Bengal Street 1

PLANNING | All-clear for Kompany-backed Ancoats development

The 75-apartment scheme on Bengal Street proposed by M4nchester Two has received the approval of Manchester City Council’s planning committee.

The nine-storey building has been designed by Mecanoo for M4nchester Two, whose directors are Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and Northern Group managing director Nathan Ezair. Cushman & Wakefield is the planner.

The proposals include the demolition of a 1950s-built former electrical works, currently occupied by radio station Unity, on the site also bounded by Primrose Street, Radium Street, and Silk Street.

Having originally been scheduled for February’s committee, the application was deferred for a site visit, so councillors could better assess the scale of the proposals.

Around 24,000 sq ft of offices is proposed for the ground floor, while there will be 23 one-bed, 47-two bed, and five three-bed apartments on the upper floors. The site is within the Ancoats conservation area, close to Oldham Road, and faces south onto the grade two-listed Victoria Square tenement block.

Some objections have come forward from Historic England, which argued it could “cause harm to the significance, character and appearance of the Ancoats Conservation Area, ” a point raised as a concern by Cllr James Wilson at committee.

Although several criticisms were voiced, councillors in general praised the project’s flexible working element and acknowledgement of the needs of families.

Ezair spoke at the meeting, describing how with previous developments including the Ice Plant and Jactin House, Northern is a long-term stakeholder in the area with a record of managing its holdings. The scheme received a ‘minded to approve’ verdict, subject to completion of a Section 106 agreement.

The other residential project of scale due before committee was the Alumno proposal for a 12-storey student accommodation block on the site of the Church Inn pub on Cambridge Street. This was deferred for a site visit.

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Good, this scheme looks great, appropriate scale.

By Derek