DeTrafford Gallery Gardens Planning
DeTrafford's scheme has been before committee twice but still awaits approval

PLANNING | Gallery Gardens narrowly refused at committee

Dan Whelan

The fifth phase of DeTrafford’s Castlefield residential scheme was refused while MMU got the green light to start work on its new Science and Engineering facility on John Dalton Street.


Gallery Gardens

DeTrafford’s proposed 18-storey, 366-bedroom scheme, which forms part of the Gardens residential development in Castlefield, was narrowly refused after counsellors slammed it as “inward-facing” and resembling a “gated community”.

Manchester City Council’s planning committee rejected the proposals by seven votes to six at its meeting on Thursday.

The development, designed by JM Architects and DEP, comprises two towers ranging in height from eight or 12 storeys, and 14 or 18 storeys, located on a 41,000 sq ft site on the corner of Hulme Hall Road, Chester Road and Ellesmere Street.

Tom Flanagan, director at Paul Butler Associates, planning consultant for the Gallery Gardens scheme, told the meeting that DeTrafford was committed to the ongoing development of Hulme and the buildings had been sensitively designed to ensure there was no harmful impact on the local area.

He added that the scheme would generate £600,000 a year for Manchester City Council through council tax payments.

Gallery Gardens

The JMarchitects-designed scheme is the latest proposal for Manchester Gardens masterplan

Cllr Lee-Ann Igbon, who represents Hulme ward, lamented that Castlefield is often considered part of the city centre. She said: “I am sick to death of hearing about Castlefield being part of the city centre. It belongs to Hulme and nobody I know that I deal with on a daily basis is going to live in this development.”

Dave Roscoe, the council’s planning and development manager, said that, despite Igbon’s objections to the contrary, Hulme falls under the same planning policy guidelines as Manchester city centre.

A spokesperson for DeTrafford said: “The scheme is in line with planning policy and the design has gone through various iterations to ensure that the scheme is well considered and of high design quality.”

Responding to criticisms that the scheme would resemble an unfriendly, gated community the spokesperson added: “We have made every effort to ensure that the development site is accessible to all, with a tree-lined public route through the site’s centre, linking to the public realm and ground floor amenity spaces in the neighbouring Sky, City and St Georges Garden schemes.

“We are obviously disappointed with the decision, however we will consider the comments that have been raised and look at how we might respond, while ensuring that the scheme remains of a high quality and is deliverable.”

Other developments within the wider Gardens site include the 12-storey Sky Gardens, planned to deliver 174 apartments; City Gardens, which is ten storeys high and offers 109 apartments, and the 11-storey, 138-apartment St George’s Gardens. All three schemes, designed by Ollier Smurthwaite, are under construction.

Roof Gardens, the first project within the development, completed in 2018.


MMU Science and Engineering facility

MMU Science Campus

MMU’s science and engineering campus was met with unanimous approval

MMU’s plans to demolish the John Dalton West building and erect a £45m, seven-storey Faculty of Science and Engineering received unanimous approval from the planning committee.

Dr David Lambrick, interim pro vice-chancellor for the faculty, described the scheme as a “means to an end”, and said the current facilities were “severely constrained in terms of capacity and appropriateness”.

The 160,000 sq ft facility is expected to be completed in time for the 2023/24 academic year.

BDP is the architect and Curtins is consulting on the project. Turley is the planner.

Palatine Road, Northenden

Calderpeel Northenden Jan 2019

Also approved at Thursdays committee meeting was a proposal to build 16 apartments on Palatine Road in Northenden. This scheme, developed by Gustav Bonnier and designed by Calderpeel, also won unanimous approval.

Ewen Miller of Calderpeel said the four-storey project would bring a positive change to Northenden.

The Printworks 

Printworks 1

Meanwhile, the Printworks in the city centre won approval for a £9m refurbishment. Owner DTZ Investors said the investment will allow the entertainment complex to respond to changing occupier trends and demands.

A 14,000 sq ft screen to hang from the ceiling, reportedly the largest indoor screen in Europe, will make up a sizeable part of the refurbishment works, while improvement works to the facade are also proposed.

Ben Haller, associate director at DTZ Investors, said: “The granting of planning permission marks a huge milestone for Printworks as a landmark building within Manchester city centre for over 20 years.

“Enhancements to the physical environment, alongside our latest restaurant and competitive socialising offer, will give customers an immersive and memorable experience, adding to the scheme’s international reputation in the leisure market.”

DTZ Investors purchased the Printworks site in February 2017 from Land Securities for £108m.

Your Comments

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Some of these MCC councillors are unfit for office

By Anonymous

Typical Manchester new build. They are as bad as the falconer Chester hall designed warehouse with windows buildings in Liverpool

By George

These councillors are a joke! Watching the committee meeting online it is quite apparent that they lack any understanding of what is being proposed. The comments that were being made were quite frankly embarrassing. One of the them didn’t even know how many apartments were being proposed.

By Frankly Dave

The Northenden development is hideous.


By Liver lad

Gallery Gardens deserved to be refused. A corner plot location like this requires a building that provides a sense of place. I’ll say it loud for the people at the back… GOOD DESIGN DOESN’T NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE.

You can create landmark buildings without compromising ROI.

By SillyGoose

Castlefield does not belong to Hulme , that’s nonsense, it’s the people from Hulme who cause the anti social behaviour here, the people who live in Castlefield are decent.

By Anonymous

Not one thing cllr Igbon said there makes any sense.

By Dan

I am not that keen on the design of the proposed De Trafford development however the comments from Cllr Lee-Ann Igbon are bizarre. To my mind Castlefields and much of Hulme are in the city centre and if this development was built in her ward why would she not expect to deal with the residents? Save us from narrow minded officials.

By Monty

That Northenden scheme is one of the worst in The North West. Hideous.

By Acelius

If the only purpose of these new buildings is to make a profit, complaints about them not serving other purposes are futile, don’t you think?

By James Yates

‘High design quality’ is a meaningless phrase – they just try to get as many units on the site as possible and everybody knows it.

By How