Ask Real Estate’s 22-storey Staycity hotel, and Salboy’s 17-storey Shudehill office are the last schemes to be approved by Manchester City Council’s three-person emergency panel, as the authority announced it would pivot to full virtual planning committees at the end of July.
The latest Staycity hotel to come to Manchester, containing 300 rooms, would be built on a 0.6-acre plot between The Deansgate pub and Castlefield Viaduct, close to Beetham Tower.
The site is occupied by a single-storey retail unit, which would be demolished.
The hotel would be Staycity’s fourth in Manchester city centre, as the company aims to grow its UK offering from 3,000 to 15,000 hotels by 2022.
SimpsonHaugh is the architect for the project, Deloitte is planning consultant and Planit-IE is landscape architect. Civic Engineers is also on the project team.
In Shudehill, Salboy was given approval for a long-running project which will see the construction of a 45,000 sq ft office on Back Turner Street.
In early 2018, Salboy was denied planning permission for a 13-storey aparthotel to be operated by Zoku, the decision coming after several deferrals.
Over the course of 2018, different versions of a residential scheme were worked up by architect Jon Matthews, with a favourite picked by public consultation.
The part-16, part-17 storey proposal, totalling 65 apartments, was ultimately granted planning permission last summer before Salboy opted to swap to offices earlier this year.
The offices will be targeted at creative and digital tenants.
The design remains broadly the same externally. Jon Matthews is the architect and Euan Kellie Property Solutions is the planner.
Council chief executive Joanne Roney, alongside chair of the planning committee Cllr Basil Curley and deputy chair Cllr Nasrin Ali, have been deciding the outcomes of major planning applications throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, with the advice of head of planning Julie Roscoe.
Other councils in the region, including Liverpool and Cheshire West & Chester, implemented virtual meetings with full planning committees to make decisions, and Manchester has been criticised by some commentators for not following suit.
Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, transport and planning, welcomed the return of full committee to “allow the full democratic process to take place”.
Stogia added: “The use of the emergency powers was a temporary measure to ensure the planning process could continue during the Covid-19 outbreak to determine a small number of planning applications, in line with Government guidance.”
Joanne Roney, Manchester City Council’s chief executive, said: “Throughout lockdown we have been working to reconvene a full planning committee, albeit virtual at this time, and reinstall the usual decision-making process with oversight from members and I’m pleased to say this will happen in July.”