Manchester Waters masterplan for Pomona Island
Manchester Waters masterplan for Pomona Island

Peel launches Strategic Waters residential drive

Paul Unger

Peel Land & Property has confirmed plans for 2,500 homes on Pomona Island, rebranded Manchester Waters, and a further 2,000 in the next phases of Media City UK as part of a UK-wide sales initiative to find developers and investors.

Peel announced its plans on a new website which went live at the end of last week under the umbrella title of Peel Strategic Waters. The development prospectus covers seven sites at varying stages of the planning process, but all have approved masterplans or planning permission, Peel said.

Peel Waters pipeline

  • Liverpool Waters: 10,000 new homes
  • Wirral Waters: 13,500
  • Glasgow Harbour: 1,400
  • Trafford Waters: 3,000
  • Chatham Waters: 1,000
  • MediaCityUK: 2,000
  • Manchester Waters: 2,000

Outline consent was obtained in May 2012 for 13,500 units at Wirral Waters in towers up to 35 storeys but work so far has concentrated on offices and education at the early stages of the massive Birkenhead dockland development.

Similarly, Liverpool Waters was approved around the same time as its Wirral counterpart, with 10,000 units in towers up to 50 storeys in the masterplan, but construction work has yet to start. A deal was announced with Moda Living for a 40-storey tower at MIPIM in 2015. Earlier this month Moda said it was working on New York City-style designs for the Princes Dock tower, to be revealed soon.

In Salford, Peel secured reserved matters approval earlier this month for part of the next phase of Media City UK. Two waterside plots were granted detailed permission, designed by AHR Architects. The other detailed planning applications are due to be submitted before the outline consent expires in October 2016. Peel received outline consent in October 2006 for a 10-year period, within which detailed applications must be made. The completed first phase of Media City UK contained two residential towers.

Media City AHR Peel

The next residential developments proposed at Media City UK will include towers of more than 20 storeys. A further 2,000 units is envisaged in 10 buildings over the next decade. A team of architects is working with Peel including Chapman Taylor, also acting as masterplanner, AHR, Hodders & Partners, 5plus, Jeffrey Bell Architects, Sheppard Robson, and landscape architect Gillespies.

At Pomona Island, partly in Trafford but also stepping into Manchester at Cornbrook, Peel plans 2,500 homes on 26 acres, over 10 years.

A masterplan was approved by Trafford Council, allowing for buildings up to 20 storeys, but Peel will have to seek detailed planning permission. Two plots, one at each end of the long thin island site, have detailed consent and work started in recent weeks by Rowlinson on the plot closest to Manchester city centre, where 164 flats are being built.

Peel Land & Property said the national development pipeline would deliver 30,000 residential units with a potential total investment value of £4.5bn.

Peel said it was “seeking institutional and residential development partners to help deliver a mixture of medium and high rise apartments as well as town houses over its seven Strategic Waters sites in Manchester, Liverpool, Chatham, Glasgow, Wirral, Trafford and MediaCityUK.”

Peel continued: “The portfolio of units is made up of 23,500 within the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone (Wirral and Liverpool) and 7,000 new homes in Greater Manchester at MediaCityUK, Trafford Waters and Manchester Waters. Glasgow Harbour has approval for up to 1,400 dwellings while Chatham Waters has outline approval for 1,000 units on the River Medway.

“Peel’s vision is to regenerate and transform these former industrial sites on dockland, canal and river banks into attractive and sustainable waterfront living locations that will bring new infrastructure, public realm and environmental improvements. These mixed use schemes will also feature commercial, retail, educational and leisure opportunities.”

The programme is being led by director of residential development, Neil Baumber, who was appointed in 2015 to co-ordinate and manage procurement of development partnerships.

Baumber said: “The ‘Strategic Waters’ sites give us a fantastic portfolio of locations to develop exciting new residential dwellings. This is all about regenerating urban areas, where there is a shortage of housing, into attractive waterfront locations where young professionals, families and key workers can live. These units will be a mixture of tenure from institutional and individual PRS to open market sale.”

James Whittaker, Peel Land & Property group development director, added: “From the start of the recession in 2008 Peel have been undeterred in its investment of our ‘Strategic Waters’ sites, securing planning permission in readiness for the return of the residential market. Now with financial institutions focused on investing in this sector it will enable Peel to fast track the development programme on our consented residential and mixed use sites. Peel has already built up a number of successful residential partnerships with X1 and Moda Living among others and has also delivered its own residential stock through Peel Living.

“Scale is attractive to the larger institutions and developers and we can deliver that. The fact these schemes are by water, adds value, it’s where people can live work and socialise.”

Your Comments

Trafford Core Strategy Policy SL1.2 requires any developer to provide substantial area of public open space on the Pomona site.

Peel made strongly worded reps against this during the Core Strategy consultation, arguing contributions could be made to offsite green space (even though there is a recognised deficit in public open space) However their requested changes were not made in the adopted document.

As such Peel cannot develop the plan shown in this image- they need to provide significant public open space on this site.

By Vicky

I was very relieved to read the comment below as I was horrified to see the complete lack of space, or indeed any real information about ‘place’, in this so-called masterplan, which is little more than a zonal diagram. The visuals of the blocks so far approved are appallingly bland and characterless and set a very worrying precedent. This site cries out for a visionary scheme which reflects the history of Pomona Island and its character today. It could be a truly unique new place which really contributes to the reinvention of Manchester and sets new standards for the future, but everything so far suggests an obliteration of all its history, character and quality in favour of a dull rebranding as ‘Manchester Waters’ with no vision whatsoever. Wake up Peel and deliver something which does more than deliver units and line pockets.

By Ed

Not sure what people are really expecting here. Its Manchester – why would they provide any public space?!

By Gregg

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