The city council has insisted Gateway House will be demolished while pushing back on HS2’s plans to build two multi-storey car parks as part of an overhaul of Piccadilly railway station to accommodate the high-speed rail line.
Piccadilly Station and its surrounds are due to be comprehensively redeveloped as part of the £52bn project, with a strategic regeneration framework for the area to include a full overhaul of the railway station itself, close to 2.9m sq ft of office space, 261,000 sq ft of retail space, up to 5,000 apartments, and 250 hotel rooms.
Much of the development is to be to the north of the station, in areas designated as East Village, Piccadilly North, Piccadilly Central, and Piccadilly Heights.
However, city council and HS2 remain in disagreement over a series of key elements.
One of these is at Gateway House, otherwise known as the “Lazy S” building on Piccadilly Approach, which is owned by LaSalle Investment Management. The 1960s building was refurbished two years ago with aparthotel operator Staycity signing a 25-year lease, while ground-floor tenants include the Piccadilly Tap.
However, the council has insisted the building will need to be demolished to maximise development opportunities around the station and to properly connect an overhauled railway hub with the wider city centre.
In a formal response to HS2 and the Department for Transport, the city council said it will “seek agreement with HS2 that Gateway House will be removed as part of the station delivery”.
The city council has also pushed back against HS2’s plans for two multi-storey car parks next to the overhauled station. Responding, the council said: “The size, location and access of the proposed multi-storey car parks are not in accordance with the approved Piccadilly SRF and are not commensurate with the approach taken with other key city centre transport hubs, for example at London Euston”.
The council said that adding multi-storey car parks would not be in line with its ongoing transport strategy which is looking to minimise car trips into the city centre.
At Manchester Airport, a new station is being planned in Hale Barns, taking in a plot of land off J6 of the M56.
Delivery of this station would necessitate the demolition of the existing Marriott Hotel off the J6 roundabout while a large plot of farmland off Shay Lane and Roaring Gate Lane is also to be built on under HS2’s initial plans.
Here, the council has called for a “fully integrated station solution” and that the impact on “surrounding communities and environment is minimised and fully mitigated”.
HS2 needs “to be fair and consistent in their funding strategy” for the airport station, bringing it in line with other HS2 airport stations, said the council, adding: “A local funding contribution can only be considered in the context of a fair and consistent approach”.
The key bone of contention, not mentioned in the council’s response, remains the integration between Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.
HS2’s preference for an overground station remains but city leaders including Mayor Andy Burnham and council chief executive Joanne Roney have insisted an underground solution is the way forward, linking HS2 to the local rail network, Metrolink, and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The Government has also announced a review into the high-speed rail line looking into the benefits and impacts of HS2; its affordability and efficiency; its deliverability; and its scope and phasing, particularly in relationship to Northern Powerhouse Rail.
This will be delivered in the autumn.