Thomas Street Real Estate Investment 2
Permission for the residential development was granted in 2017 but blocked a year later

Controversial Warp & Weft takes huge step towards fruition

Dan Whelan

Manchester City Council has u-turned on its decision to refuse Real Estate Investment Partnership permission to demolish a pair of listed weavers’ cottages on Thomas Street, giving the developer fresh hope the project can be delivered. 

At a planning committee meeting, councillors voted against deferring a decision on the application before Cllr Angeliki Stogia tabled a motion to approve the demolition of the listed Northern Quarter buildings, in line with officers’ recommendations.

The committee then backed the motion, unlocking the site for the creation of Warp & Weft, a 20-home development first approved four years ago.

The approval came despite impassioned pleas from Piccadilly Ward councillors Sam Wheeler and Jon-Connor Lyons for the proposals to be refused and the buildings preserved. 

Following the meeting, Cllr Wheeler described the decision to approve the demolition of the Thomas Street properties as “a cowardly and unconscionable surrender”.


History of Warp & Weft 

  • August 2017 – Warp & Weft proposal is approved by Manchester City Council 
  • July 2018 – Weavers’ cottages on the site are granted listed status  
  • February 2020 – REIP lodges listed building application to demolish the cottages 
  • August 2020 – Manchester City Council refuses the demolition plan 
  • March 2021 – REIP appeals the refusal 
  • April 2021 – The developer triggers the consented application to prevent it from lapsing 
  • May 2021 – REIP resubmits the plans to demolish the listed buildings 
  • July 2021 – Manchester approves resubmitted plans to demolish the cottages

REIP’s application will now go before the Secretary of State, who will decide whether or not to call the plans in. 

Subject to Government approval, REIP could make an immediate start on the project, designed by Jon Matthews Architects. 

Consent for Warp & Weft was granted in 2017 before Historic England listed the weaver’s cottages at 42-46 Thomas Street, which scuppered REIP’s progress. 

The developer then applied for listed building consent to knock down the cottages last year but that application was refused, a decision the developer has appealed. 

The outcome of that appeal is yet to be decided. 

Your Comments

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About time. The site had become rat infested and will vastly improve Thomas St and the NQ given how central it is

By Tomo

Finally a sensible outcome, if these councilors put as much effort into sorting out the public realm (mainly the pavements and pot holes) and issues around crime in their areas rather than stopping the development of crumbling buildings Manchester would be a much the better.

By MrMCR

So when will we know if the plans receive Government approval? Personally I think the plans look fantastic! GET IT BUILT!!

By Jeff Blair

Excellent news. This will bring life back to the other side of Thomas Street with a respectful design whilst preserving a Grade II listed warehouse for future generations. It’s very sympathetic to the area and I love the way it doesn’t look like one development. Lets get the hotel on the corner built too to complete it.

By Andrew

Great news, Manchester can move on, major cities don’t keep any old house for no good reason

By Dan

Common sense has prevailed. If only the developer had the foresight in 2017 to seek a certificate of immunity to listing, this project might have been completed by now!

By Bradford

Sorry but it’s a no from me.
The managed decline of this site was intentional and the new proposal is 50 shades of grey. They could have a scheme incorporating the listed buildings but greed has prevailed. I suspect this will be challenged and the developer with lose.

By 1981