A PRS residential scheme dominated by a Simpson Haugh-designed 30-storey tower was approved at Manchester’s February committee, which also saw the Vincent Kompany-backed M4nchester Two scheme deferred.
The Swan Street proposal has been put forward by a development consortium comprising Sir Robert McAlpine, Britannia Group, Prime Developers and Foundation Real Estate. It includes 358 build-to-rent apartments and 12 serviced apartments and at various points, it will be 30, 12 and five storeys tall.
Chief among the concerns voiced by councillors is the lack of affordable homes provision within the scheme, the developer stating that due to viability,19 homes, representing 5%, is as high as it could go in terms of on-site contribution, some way below the target of 20%. These renters would pay 80% of market rent.
Cllr Sam Wheeler was highly vocal in his opposition, while Cllr Jon Connor-Lyons said “we have a policy and we have criteria, and if we’re not meeting them, that should be the end of it”.
Council planning development manager Dave Roscoe said in response that viability had been independently assessed and checked, with the council satisfied that 5% is the best that can be achieved, adding that “this does not fail the policy test – 20% is the policy, subject to viability”.
The proposal from Northern Group and Kompany will now be heard at March’s committee, following a request for a site visit by Cllr Mary Watson, who spoke of the importance of seeing the site in context, feeling that the scheme is large for the area.
Also approved at the meeting was One Manchester’s plans for Pottery Lane, West Gorton.
Pottery Lane, West Gorton
Developer: One Manchester
Number of homes: 115
Planner: Paul Butler Associates
The development is made up of 13 two-storey houses, 102 apartments with car parking, and landscaping over two sites on either side of Gorton Lane. The homes are set for a mix of shared ownership and rent to buy.
Swan Street Tower
Developer: Sir Robert McAlpine, Britannia Group, Prime Developers, and Foundation Real Estate
Number of storeys: 30, 12 and 5
Number of apartments: 358 build-to-rent, and 12 serviced
Planner: Avison Young
Civil engineer: Curtins
Landscape architect: Optimised Environments
The McAlpine JV submitted a planning application for the £85m scheme last September, on the site of Swan House. Conditions include contributions to public realm improvements in New Cross.