The project was designed by Manchester-based Ollier Smurthwaite Architects. Credit: via Ashurst Communications

Manchester rejects £11.5m Curry Mile resi

The city council refused developer Views’ planning application to build 42 apartments and 5,500 sq ft of commercial space on the corner of Grandale Street and Wilmslow Road in Rusholme.

The decision was made under delegated powers. Projected increases in demands for on-street car parking and activity on adjacent Grandale Street, along with issues surrounding window placements, access to daylight, and impact on visual amenity were cited as reasons for the rejection.

Designed by Ollier Smurthwaite Architects, the project would have seen the building of a four-storey mixed-use building. There would have been six ground floor commercial units. Apartments would have filled the three upper floors. The flats would have between one and three bedrooms.

None of the apartments would have been affordable, according to plans submitted by Avison Young for Views.

The developer estimated that the GDV of the project was £11.5m.

Patrick Sheridan, senior development manager at Views, said the company was disappointed to see the plans rejected, noting that the scheme had received positive feedback from the community.

Sheridan also said that the application had changed based on feedback provided by planning officers.

“We felt the amendments and additional information submitted demonstrated the high-quality and appropriate scale of the scheme, which would not have negative impacts on adjoining properties or the community,” Sheridan said.

“We are now reviewing our options, including taking the matter to appeal, and we expect to decide in the next few weeks.”

Regarding the issues surrounding parking, Sheridan said that the council’s Residents Parking Zone would help tackle the problem. Views had also proposed having a car club bay next to the site, with each resident receiving two years of free car club membership and a £40 driving credit. Sheridan also stated that new residents would be restricted from applying for an on-street parking permit.

The project itself would sit 50 metres away from a bus stop that takes riders into the city centre. Situated at 98 Wilmslow Road, the scheme would also be a nine-minute cycle ride away from the city centre, according to Views.

The application’s reference number with Manchester City Council is 133748/FO/2022.

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This decision is insane. What are they thinking.

By Anonymous

If such a smallish project like this can be rejected due to lack of parking how can the mega high-rises be acceptable with hundreds of flats and much more parking needs.

By Anonymous

The best small-scale proposal I’ve ever seen and it’s been rejected. Never change Britain.

By Anonymous

Why? It looks really nice. Much needed in the area!

By Digbuth O'Hooligan

Another unbelievably stupid decision by the council – yet again showcasing their car-centric planning policy despite the climate crisis. Incredibly disappointing.

By Anonymous

MCC is absolutely clueless, they keep approving ugly, monolithic towers that block the sunlight, have no balconies or green spaces but they’ll reject 4 storey quality scheme that actually makes sense. Mind blown.

By Mike

Agree that there should be an affordable requirement here but everything else that the permission is being refused in seems illogical. This should be tested at appeal.

By Anon

What a pity – that’s a really nice looking scheme.

By Sceptical

This is exactly the type of proposal Manchester Council should be encouraging. It’s obsessed with bight ugly concreate and glass boxes. The decision here is baffling

By Jon P

I thought the council announced there’s a climate emergency and they are encouraging parking.

By Anonymous

Crazy, looks a decent solid scheme. delegated powers!!!!

By Anonymous

Really hope these proposals aren’t VE’d to death to make allowance for more car parking (!!!)

Looks a beautiful scheme – well done Ollier Smurthwaite Architects.

By That's nice that.

Crazy decision, they should 100% appeal and they will win. Just like half of the other schemes that have been rejected for no valid reason.

By Bob

Terrible decision to reject. I live and work in this area – we need levelling up, and proposals such as this are a good way to do that. At the moment it’s a race to the bottom around here – fly tipping, bad naan bread, the list goes on.

By AliAhmed

Are they mad?

By Observer

Activity on Grandale Street… hmm

By Bob

We need more schemes of this quality surrounding the city centre, the council should be encouraging developers to reduce parking and commute given Burnham’s battles with the buses… hope this gets an appeal.

By CityCentre

The decision is baffling, & must surely be appealed. The scheme is attractive, considered & of obvious quality. Refusal is a setback to responsible & appropriate development, & a poor signal to the rest of the city.

By Phil Griffin

This should be approved. Gorgeous. Not everyone has a car.

By Beautiful Scheme

This is a crazy decision, have they seen the current state of that plot. This scheme would of been great in regenerating for the curry mile. MCR are happy approval stupidly tall towers with affordable homes starting at 350k for a one bed!

By MrGrey

An idiotic decision to prevent investment via a quality scheme in a run down area. Appeal it.

By Dr B

I think this is a good design, and in discussions with the developer local residents groups made it clear that :
a) it is an extremely noisy busy part of Rusholme/Moss Side at night especially and we were interested to know who might end up wanting to live there
b) we tried to suggest that the developer put some kind of no-car condition on renting as current residents cannot move for cars parked 2 and 3 deep in every tiny street round there
c) we were not clear whether the flats were for rent or for sale and suggested they consider that carefully (some houses built recently nearly on Claremont Rd were priced far too high, nobody bought and the company has gone bust)
4) by their admission there will be no ‘affordable units’ so we are concerned that it might be hard to sell/let
5) we were very clear that the block would need to be well managed – concierge etc, so it didnt quickly become run down and attractive only to short term renters with no investment in the neighbourhood and become unsafe
6) Moss Side local plan calls for prioritisation of family homes so the council may have felt that this would not be how this buiklding ended up being used (without significant management skill and investment)

All these things are solvable but I am not sure if the developer answered these major queries.

By Anne Tucker

This is the same daft, illogical type decision-making that has plagued us in Liverpool for ages, it`s a decent scheme and desrves acceptance.

By Anonymous

Interesting that the Decision Notice makes no reference to the lack of affordable housing, so MCC apparently still no closer to enforcing its own policies despite the change in Leader…

What it does seem to show is that making the external design pretty isn’t a way of getting past MCC’s fairly well-known housing standards, and that in planning terms, people still have cars, and need to be kept somewhere. Eliminating parking spaces in new schemes doesn’t automatically make the cars disappear, particularly in off-centre locations.

By Rotringer

That actually looks like a really nice quality scheme and makes a change to the cheap blocks getting thrown up everywhere. The plot is run down and vacant, they should encourage development. I’d imagine it would be in great demand too due to the housing shortage. To have the busiest bus route in Europe on your doorstep and the amount of car congestion around there, This will only appeal to people who don’t have a car anyway.

By 3D bloke

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