GMS’ 55-storey tower returns to committee 

The £130m student scheme on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Hulme Street in Manchester is earmarked for approval next week. 

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, GMS Parking’s plans involve the reduction in size of the multistorey car park on Great Marlborough Street, with the space created being used to build a part 55-storey, part 11-storey complex offering 853 student accommodation units. 

A four-storey amenity building featuring 8,460 sq ft of incubator workspace is also included in GMS’ proposals.

The scheme, deferred last month pending a site visit, was previously being brought forward as a Student Castle project, the company that GMS director Edward Cade co-founded in 2010.  

Student Castle developed the nearby 37-storey student tower since sold to Liberty Living. 

Great Malborough Street

The tower would be built on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Hulme Street

The project has been subject to numerous objections from the company that manages Macintosh Village, a nearby residential community on the opposite side of Great Marlborough Street, as well as residents within the development. 

Deansgate ward councillors William Jeavons and Marcus Johns have also objected to the project, while Manchester Metropolitan University has leant its support to the developer. 

Manchester City Council planning officers have recommended the project be approved, stating the development “sets high standards of sustainability and would contribute towards demand for student accommodation in a sustainable location”. 

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This will benefit the local area enormously, bringing money to small businesses, create construction jobs and affordable and plentiful accommodation for students and bolstering Manchester’s growing skyline. A no brainer this one!

By Nicholas

Not sure about the design on this one. Looks like it’s going to be a student prison with tiny rooms and tiny windows.
They expect to cram them all in and charge them twice as much as in Fallowfield. International students might fall for that trick, but anyone else – who are they fooling?

By Aaron

I like this. It is different. Not sure what the issue is with it.

By Elephant

It looks daft.
I mean it’s out of scale with its’ surroundings.
It just looks like a greedy developer.

By Brian

No disputing the economic benefit, but it looks like something out of The War of the Worlds.

It will be quite an odd addition to the skyline.

By Alan Partridge

@Nicholas did you say affordable? Do you not realise these towers offer the most expensive student accomodation in the whole city? It’s true that construction will create jobs which is obviously a positive thing but this horrendous looking monolithic block will certainly not do any good for Manchester’s skyline. It just looks like an awful square chimney. It will look terrible and it will age terrible, something future generations will be keen to demolish.

By Michael

This is far from being a no brainer.
Leaving the visual impact of the tower on a side, this creates an awful amount of not affordable apartments (i.e. very lucrative) aimed at students. Meaning very little council tax will be collected from the building, while it will no doubt put strain on the already stretched resources of the council.

In my opinion is out of scale for the location. The requirement for more student accommodations in the area is also unclear. I was under the impression the university had NOT supported the plans.

By NicholasPlease!!!

That design is awful

By David

Agree with Nicholas, get it built. People living in other tower blocks nearby and complaining about this going up really is ludicrous. If you want a view don’t buy a city centre flat. Also students are decent people who generally bring a vibrancy to an area.

By Bob


Get it built!

No doubt it will be voted down by Councillors, just like the proposed Speakers House office block was voted down by Councillors.

By Anonymous

Get it built! Its unique, interesting and in a highly sustainable location. It’s amazing how much nimbys seem to know about demand for student accommodation. If the rooms are too expensive they won’t be filled. Simples.

By Dave

I think it fits with Manchester`s industrial heritage and replicates a chimney. This is what Manchester should be doing. I like it.

By Liverpool romance

I like the design. I understand the residents aren’t happy about losing parking spaces but really who’s surprised? Having a car in the heart of a city is a real luxury in any other city and Manchester is moving toward a pedestrianised, public transport city which is a very good thing. Further questioning the need for student housing on the basis of council tax revenues in the city is a simplification of a bigger problem i think – the strategy as i understand it is to pivot somewhat from Fallowfiled/Withington to the city free up housing stock to generate CT income – which also complements university estate strategy to centralise into one campus. I think the problem is that these flats will likely be occupied mostly by international students and the universites will progressivly expand their first year intakes compounding the issues in south Manchester. I don’t have a problem with this, infact i quite like the design but I think that if anyone seriously wants to address issues around CT revenue or student ghettos then there needs to be thought given to how to take 2/3 year students out of terraces which this wont do.


In view of recent lock downs and the mental health conditions of people and students stuck in their rooms, would it not be appropriate for developers to reconsider their designs for accomondation towers and blocks such as this?

By Make room

Excellent design

By Monty

Now that more information has been provided It has been proved to have very little benefit in the employment area and students pay no council tax. It wont get built anyway.

By serafini

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