Grahams primed for 461-home Manchester scheme
Clarion Housing Group is in advanced talks with the contractor and its supply chain about delivering the redevelopment of part of the former Boddingtons Brewery site on Great Ducie Street.
Manchester approved the 461-apartment scheme 12 months ago. Since then, Latimer, Clarion’s development arm, has been trying to lock in a construction firm to build the project.
Latimer confirmed to Place North West that it is now talking exclusively to Graham Construction. The contractor’s current projects include the £130m Millers Quay at Wirral Waters and a 457-bedroom student scheme at Salford Quays.
Richard Cook, group development director at Clarion Housing Group, said: “We have not yet made a formal appointment of a contractor for Great Ducie Street but are engaging with Grahams and its supply chain under an informal arrangement as we work through the next stages of design to the project.”
The ability of development companies to appoint contractors has been impaired in recent months by the fluctuating cost of materials and an inflationary environment. This means that it is taking longer than normal for projects to start on site after planning consent has been granted.
Cook predicts that these delays could be compounded going forward.
“The lack of clarity from government on any new legislation around second staircases, the consultation on which has our full support, will inevitably mean for delays to some projects – including Great Ducie Street,” he said.
Latimer’s Great Ducie Street project will see a 1.25-acre chunk of the former Boddingtons Brewery site currently used as a surface car park redeveloped into two blocks, one reaching 27 storeys and the other topping out at 11 storeys.
The land, part of a wider seven-acre plot, was deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester College operator LTE Group, which recently completed a new £93m city centre digital and creative campus next door.
Latimer bought the site from LTE in June 2021.
Designed by Assael Architecture, the proposals include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom properties.
The developer claims the scheme will feature 60% affordable housing.
Under plans lodged in December 2021, Latimer put forward proposals for 5% affordable provision but insisted it was “firmly committed” to upping this to 60% in the long run.
“The remaining 55%…will be delivered with the support of grant funding from Clarion’s partnership with Homes England,” the company said at the time.
On a neighbouring plot, Salboy is close to making a start on a 556-home project known as Old Brewery Gardens.
Salboy purchased the three-acre site from Realty Estates for an undisclosed price late last year.