GouldStreet CGI Aerial
The 6.7-acre site would house apartments and townhouses across several blocks. Images courtesy of Virtual Planit

MCR’s Gasworks takes shape

Neil Tague

Southvalley Estates, part of MCR Property Group, has revisited its longstanding plans to redevelop the site, which sits within Manchester’s Northern Gateway masterplan and is tipped to house 1,200 homes, with a consultation launch.

The developer has started the consultation process ahead of possibly submitting a planning application later this year.

MCR has owned the land, used as surface parking, since 2015, and first floated plans for a scheme of around 1,200 homes in several blocks including a 25-storey tower in 2017, without progressing to planning. It then brought the scheme back to the table last October, but again did not launch a consultation or submit an application at that time.

Alongside the residential element – which would comprise 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 6.7-acre site, which would also have underground parking.

MCR’s professional team includes planning consultant WSP, architect AHR Architects and landscape and public realm designer Planit-IE. Consultancy BDP provided mechanical, electrical, civil and structural engineering services.

Manchester City Council has long earmarked the site for a residential-led development within its Northern Gateway Strategic Regeneration Framework, more specifically it sits within Zone C of the New Cross Neighbourhood Development Framework.

The development is intended to be built in four phases, starting with the corner on Gould Street closest to Rochdale Road, with a tentative target date of late 2023. The residential tower is likely to be the last piece of the development to be built, towards the end of the current decade.

Nick Lake, asset manager at MCR Property Group, said: “Our vision for this site has been a labour of love over the past few years. Our ambitious proposals for The Gasworks New Town realise the development potential of a key city centre location and the aspirations for the Northern Gateway.

“We have worked in close collaboration with Manchester City Council to bring forward a major transformative development that will create a new beating heart of a community in close proximity to the city centre. We look forward to finalising the formal planning application in line with public feedback.”

Matthew Hard, associate director of WSP, added: “New green spaces and new pedestrian and cycle routes will help transform this site and provide a catalyst and exemplar for the rest of the Northern Gateway.”

People are invited to offer feedback online up until Sunday 23 August or email comments to UKPlanningComment@wsp.com or call 0161 200 9880. The deadline is Sunday 23 August.


GouldStreet CGI 1

Planit is responsible for landscaping at Gould Street

Your Comments

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Have they remembered to include balconies in this scheme? I can’t see many. Poor tenants…

By Balcony watch

Are these flats, high rise blocks going to be for social (council) housing or are they going to be like all the rest of the appartments devolpments in Manchester and Salford expensive. I’ve looked on 4 different websites about this development this morning and I can’t find anything about the prices or the word affordable.

By Darren born bred.

Hey heyyyy here’s another box shaped scheme that looks like every other! Wahoo….

By EggManc

I like the circular lawn.

By Elephant

I hope they’re not social housing, The city is full of that already

By Lol

More generic copy and paste designs, total lack of creativity. Nice to see they have include a grass Thunderdome in the middle of the development for residents to battle out who can claim the communal space.

By Jon P

Darren born and bred – affordable if you live in Singapore

By ChesneyT

Darren, MCR Property group who own the land and are financing the development are not an affordable housing provider. Feel free to put up your own money or financing strategy to buy the land – I would imagine you’d struggle to build too many below-market rate properties here too.

I would expect a financial contribution towards affordable housing and public amenities would be made as is standard practice.

By Flats sorry apartments

When are the housing companies going to build properties that are affordable for lower income families. There is thousands and thousands of people on the waiting list for a social (council) property in Salford and Manchester areas. Some of these people are living in hotels, B&Bs for months until some of them get offered a rundown property that they have to take or a private landlords property that the council pay for.

By Born bred Darren.

Darren, “housing companies” like every other company operate in a market economy in which prices are dictated by supply and demand. The flats that they do build are all sold at the asking price. Building houses or flats beneath market value would be commercial suicide, hence why so few are built.

Building affordable housing therefore depends on the state stepping in to build or subsidise them but the money and means for councils or housing associations to do that is limited. Clearly they do what they can given the 1000s of affordable houses built every year.

Why don’t you set up a company build affordable houses if you’re so passionate about it. Go get a loan from a bank and see how many you can build. Would you let us know how it goes?

By Flats sorry apartments

It’s like expecting affordable homes to be built in Hale, Bowden or Wilmslow lol. The city centre is prime value land and as such property prices shall reflect this. There are many ‘affordable’ homes withing 10-15 mins walk of the city centre.

By Anon

Like it or not, this area now qualifies as part of the ever-expanding city centre. How times (and geography) have changed. Everything shifts with time. In the 1980s, when I worked just off Deansgate, my workmates and I all mercilessly teased a well-paid but thrifty colleague for his parsimony in choosing to park his car each day in a cheap car park in the wild, delapidated extremities of the city. Now known as Albert’s Shed, Castlefield…..

By City Veteran

Great, another few skyscrapers just outside town. More rows of skyscrapers. Are these going to be a good price or like the rest around this area.

By Regular northerner.

Oh Dear RegularNortherner have you not checked out Manchester’s 10 yr Framework plan.?If you don’t like skyscrapers you’re in trouble. But that’s progress for you and Manchester never stops!

By John

Not affordable apartments .. These will be just like the other blocks of high rise blocks all around Salford and Manchester .. Expansive for what you get, a small little box up in the clouds.

By Darren born bred.

Darren, you’ve said that. Anything new to add?

By Flats sorry apartments

More expensive appartments are being planned all around Salford and Manchester. What about the homeless sleeping out every night.

By Darren born bred.

More expensive flats, no sorry appartments are being planned all around Salford and Manchester. What about the homeless sleeping out every night.

By Darren born bred.

Darren, yes you’ve said that too. Anything new to add? Specifically, what are your ideas for increasing the number of affordable homes?

By Flats sorry apartments?

Expensive,luxury……..who do you think lives in these homes? Question…..How many high net worth individuals live in Manchester? Answer….not enough if we want manchester people to have better lives. Normal manchester people live in these much needed homes. Put your emotion and politics away and examine the evidence.

By blueneva

If I was in charge of the Manchester council and Salford council, I would put affordable housing at the top of my list..a priority.. no more expensive tower blocks with1 bed flats priced at about £225,000 that no one can afford, it’s ridiculous.. All these citizens buying these appartments(little boxes) are buying them at top price, don’t they know about the recession, in about a couple of years time all these expansive little appartments will be worth a lot lot less than they paid for them.

By born bred Darren