Manchester City Council refused plans for 175 city centre flats in April. Credit: via planning documents

Manchester successfully defends Shudehill refusal 

Proposals for a 175-apartment scheme close to the city’s transport interchange will not go ahead after an appeal against the city council’s decision to reject the £58m plans was dismissed. 

Interland Holdings, the developer behind the Shudehill apartment project, has tasted defeat at the hands of Manchester City Council following a four-day inquest last month. 

Planning Inspector David Nicholson found in favour of the local authority, concluding that the proposals would “cause considerable harm both to the character and to the appearance of the area, as a result of their effects on the siting, scale, size, height, massing, architectural detailing, street scene and skyline”. 

Read the decision notice in full 

Interland’s scheme proposed the creation of three blocks, rising to 19 storeys at its tallest point, located next to Shudehill bus station and tram stop.    

The project would also have seen some existing historic buildings retained, including part of 29 Shudehill and the façade of the Rosenfield Building, a former department store located at 18-20 Dantzic Street in Manchester.  

Manchester City Council refused Interland’s application to redevelop a site next to Shudehill Interchange due to concerns the project would “undermine the ongoing regeneration of the city centre”.     

Interland argued that the benefits of the scheme, designed by Buttress Architects, “far outweigh” the harm referenced in the city council’s reasons for refusal. 

Interland, whose sole director is listed as Daniel Jabreel – part of the Jabreel family that runs Maryland Securities – had hoped that the recent delivery of another tall building nearby would set a precedent for more buildings of scale in the locality. 

Salboy’s controversial Glassworks office project “establishes the principle of high-density development in this location”, a planning statement asserted, however, the inspector disagreed. 

A design and access statement by Buttress added that Glassworks “establishes a new precedent for height in the area, which could be supported by providing height on the Shudehill development site to better frame the interchange space.”   

However, Nicholson said that the proposed 19-storey tower “would be poorly positioned in relation to its immediate neighbours and at the wrong end of the site to act as a counterpoint to the Glassworks”.  

A spokesperson for Buttress Architects said: “In light of the recent dismissal of Interland Holdings’ appeal, Buttress acknowledges the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.

“Since Buttress’ involvement in the project, we have been well aware of the intricate balance between the advantages and disadvantages associated with the development and we will now review the options with Interland Holdings.  As Buttress navigates this juncture, our commitment to responsible and thoughtful urban design remains steadfast.”

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It was a dismal scheme.

By Rye&Eggs

I think this scheme sums up perfectly the inconsistency that planners demonstrate. Although I don’t think it’s a great proposal there is a precedent created in conservation areas with regards to height. The Glassworks looks completely ridiculous from Stevenson Square and out of place next to red brick warehouses. The Port Street Tower is another example that will nothing for Ancoats/Northern Quarter conservation area. Where is the consistency? I can only hope the land owner works with the council in a proactive way and equally the council starts to apply some consistency with regards to density and height as the the site is an eyesore.

By Wandering Manc

Common sense has prevailed for once.

By Boris

I don’t really understand this refusal. This area is completely rundown so anything new like this would make the whole area look a lot nicer

By Anonymous

Well done MCC

By Anonymous

Hurrah…. common sense prevails 🙂

By Jack

Excellent. The design looks so cheap and nasty. Back to the drawing board, and make sure it’s a decent proposal next time that incorporates/compliments the neighbouring heritage buildings

By Steve

With a chronic shortage of housing across the country, sad to see Nimbys get their way.

By Anonymous

Sad to see

By TimmyThicc

I know they’re flats but come on we need imagination in our city centre developments for goodness sake…

By Rodders

Fantastic news. Hopefully this heralds a change in dynamic and prevents the destruction of the city, tower by tower.

By TrippyZ

I would have also refused it but not for the reasons stated. It’s a prime city centre site to 19 storeys is way too small. I would double it to 38 storeys

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

“Inquest”? Public Inquiry methinks. It was Refused not Killed.

By Christopher Farrow

Doesn’t make sense to me – far, far worse has been allowed to be built in far more prime a spot. Still, people will persist in preserving impoverished areas for sentimentality’s sake..

By Anonymous

This is great news. Manchester desperately needs better designed buildings – more imagination, creativity and are I say, beauty, if it is to rival cities like Barcelona and Milan.

By John

The right decision. Absolutely rubbish design. The height wouldn’t be an issue if it was achieved via high quality design, not a carbon copy row of boxes.

By Anonymous

Err John, this is one building and you’re in Britain , we don’t have rivals for Barcelona or Milan and all our formerly great port cities are as dismal these days as Grimsby on a wet Wednesday . We do have development and hope though, and more money from abroad pouring in. It just needs spending well.

By Hamburg flyer

Disappointing news. I agree with Wandering Manc. The council really does lack consistency when it comes to planning decisions.

By Keith610

The developers are trying to squash everything into a fairly small inner city centre.It’s time these developments starting moving out along the arterial roads.

By Peter Chapman

I agree with Wandering Manc, there is a clear inconsistency although the Glassworks opposite this site were refused initially, I know some may describe this as Nymbism, i don’t think that’s applicable here, we have a prolonged housing crisis, but we cannot imbed future problems by lowering standards which are already quite low in Manchester.

By Anonymous

Those calling this nimbyism – it wasn’t refused due to objections, it was refused because it doesn’t meet policy. The inspector specifically said there is no housing supply shortfall in the city centre, so providing housing doesn’t really provide any public benefit – and the commercial bits of the scheme were clearly afterthoughts. I suspect Buttress had their hands tied in the design somewhat by the Jebreel family, who have a history of sitting on historic buildings while they crumble to bits, and then expecting to get massive overdevelopment out of the site.

By Anonymous

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