls in the city centre are extortionate. I imagine these being out of the centre should be cheaper though.

By Mike

Floyd, the ‘student areas’ are moving closer to the city centre. Which is very welcome in my opinion, allow the decent housing stock in Fallowfield to be ever more occupied by families/long term tenants etc.

By Dave

@floyd… students may have deserted Fallowfield but they haven’t deserted the city. They’ve just gravitated more towards the centre which is far superior to Newcastle and Leeds.

Fallowfield will continue to be an affordable option for students but overall it’s in a state of transition as it becomes a more mixed tenure neighbourhood and less overtly student-led.

By Ron

Floyd, your comments indicate you have little knowledge of fallowfield at all. Saying the high St has suffered makes no sense whatsoever In the context of this story me a high st that hasn’t suffered in the past year whether it’s in Fallowfield or in Liverpool.

By Boyd

There are too many student accommodation areas in Fallowfield .They have recently built student accommodation in Hulme . Fallowfield us over run with students as it is

By Jane Collins

No non-students want to live in Fallowfield. It’s not Didsbury.

By Floyd

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