Kames Property Income Fund’s plans for a 17-storey office building on the site of Speakers House, as well as a hotel on Whitworth Street and an extension of Cavendish House are being determined by Manchester City Council next week.
The 39 Deansgate Speakers House site, at the junction with St Mary’s Gate, has undergone two rounds of consultation, both triggering a handful of individual objections and a group objection representing residents in neighbouring No.1 Deansgate.
In a £40m proposal, Kames wants to build a 130,000 sq ft of office space, along with 5,000 sq ft of flexible retail and leisure pace at ground floor. Kames bought the site in March 2018 for £11m.
Speakers House site
Developer: Kames Property Income Fund
Architect: Sheppard Robson
Heritage advisor: Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture
Townscape advisor: Planit-IE
Built in 1963, Speakers House is nine storeys tall, with seven ground floor commercial units. The building underwent a superficial refurbishment in 2013 but is described by officers as “in a poor state…lacking new infrastructure such as superfast broadband” with inefficient floorplates and low floor-to-ceiling heights.
Concerns have been raised over the impact on heritage assets, including the St Ann’s Square Conservation Area, and Barton Arcade, next door to the site. Although consultee Historic England notes “concerns” officers sum up that the building will have a “neutral impact” on the area.
Architect and heritage advisor: Atelier MB Urban Architects
Planner: Avison Young
Investream’s plans are for the refurbishment and extension by two storeys of Cavendish House, as well as a change of use to remove the restaurant space formerly occupied by Chaophraya to create further office space.
The four-storey Cavendish House, which has frontages to Chapel Walks, Pall Mall and Back Pool Fold, is grade two-listed and sits within the Upper King Street conservation area. Sam’s Chop House will be retained, and the business’s owner has submitted its support for the project.
Officers note both that the project would make the building more accessible, and that the plans to reinstate the building’s historic chimneys will replace the “temporary” 1940s roof structure.
2-4 Whitworth Street
Developer: Maizelands and Arringord, c/o Aberdeen Standard Investments
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects
Heritage advisor: Kathryn Sather & Associates
The site next to Deansgate railway station would be knocked down and replaced with an eight-storey hotel, necessitating the closure of Rowendale Street. Tthe 152-bedroom hotel would occupy the street and the blocks either side.
Although the vacant warehouse buildings concerned are not listed, the station and its viaduct are, and there is concern over the loss of further Victorian buildings in the Knott Mill area: 57 objections have been lodged over the plan.
MINDED TO APPROVE
Adelphi site, Moston
Developer: Adelphi (Kenyon Lane) Developments
Architect: Falconer Chester Hall
Also going before the committee, with a ‘minded to approve’ recommendation, is the demolition of the 1937 Art Deco Adelphi Cinema site in Moston, which in more recent years has been in use as a DIY store. The applicant proposes the building of 33 apartments in a four-storey block on the Kenyon Lane site. The project has attracted 57 letters of objection, although none from council members.
Falconer Chester Hall, the scheme’s architect, submitted with the plans a study of two options that would retain in full or part the historic façade of the building. But it concluded that improving existing parts to thermal, acoustic and fire standards would make the scheme unviable.