Developer Watkin Jones Group has lodged an application with Manchester City Council to redevelop the site of the USDAW trade union building on Wilmslow Road into a 425-bedroom student housing development.
The submission of plans follows a period of public consultation on the project, which was designed by Tim Groom Architects.
Watkin Jones’ proposal includes demolishing the majority of buildings on the site and constructing a pair of residential blocks. An internal landscaped courtyard, as well as communal facilities such as a cinema room, multimedia or gaming room, lounge areas and meeting rooms, also feature in the plans.
Oakley Villa, the oldest building on the site and part of the trade union’s complex, would be retained and extended.
The villa is earmarked to house the development’s communal facilities.
The developer said it hopes the project will free up properties in Manchester’s mainstream residential market, an objective outlined by Manchester City Council last month, and provide an alternative to houses of multiple occupation for students.
The flats will be managed by Watkin Jones’ management arm, Fresh.
Turley is the planning consultant for the project and Layer.studio is the landscape architect.
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which currently occupies the site and has done for more than 100 years, has decided to relocate due to high maintenance and running costs, an unsuitable building layout and outdated facilities, according to Watkin Jones.