GouldStreet CGI Aerial
AHR Architects designed the scheme

MCR lodges 1,200-home Gasworks plans 

Dan Whelan

Subsidiary Southvalley Estates has submitted proposals for nine blocks ranging from eight to 33 storeys on the former Rochdale Road Gas Works site, the latest project in Manchester’s £1bn Northern Gateway masterplan. 

Southvalley is part of MCR Property Group,. Designed by AHR Architects, the scheme would see the redevelopment of a 6.6-acre site between Gould Street and Bilbrook Street, part of which is being used as a car park. 

The site, which would require extensive remediation before construction could begin, forms part of The New Town neighbourhood outlined in the Northern Gateway Strategic Regeneration Framework – a vision to redevelop 383 acres north of the city centre. 

Alongside Southvalley’s proposed 1,200 homes, which would comprise a mix of apartments and townhouses, the developer plans commercial units, a park between Gould Street and Bromley Street, and an east-west pedestrian and cycle link through the site. 

GouldStreet CGI 1

The 33-storey tower would be part of the final delivery phase

The tallest of the residential blocks, a 33-storey tower, would be located to the north of the site, close to the railway viaduct and Bromley Street. 

The development would be built in four phases, starting with the corner on Gould Street closest to Rochdale Road. The tallest tower is likely to be the last piece of the scheme to be built, towards the end of this decade. 

The first homes at  the Gasworks are expected to be completed in 2023, according to MCR.

Phase breakdown 

  • Phase one – two interlocking eight-storey blocks, one of which has a frontage on Gould Street in the south-west corner of the site, comprising a mix of 160 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses  
  • Phase two – two eight-storey blocks in the south-east corner of the site, one of which fronts Bilbrook Street, comprising 58 one-bedroom apartments and 112 two-bedroom apartments, as well as eight townhouses 
  • Phase three – two blocks – one of 10 storeys and one of 16 storeys – located to the north of phase one with a frontage on Gould Street. The blocks comprise 312 units, a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and townhouses 
  • Phase four – three blocks at nine, 14 and 33 storeys, providing 551 one- and two-bedroom apartments and townhouses.

Eliot Baker, planning manager at MCR Property Group, said: “The Gasworks has always been about creating a lively, new community and a sense of place, set in thriving green space.

“Our plans for this former gasworks site go above and beyond the minimum requirements for sustainable development to set the benchmark for other schemes in New Town.

“We feel our bold proposals make the most of this core city centre location in a way that will significantly transform the New Town area and realise the ambitions of the Northern Gateway vision.”

Matthew Hard, associate director of planning consultant WSP, added: “The Northern Gateway is one of the region’s most important areas for regeneration, and we’re proud to support MCR Property Group’s ambitions for this new neighbourhood. New green spaces, pedestrian and cycle routes will help transform this site and provide a catalyst and exemplar for the rest of the Northern Gateway.”

The project team includes BDP as the civil engineer, Planit-IE as the landscape architect and Curtins as the highways consultant. 

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An interesting development in one of the best potential locations in the city’s inner ring. Right next to an entrance on of of the few inner-city parks that can link to the city centre. There are OK connections to Victoria (though it could benefit from a northern entrance on the Ring Rd bridge) and I like the public park adding an extra green space to the area. The high-rise is ok in design, but bland. Hopefully a little more creativity will come forward before it starts in a few years.

By EOD

The site needs developing but this is just a really generic looking scheme that lacks visual interest.

It will also dominate the Tobacco Factory. Overall not a great scheme.

By Observer