Logik, the Andrew Flintoff-fronted developer, will have to try again after the application for its scheme in Castlefield, dominated by a 35-storey tower, received a ‘minded to refuse’ verdict at September’s planning committee.
Members were deadlocked at five votes for and against approval, causing chairman Cllr David Ellison to break with habit and vote. After taking advice, he returned to the committee and declared that he was minded to refuse, on the grounds of the scheme’s potential impacts on the Castlefield conservation area, the listed St George’s church and local residents.
Louise Pullen, representing a local residents’ group, and Cllr Annette Wright, a Hulme ward councillor, spoke against the scheme on its size, lack of family provision, lack of parking and lack of affordable provision. Cllr James Wilson added his voice to these concerns, saying reading the officers’ report on the scheme had made him wonder “what is the point of having conservation areas?”
Dave Roscoe, the city council’s planning development manager, argued that development of the site, in “a pretty poor part of the conservation area, with low-quality industrial buildings” is necessary, suggesting that the scheme forms part of a chain of projects along the Mancunian Way that taken together are “repairing the scar across the city” that that road caused.
Schemes including the development of a foodhall and deli at Albert Road in Levenshulme, a replacement school in Gorton Mount, and Beech’s aparthotel at One Alpha Place passed untroubled. The proposal for housing on the site of the Old House at Home pub in West Didsbury was also given the green light, at the second time of asking.
The plans by Bellmac for a build to rent residential project on the surface car park at 57-59 Ducie Street were also approved, although not without strident points being made about the lack of affordable housing provision both here and elsewhere. It was argued that the city needs to do more to make viability assessments accessible, in order to address “a massive corrosion of trust in the city,” a point Ellison said it addressing.
Bellmac director Mike McManus, said: “We are delighted to have secured planning permission for our first major scheme in Manchester city centre and are hoping to start on site in Q1 2019. Alongside this project we have three other schemes in Salford which are currently on site, and have a number of other major residential projects in the pipeline across the North West.”
MINDED TO REFUSE
Developer: Logik Developments
Architect: SimpsonHaugh & Partners
Storeys: 35 and 10.
Scheme: The Castlefield scheme includes a 35-storey tower facing the Mancunian Way, which will contain a total of 159 apartments, well as a roof terrace. The 10-storey building contains 215 apartments, as well as 2,400 sq ft of commercial space, while the existing four-storey DOT Building, which is not listed but designated as a local heritage asset, is set to include 12 apartments and 1,700 sq ft of ground floor commercial space.
Architect: Tim Groom Architects
Planner: Euan Kellie Property Solutions
Storeys: Seven to eight
Scheme: The site currently houses a 31-space surface level car park. Formed of two adjoining blocks, the development’s massing steps down to seven storeys on its Lomax Street frontage with a communal roof terrace planned for this elevation. A cycle store is planned for the Lomax Street side of the building while there are also proposals to improve the streets and street furniture around the development.
Old House at Home site, Burton Road
Scheme: The proposal for four-bedroom family homes at the site of a well known Didsbury pub that closed in 2017 was previously refused due to committee concerns regarding over-development and loss of privacy. OMI’s Dave McCall addressed the committee meeting to dispel its concerns.
Sorting Office, Levenshulme
Developer and architect: Ecospheric
Planner: Creative Planning
Scheme: A foodhall with 80 covers and 6 vendor units and microbrewery, along with community space, at the 1920s-built former post office and sorting depot in Albert Road, Levenshulme, with a deli in the former public Post Office.
1 Alpha Place
Developer: Beech Holdings
Planner: Paul Butler Associates
Aparthotel units: 59
Scheme: The Knott Mill site is bound by Alpha Place, Jordan Street, Commercial Street and buildings that front onto Commercial Street and Constance Street. The lack of parking was deemed acceptable in an area well served by public transport and car parks.