The planning application for Renaker’s next addition to what is set to be an extensive tower cluster around Great Jackson Street has been submitted, adding to what architect Ian Simpson has described as “intense” development at the city fringe site.
The application details two buildings, the tallest of which is 51 storeys, reaching a height of 152m, with another 21-storey building alongside. Combined, the two will include 664 one-to-three bedroom apartments.
The site to be developed, known as Plot C, is where the Mancunian Way joins with Chester Road, with Crown Street at the centre of the plot.
According to Simpson, of architect SimpsonHaugh, Renaker hopes to be on site by the end of the year. Deloitte is the planning advisor.
Crown Street is one of the first phases of development within a refreshed masterplan for the Great Jackson Street area, which includes Owen Street, Renaker’s tower cluster currently under construction, and sites owned by DeTrafford, with planning consent for towers of 32, 26, 18 storeys on Olympia Trading Estate, also designed by SimpsonHaugh
The fresh masterplan for the Great Jackson Street area was put forward by Manchester City Council in November, setting a planning context for a part of the city earmarked for more than 6,500 apartments across 23 towers, as well as lower-rise blocks and townhouses.
The area off Deansgate is already home to the live construction site delivering Renaker’s 1,508-apartment Owen Street project, made up of four buildings ranging between 64 and 44 storeys in height. The total site covers 19.3 acres.
Speaking to Place North West, Simpson said: “Each tower needs variety, to feel organic. This is an opportunity to create a new neighbourhood. If momentum continues this could be a vast area, with up to 20,000 people living there.
“We talk about increasing the number of homes available near Manchester, and this is really focusing on the use of brownfield sites, which is appropriate. We only want to have to develop once, so it should be quite intense.”
In London, construction is nearly complete on SimpsonHaugh’s contribution to an already diverse skyline, with One Blackfriars, dubbed by some ‘the Boomerang’, joining other distinctive towers with nicknames such as the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie, and Gherkin.
Meanwhile in Manchester, while there have been a recent spate of planning consents for tall buildings, none have strayed from the conventional, straight tower block format.
“Values impact design,” said Simpson. “You can’t do a Blackfriars in Manchester, but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t be ingenious. In Crown Street, there’s a design based around shadows and textures, but you won’t get curves, forget it. That’s impossible for anywhere outside London, or perhaps some parts of New York.
“Great Jackson Street is still a major evolution of the Manchester skyline, on which for a number of years Beetham has been the sole representative. The identity is important, for presenting Manchester internationally, and it shows the city embracing tall buildings, in an appropriate location at the fringe of the centre, and not spreading out into suburbia.”