A project described as the UK’s “first purpose-built co-living development” has been recommended for approval at Manchester’s upcoming planning committee, potentially giving the go-ahead to three towers of 25, 20, and 14 storeys in height on a site bordering Echo Street and Vimto Gardens.
The proposals, designed by Sheppard Robson for developer IQ Student Accommodation, would replace the existing Chandos House student accommodation building with 642 bedrooms aimed at graduates and young professionals. Of these 94 units are proposed to be for students, which will provide 242 bed spaces in a mix of cluster accommodation and studio flats.
Private apartments will range in size between studio and four-bed apartments, and they will be operated on a private-rented model. Rent for apartments will be all-inclusive, covering council tax, internet, utilities, and cleaning; while a deposit of a week’s rent will be required to secure a home.
Alongside this there will be amenity spaces, work areas, lounges, and a gym. There is also a nursery planned for the ground floor.
The development’s towers are stepped in height and clad with red-and-purple brick, changed from an initial iteration revealed last year that showed a metal façade.
The tallest of the towers stands at 25 storeys, followed by a tower of 20 and a tower of 14, with the lowest element fronting Vimto Gardens.
Granby Row is to be narrowed and re-aligned to create a “more attractive” pedestrian environment while there are also plans to have a food and beverage unit facing Vimto Gardens.
Recommending the scheme for approval, Manchester City Council planning officers said the scheme “would meet the requirements of the millennial generation for communal living and flexibility” and added “would also assist the city’s objectives around attracting the world’s best talent to Manchester and retaining it in the city to its benefit; economically, socially and culturally.”
Planners added project would replace existing buildings which “detract from the character and appearance of the Whitworth Street conservation area”.
IQ Student Accommodation is backed by Goldman Sachs, Greystar, and the Wellcome Trust. The professional team on the project includes Turley as planner; Vectos as transport consultant; and Cundall as building services consultant.
Also on the planning committee’s agenda is an 106-apartment extra care scheme proposed by Southway Housing Trust, supported by Mosaic Town Planning.
The plans for a site off Abbey Hey Lane and Constable Street in Gorton include a part three and part four-storey extra care facility, alongside amenities including a restaurant and hair salon.
The project has also been recommended for approval, with planners stating the scheme would make use of a brownfield site in the area that had been earmarked for redevelopment since 2015.