Manchester City Council’s decision to reject plans for a 135,000 sq ft office development on Deansgate was made against the advice of city planners and sparked anger 12 months ago. Next week, the 17-storey scheme will be considered again.
Aegon decided not to appeal the city council’s controversial decision to block plans for the £90m Speakers House, instead opting to work with the authority to lodge a fresh planning application.
“As a result of the comprehensive and rigorous design process undertaken and the provision of additional justification for this scheme we continue to fully support our clients proposals,” said Harry Bolton, planning consultant at CBRE.
“We have worked collaboratively with Manchester City Council officers and objectors over recent months in order to seek a mutually agreeable way forward for this important regeneration site. Overall, we consider that these proposals will have a transformative regeneration effect and we are delighted with the support that has been received for our proposals from various quarters.”
Architect Sheppard Robson designed the project, aimed at replacing the existing 40,000 sq ft block on the corner of Deansgate, which would be demolished.
In a pre-emptive move, Greggs, which occupies a ground floor unit within the existing building, looks set to relocate across the road into a unit beneath No1 Deansgate. The unit was most recently occupied by electronics retailer Baseo.
The original application for Speakers House was recommended for approval by planning officers despite objections from residents of No1 Deansgate.
Manchester City Council planning officers pointed out that the issues facing No1 Deansgate residents were not uncommon and said the scheme was supported by approved planning policies.
The proposals have also secured support from the surrounding business community as well as adjacent landowners, according to CBRE.
The project’s subsequent refusal sparked disappointment among commentators who called the decision “strange” and “short-sighted”.
Aegon bought the existing nine-storey 39 Deansgate for £11m from Target Real Estate in March 2018.