Allied London has swapped apartments for offices, and proposed a reduction in hotel bedrooms as part of the developer’s latest iteration of plans for London Road Fire Station in Manchester.
The grade two-listed London Road was acquired by Allied London in 2015 from Britannia Hotels, and planning consent was granted in 2017 for the conversion of the building into a mixture of uses including apartments, a hotel, workspace and hospitality, designed by Levitt Bernstein.
While work has been under way for some time on the restoration of the damaged historic elements of the building, Allied London put the second phase on hold as it reworked the scheme, ” in response to post-submission engagement with key project stakeholders”.
Now led by architect Purcell, plans submitted to Manchester City Council have provided a series of changes to the previously approved project, including the removal of apartments, and a reduction in the number of hotel bedrooms from 91 to 41, in order to make way for an increase in office space.
The Engine Room will form one commercial unit, as will the open boiler house in the basement. The Old Police Station and Ambulance Bay are also proposed for commercial or leisure uses.
The earlier scheme planned a new-build basement and access through a distinctive glass pavilion in the courtyard, however that has now been removed in the latest proposals.
There will be an extension to one wing which will sit within the internal courtyard, to accommodate 19 of the 41 hotel rooms. Glass canopies and walkways are also proposed to run around the perimeter of the courtyard.
Overall, the revised project will include a 42-bedroom hotel, workspace “aimed specifically at creative industries”, food and beverage operators in nine historic spaces, small-scale retail units, and gym and studio facilities, and the restoration of the Coroner’s Court for private hire.
According to the documents submitted by Purcell, the emphasis is on ensuring “significant interiors are maintained and alterations kept to a minimum”
Restoration works are under way and form part of the first phase, with creation of new uses within the building part of the second phase.
Heritage contractor Quadriga was appointed in September to co-ordinate the historic work and several specialist trade subcontractors.
In a statement last month, Allied London said the “ability to restore the building came from several months of detailed analysis and survey work, recording every defect and necessary repair. This was agreed with the heritage authorities; hence the building being surrounded by scaffold for so long”.
Zerum is the planner, while Stephan Levrant advised on heritage.