Manchester City Council refused the project 12 months ago. Credit: via planning documents

Fusion wins Manchester student appeal

A 28-storey tower in the Deansgate area of the city has been given the green light by the planning inspectorate.

Fusion Students’ 534-bed student development next to Renaker’s Deansgate Square was refused by Manchester City Council 12 months ago. 

On refusing the project, the city council said Fusion had failed to demonstrate a need for student accommodation in the area, seeming to contradict its own desire for more PBSA in the city centre.

In addition, the authority posited that the scheme was too far from Manchester’s universities, and would have a detrimental impact on residents in nearby Deansgate Quay. 

However, having lodged an appeal, Fusion has now successfully disproved the city council’s reasons for refusal and planning inspector John Braithwaite found in favour of the developer on all counts. 

“The proposed development would not harm the character of the area, and would not have a significant adverse effect on the amenities of residents of Deansgate Quay,” he said. 

“Furthermore, there is a quantitative and qualitative need for the proposed PBSA scheme, which would be in an appropriate location relative to University of Manchester and MMU campuses.” 

Read the full decision notice 

Manchester City Council had also said Fusion’s tower would be “intrusive and over dominant” by virtue of its scale and height, despite being in close proximity to the 65-storey South Tower, the UK’s tallest building outside of London. 

On this point, the inspectorate concluded that Fusion’s scheme was appropriate given the surrounding context. 

“Given its strategic location and the nearby tall buildings on both sides, a tall building is required to respect and continue the development of the Great Jackson Street Regeneration Area. 

“The proposed 28-storey building would have a positive effect on the character of the area.” 

Corstorphine + Wright Architects designed the tower and Cushman & Wakefield is the planning consultant. 


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should of been refused purely based on design. Atrocious

By Ralph.S

the windy city about to get windier

By Floyd

It looks awesome, get it built..

By Jeff Blair

that’s what you have to go through if you aren’t a trusted partner….we all know the score

By anonymous

Serious questions need to be asked about who is on the council planning committee following this. Some of their reasons for refusal are absolutely laughable.

By Bob

This is going to dent some egos past and present!

By Vitality

The refusal by MCC was always very fishy when compared with the approvals made for other student buildings nearby. Residents just 500m away at MacIntosh Mills offered the same objections for student towers there but MCC said they were irrelevant. Very interesting…

By Mancunian

Will look great in contracts to Renaker’s brilliant towers. Get it built!

By New Wave

It was truly ridiculous as to why this tower was initially refused
Claim 1: Failed to demonstrate a need for student accommodation in the area despite the same council saying MCR needs more student accommodation in the area (an area nearby the largest university concentration in the UK)
Claim 2: Claiming the university is too far away, when it’s an easy 20 minute walk. That’s absolutely nothing. If a student can’t walk for 20 minutes, who can?
Claim 3: That it would be detrimental to residents in the area? How? There are pubs and clubs nearby that have far more impact than residential towers
Claim 4: That the tower will be too dominant because of its size ??? It will in realty be dwarfed by the Deansgate towers next door.

By Joe

Great news. Will break up the monotony of the Simpson Haugh buildings nearby (glass blade with low street interaction).

By Fantastic News

I agree, I think the contrast will look great and is needed

By Anonymous

Great development, get it built!


Fantastic proposal.

By jrb

Is there a ‘Deansgate area’? It’s a mile-long corridor.

By Vic

One of my favourites, get it built!

By A

Looks great, another Flat Iron look building. Will fit in nicely here.

By Anonymous

How many more ‘influencers’ will this house?

By Buddy

Excellent and interesting design. Looks like it will fit in very well on that site.

By John

Nightmare to build logistically – where will the crane go I wonder? I bet Deansgate will be shut for months there.

By John L

I like this but Manchester has this habit of building on tiny plots, which take ages to finish.Will this be another one?

By Elephant

That’s the trouble when you have a planning committee who knows nothing about planning and are just elected Councillors…they make a lot of stupid decisions. This being one of them. Well done to the inspector for making the right decision

By Steve

Far worse have been built – opposite side of Deansgate, Axis Tower to name but two!

By Dover

Brilliant scheme. Can’t wait to see this built.

By C

Liverpool has this problem on most buildings and protesters seem to be operating from some script of objections, even recently an attempt by Fusion to submit a 9 storey student block was thrown out and reduced to 6, wish they`d gone to an enquiry.

By Anonymous

I wonder how they will actually build it, i.e space for a crane, think it will affect traffic flow on Chester Rd/Deansgate

By John L

So pleased that the Council’s selective and ridiculous policy has finally been challenged and defeated. The whole Policy stinks, almost as much as how the Council seek to apply it from one site to another. Great news.

By The Planner

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