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.”
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.