Unite Student Castle CGI 768x686
Hulme Street proposal, centre c.Andrew Desmier

Hulme Street skyscraper start pushed to 2021

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The developer behind a 55-storey tower planned for Manchester’s Hulme Street has made further amends to the design and rescheduled the construction start date, two years after an application was first submitted.

The development vehicle behind the tower, GMS (Parking) Ltd, said it is submitting further amends following 21 months of consultation with the residents of nearby Macintosh Village.

The scheme was previously being brought forward as a Student Castle project, the company that GMS director Edward Cade co-founded in 2010.

Designed by Glenn Howells, the brick-clad tower on Hulme Street is to house more than 850 students and was first put forward in September 2018. A series of design amends were submitted in 2019, including increasing the size of the studio apartments, and upping amenity space to nearly 17,000 sq ft.

The development also includes around 8,000 sq ft of co-working space for SMEs; an existing multi-storey car park on the site will be partially deconstructed and reconfigured to accommodate the development.

Revised plans have been presented via virtual consultation yesterday. The main revisions include a new construction strategy to reduce construction by at least 12 months, a 97-space car park, with a parking relocation strategy to provide free parking to residents during the build, provision of community facilities, a reduction in carbon emissions, and plans for a relief at street level.

Laing O’Rourke was rumoured to be lined up to build the tower. Initially a start on site was planned for early this year, for completion by 2022. Work is now due to start on site in the second quarter of 2021.

Edward Cade, GMS director, said: “The consultation process has been important, and we have been working with the community to ensure the amendments to the scheme have been widely considered. As a team we have welcomed feedback and have tried to be as flexible as possible to deliver a building that has a positive relationship with the local area.”

Ed Britton, associate director at planner Deloitte Real Estate, said: “The planning application was submitted in September 2018 and a huge amount of work has been undertaken to hold constructive dialogue with MVRA and proactively address concerns raised.

“Improvements have been brought forward following a detailed design review and the willingness to positively respond to significant consultation with MVRA and other key stakeholders. We have presented the revised plans which take into consideration each element of consultation.

“The scheme demonstrates exceptional design quality, will make an exciting contribution to the emerging Oxford Road cluster and will be a huge investment that will support the City’s economic recovery at this crucial time”

WSP is structural and M+E engineer, while Arcadis is project manager for the project.

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Another rubbish development, yippee.

By Acelius

I 4 one luv this. Big thingz are happenin in Manchester!

By Lloydy's Kebab Van

Exceptional design quality? It’s one of the ugliest renders I’ve ever seen so god knows what it will look like in real life. Manchester deserves better, particularly for a building of this height. It will be a real shame if this goes ahead.

By Mancunian

55 floors of ugly right there.

By Anonymous

You’d be hard pressed to design three more disparate towers than shown on that render, looks like a total mess, and what a tombstone of a building – schemes like Owen Street look oppressive but at least the towers there display some consistency and common identity

By Denizen

Where are the features? And no green, again. Very little glass = very little light, oh and of course no balconies.

By Robert Fuller

Great design I hope it gets built.

By Monty

I don’t mind this one, seems to divide opinion

By Anonymous

Need to get more Chinese cash on board.

By Barry

I don’t mind it either.

By Anonymous

my God push it back to 3021… what an absolute monstrosity… how on earth did council approve such an eyesore in such a great central location

By Anonymous

Three ugly skyscrapers together, and the Holiday Inn. Shocking.

By PDPrime

Agree with Denizen. For skyscrapers to look good in clusters they have to be relayed uniform. I can’t make my mind up about this. It can’t be any worse that the ghastly student tower.

By Elephant

Suits Manchester fits in quite well.

By Well I would say that

Equivalent of the entire student population Fallowfield crammed in 0.3 square mile.

And we wonder why the city centre is overbearing and oppressively busy and the inner city struggles to re-populate.

By Ruffian

Hideos, obnioxious and oppressive. Will fit the Manch city centre urban environment very well

By Oboe

Ruffian, that’s no where near the entire student population in Fallowfield.

By Anonymous