Approval has been granted by Manchester City Council for the conversion of vacant offices at 6 St Ann's Square into nine apartments using new permitted development rights.
There will be one one-bed and eight two-bed flats created over floors one to four above Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe which will continue to trade from the ground floor.
Building owner Equity First Holdings applied for permission under permitted development rights that were introduced by the Government in May last year, which allow for the change of use from office to residential under a prior approval procedure subject to assessment criteria including highways impact and flood risk. The owner was advised by planning consultancy Rapleys.
Manchester was the only authority outside of London and the south east to be granted exemption zone status from the permitted development rights, thereby protecting the majority of Grade A office space in the city centre from conversion. As a result, this development represents one of a very small number of prior approval applications that have been approved in Manchester over the past 18 months.
Tim Cropper, associate at Rapleys, said: "We led negotiations with the local authority at pre-application stage and were pleased that the development was approved in under seven weeks. The scheme will see a long vacant office building bought back into beneficial use in what is a highly accessible and desirable location."