After a tense debate, the city council voted in favour of GMS Parking’s proposals for the 850-unit student accommodation block, despite what one councillor called a “tsunami” of opposition.
More than 750 letters of objection were submitted against the 55-storey tower, proposed for a site on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Hulme Street.
The vast majority of the objections came from residents living in the nearby Macintosh Village residential community.
Before the vote, Cllr William Jeavons launched a scathing attack on GMS’ £130m project, describing it as a “cheese grater-esque tombstone” that would have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of local residents.
“The scheme is unwelcome, unappealing and unacceptable,” Jeavons said.
After a motion to refuse the plans on the grounds of excessive height was put forward by Cllr Jon-Connor Lyons, the committee was deadlocked at five votes in favour and five votes against.
Committee chair Basil Curley was then required to cast the deciding vote, deciding to back the scheme in what he called “an extremely difficult decision”.
Another vote followed in which members voted in favour of approval by seven votes to three.
Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the project involves the reduction in size of the multistorey car park on Great Marlborough Street, with the space created being used to build the tower.
A four-storey amenity building featuring 8,460 sq ft of incubator workspace is also included in GMS’ proposals.