VICTORIA RIVERSIDE HIGH RES
Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia stumped up £13m for FEC's 80-unit Victoria North scheme

JV assembles Victoria North infrastructure team

Sarah Townsend

Bam Nuttall, Arup and Planit-IE are among the firms named to undertake works to support the delivery of an initial 5,500 homes as part of the wider Manchester masterplan.

The development joint venture between Manchester City Council and Far East Consortium has assembled the multidisciplinary team for infrastructure works following the award of £51.6m from the Government last year.

The funding will be used to deliver a series of infrastructure requirements needed to bring forward the 15,000-home Victoria North regeneration project, previously named the Northern Gateway, which is intended to be rolled out over the next 10-15 years. The works would include brownfield land clearance and land decontamination, and linking sites to existing highways –constraints that would otherwise hinder future development.

The project team includes:

BAM Nuttall – main design & build contractor

Arup (working with BAM) – lead designer

Volkerstevin – flood defense works contractor

Planit-IE –  landscape architect

Turner and Townsend – project delivery consultant

Pell Frischmann – lead technical advisor

Avison Young – planning consultant

The city council is also working with Environment Agency officers who will provide technical and project management support across the overall programme, especially for flood defence works in the Lower Irk Valley and Red Bank neighbourhoods.

Key elements of the infrastructure programme include:

  •  investment in a 12-acre ‘City River Park’ along the Irk River Valley, which aims to “celebrate the river and provides new, open space for residents”, the JV partners said
  • facilitating access to development sites by connecting them to the existing highway network, along with general road upgrades
  • securing and clearing undeveloped brownfield land, including the removal of contaminated land and invasive plant species to ready sites for development
  • connecting development sites to utilities (electricity, water and surface water drainage), including high voltage electricity cabling and substations
  • delivering flood defence works to reduce the risk and extent of flood zones

The detailed design process for the HIF infrastructure works is now underway and an initial planning application is expected next spring. The programme is part of the early phase works of the regeneration framework for Victoria North. Several consents have already been granted for the first phase of housing development in the masterplan.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said the impact of the programme of work “cannot be underestimated – and without the [Government] funding the potential of Victoria North could not be realised”.

He added: “This early phase of the scheme alone will support the delivery of more than 5,500 new homes – many of them for affordable rent and sale – along with a new City River Park. This is nothing short of transformational, bringing life and purpose to a long-overlooked part of our city, while celebrating the Irk Valley properly, possibly for the first ever time.”

Hilary Brett-Parr, project director at FEC, said: “Our vision for Victoria North is to create aspirational and inclusive neighbourhoods that deliver green riverside living in the city.

“The HIF works will put the foundations in place for us to bring the early phases of residential development forward at pace.”

FEC said it expects to announce its own strategic masterplanning team for Red Bank, one of the first neighbourhoods to be developed under the masterplan, in the coming weeks.

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Truly transformational what is going on in parts of Manchester at the moment. This scheme is often overlooked when people talk about the regeneration of the city, but this will turn a huge wasteland into hopefully a vibrant neighbourhood. The tidying up and addition of green space along the river Irk will be fantastic. There are also plans to turn part of the viaduct into a high line park/gateway to the City River Park. Credit where it is due to Manchester Council.

By MB

Agree with MB, huge scheme for the city this which will really help pull the center out to the North. Transformational what has happened in this part of town already of the last few years .

By Bob

This must be one the most important and impressive long term developments in the country delivering so much and keeping Manchester’s astonishing growth moving forward.

By Anonymous

Well said MB.

You do wonder why this ambitious scheme is overlooked – green space, affordable and market priced homes, and great connectivity are all embedded in a long term visionary plan.

Well done indeed to the City Council in leading the creation of this opportunity to deliver a true city-shaping initiative with their partners FEC.

By Anonymous

Whilst I support the redevelopment of the area, this looks architecturally devoid and will represent yet another missed opportunity.

By Observer

Not bad. Would like to see taller buildings in this area rather than see more spread outwards. I think they’ve already missed an opportunity to go even taller near Victoria station.

By MrP