SimpsonHaugh's previous design for the site included 420 flats over 42 storeys

Downing plans student tower for stalled River Street site

Charlie Schouten and Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Developer and contractor Downing has agreed to buy a long-stalled site on Manchester’s River Street from current owner Dastur Trading, with a planning application to be lodged for a major student tower.

According to Land Registry documents, Downing has agreed an option to purchase the site from Dastur Trading, which had planned to develop the site in 2013 through property company Chelmer Developments.

River Street November 2017

Planning permission was secured in 2013 for a 42-storey 600-apartment tower, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, but construction of this scheme never began owing to funding issues.

Forshaw Land & Property then took an option on the site and lodged a fresh planning application in 2015, which was approved later that year. The application, which included the renamed SimpsonHaugh and Turley in its professional team, aimed to reduce the number of apartments from 600 to 420.

The 42-storey tower was to include 19 three-bedroom, 269-two bedroom and 142-one bedroom apartments for private rent, alongside a restaurant and café. These plans were never progressed and Forshaw’s option of the site lapsed.

It is understood that Downing is now working with SimpsonHaugh on a fresh proposal for the site, with a new planning application due to be submitted following a public consultation in the coming weeks.

The application will look to deliver a similar style of building, albeit with a different mix of uses internally, with the height of the building also set to be reduced.

The plot, between River Street and Garwood Street, is currently occupied by a concrete frame for an unfinished residential block which was abandoned in 2005 when the developer went into liquidation.

River Street November 2017 2

A planning application was lodged in 2008 to build a 215-bed hotel on the site but again this was never progressed.

Other projects that Downing has brought forward in Manchester include the £40m Parkway Gate development, also designed by Ian Simpson Architects. The scheme includes 729 bedrooms across towers ranging between 17 and 13 storeys.

Downing declined to comment.

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SHAME will not be as tall and presume less classy…

By Schwyz

About time! This is a disgrace of a site.

By David

Wow! Am I reading this right? There are plans for a new tower project – but …. OF REDUCED HEIGHT for once, instead of the endless identikit egocentric 40-60 storey monstrosities that this antichrist architect keeps filling the city with. Sooner or later the whole market for building tall is going to have to be exhausted unless the city is going to resemble Dubai or Shanghai…..

By zeppelin