A lively Manchester City Council planning committee yielded some surprise results when it met yesterday. Salboy’s contentious proposals for a 13-storey aparthotel at Shudehill were deferred, after councillors nearly united to refuse the project, while Capital & Centric’s Talbot Mill, recommended for consent, was also deferred after a lengthy discussion over lack of parking.
The meeting became heated at various points, due to the controversial nature of some of the proposals but also because only six of the 10 councillors who sit on the highways & planning committee were in attendance. There were questions in the room as to whether this was enough to ratify decisions, however according to the Manchester City Council constitution, only three members are needed in order to pass judgment on proposals.
Zoku Aparthotel, Back Turner Street and Shudehill
Developer: Fred Done’s Salboy & Factory Estates
Storeys: Four to 13
The scheme has attracted close attention, with more than 150 letters submitted to the council in advance. A decision has already been deferred once, and councillors attended a site visit on the morning of the committee, giving them concerns over the waste disposal strategy, and the height of the building. There were many objectors in the room, including an occupant of the neighbouring block, who highlighted how his apartment would suffer from loss of light. Phil Doyle, director of 5plus, defended his design: “We’ve tried to satisfy everyone.”
While the councillors put forward their concerns about the scheme and suggested a recommendation to refuse, they were told by Julie Roscoe, head of planning, that they had to have “specific reasons” to refuse the project. The councillors then moved to defer a decision on the hotel once again, despite reassurance from council development manager Dave Roscoe that the plans had seen an “unusually high” level of peer scrutiny, including from architect Stephen Hodder.
Talbot Mill, Ellesmere Street
Developer: Capital & Centric
Storeys: Four to nine
The conversion of the existing mill complex and the addition of a new nine-storey building had been recommended for approval, but the committee raised concerns about the lack of parking provision which would put off any elderly or disabled occupiers. The scheme, a neighbour to Timber Wharf and Burton Place, will offer 63 one-bedroom and 139 two-bedroom apartments in all.
Developer: DeTrafford Estates
Architect: Ollier Smurthwaite
Planning: Paul Butler Associates
A new-build scheme on the site of Unit 5 Bentinck Industrial Estate as part of a series of apartment blocks by DeTrafford – sites on each side also have approval for 11 storey developments, while the One Ellesmere Street Roof Gardens scheme behind is under construction. It includes 26 one-bed and 53 two-bed apartments. The project sailed through the approval process at the committee meeting, with unanimous consent.