A 35-storey scheme by Logik, the Andrew Flintoff-fronted developer, will again be discussed by Manchester City Council’s planning committee, a month after members first said they were minded to refuse the application.
The proposals, which feature a SimpsonHaugh-designed tower along with a 10-storey block, were knocked back at a committee meeting last month after attracting criticism from Hulme ward councillor Annette Wright along with a local residents’ group, who spoke against the scheme on its size, lack of family provision, and lack of parking. These views were also backed by Cllr James Wilson.
At last month’s meeting, the committee’s votes 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. The development had been recommended for approval by council planners.
The scheme, featuring a total of 386 apartments, will come before the committee on 18 October, again with a recommendation for approval.
A report to the committee by council planners said Logik’s proposals were “wholly consistent with national legislation and Government guidance, and with [Manchester’s] core strategy.
“We do not believe that there are any policy-based reasons for refusal and the recommendation remains that the application should be approved,” said the report.
“This reflects the position of both Historic England and the design review panel [Places Matter] who have raise no objections to the application, the former having a specific heritage remit.
“Should members resolve to refuse the application, contrary to advice, they may wish to consider the following: ‘The erection of a 35-storey tower and 10-storey building would, by virtue of its siting, scale, and appearance, result in a form of development that would be overly dominant and would harm the form, character, and setting of the Castlefield Conservation Area and the setting of the adjacent grade two-star-listed former St George’s Church”.
Manchester’s Metropolitan University’s latest student scheme is also due to go before the committee, again with a recommendation to approve.
The proposal, for the site known as Birley Plot E – the final plot in the Birley Fields masterplan area – is billed as Birley Residences phase two, following MMU’s delivery of a previous student accommodation scheme in the area.
GWP Architecture’s design is for a building arranged in a sequence of connected parts wrapping around the site’s perimeter. The proposed design shows the Birchall Way elevation, overlooking Princess Road, to be the tallest part, at 16 storeys. Other blocks will be at 11 and six storeys in height, and the scheme will provide 491 student beds in total.
Deloitte is the planner for the project.