The developer has decided not to appeal Manchester City Council’s controversial decision to refuse the 17-storey office scheme, instead opting to lodge a fresh planning application.
Aegon Asset Management notified the council of its intention to appeal at the end of July but this has since been withdrawn following conversations with the authority.
The developer “considered all options” following the refusal of its proposed office development at the former Speakers House and has now opted to resubmit the original proposals, according to planning consultant CBRE.
“We fully support the original scheme design, which was the result of a comprehensive and rigorous design process,” said Harry Bolton, director at CBRE.
“We are therefore now focused on a resubmission, and we are seeking to provide additional justification for this scheme rather than revisiting it in its entirety.”
Architect Sheppard Robson designed the £90m project, aimed at replacing the existing 1960s block on the corner of Deansgate and St Mary’s Gate with a 135,000 sq ft office building.
Back in January, planning committee members expressed concerns that the scheme would impact the St Ann’s Square Conservation Area and residents in No. 1 Deansgate, 43 of whom combined to fight the development.
Despite this, the proposal was recommended for approval by Manchester City Council planning officers, who pointed out that the issues facing No. 1 Deansgate residents were not uncommon and outlining further that the scheme was supported by approved planning policies.
The project’s subsequent refusal sparked disappointment among commentators who called the decision “strange” and “short-sighted”.
“It was heartening to see the level of public support articulated for our proposed scheme,” Bolton added.
“We continue to work collaboratively with MCC officers on this project and remain confident that we will find a mutually agreeable way forward for this important regeneration site.”
Aegon bought the existing nine-storey 39 Deansgate for £11m from Target Real Estate in March 2018.
Occupiers within the 40,000 sq ft building, last refurbished in 2016, include Spar and Greggs.
Nearby, Property Alliance Group and Starwood Capital are progressing the redevelopment of the former Renaissance Hotel, which includes the refurbishment of the former Premier House office block to provide 40,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.