X1 Manchester Waters
X1 Developments is completing the first of its five Manchester Waters residential blocks

Pomona Island masterplan expected this year

Dan Whelan

Peel L&P has agreed a masterplan with Trafford Council for the remaining 20-plus acres of undeveloped land, as the first of X1 Development’s five waterfront blocks at the site gears up to complete next week.

James Whittaker, executive development director at Peel L&P, said the landowner was “pulling together” a masterplan for a 2,500-home mixed-use scheme on the complex swathe of land that sits between Bridgewater Canal and Manchester Ship Canal west of the city centre, straddling Trafford, Salford and Manchester local authority areas.

Peel L&P intends to publish the masterplan, drawn up by Jon Matthews Architects and planning consultancy Turley, for consultation later this year. Exterior Architecture is working to develop the public realm proposals.

Whittaker said: “[The masterplan] seeks to regenerate the 26 acres of former brownfield dockland into a mixed-use sustainable community with the [completed] Pomona Island set to bring an estimated 2,500 new homes and commercial space for 500 jobs to the area.”

The masterplan will also aim to ensure that projects already in the pipeline are “complemented by approximately 11 acres of public realm and open space with canalside cycleways and footpaths to increase connectivity between MediaCityUK and Manchester City Centre,” Whittaker added.

Peel L&P hopes to submit an outline planning application later this year following the consultation process.

The 26-acre site is made up of Pomona Island plus various holdings around Cornbrook Metrolink station.

Peel L&P is already pushing ahead with plans to redevelop one such holding, the former Mancunian Springs site, close to the station at the gateway to the island.

The landowner has outline consent to demolish the existing buildings on the site and bring forward a 150-bedroom hotel and 90 serviced apartments designed by Leach Rhodes Walker.

Peel L&P is in talks with an unnamed hotel operator. Demolition work could begin as early as next week as Bennett Bros is due to vacate the site then.

Meanwhile Glenbrook’s 260-apartment Cornbrook Hub, designed by Sheppard Robson, is due to complete next year.

X1 Pomona Island Manchester Waters

Pomona Island with X1 Developments’ Manchester Waters scheme highlighted in red

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “The council has been working with Peel on the masterplan for Pomona Island since planning permission was granted for the second phase of apartments at Manchester Waters last year.

“The permission required a masterplan to be produced to shape the development of the whole of the site and it was signed off in March.

“We look forward to discussing and shaping the forthcoming outline planning application to deliver the remainder of the Pomona Island site.”

Another project already in development at the site is the first of five residential towers that form X1 Developments’ Manchester Waters project at Pomona Island. Main contractor Vermont is on target to complete work on the 75-apartment tower next week, after the building topped out in August.

In total, X1’s Manchester Waters scheme, first launched in 2016, is planned to provide 742 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments across five towers, designed by architects Falconer Chester Hall.

Melissa Green, operations director at X1, said: “In spite of the ongoing global pandemic, interest has remained at an all time high and our management team, X1 Lettings, are already at 40% occupancy ahead of the official opening, highlighting the ongoing demand and desirable location of the scheme.”

Peel L&P published an earlier masterplan for Pomona Island, drawn up by architect Taylor Young, in 2008 and called it Manchester Waters. But it was not until 2015 that Trafford Council approved the first scheme outlined in that masterplan, comprising 164 build-to-rent apartments by developer Rowlinsons, which completed in 2017.

The Rowlinson scheme was bought for £23m in 2016 by Vista, the residential property fund set up by Countrywide and Hermes Investment Management.

Pomona Island was also one of three sites shortlisted for Oak View Group’s 23,000-capacity entertainment arena before Eastlands was selected. That scheme is awaiting planning approval.

Your Comments

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Just don’t gate off the waterside like you have done with that hideous heap at the St George’s end!

By .

This could have been something really unique.

Given the extensive historical use of the site and existing ecology, it really would have made a fantastic mini Eden Project or something similar.

I love the transformation of brownfield sites and the evolution of Manchester but this is absolute rubbish.

By Anonymous

Looking forward to seeing it. Although if the quality of developments that have already taken place here is anything to by, it will look a complete mess! Manchester Waters looks nothing like the visuals. Very cheap cladding which does not have the classy mirrored shine portrayed in the visuals.Don’t even get me started on that vile terracotta looking thing next to Cornbrook station which looks like some tenement in Benidorm. An absolute disgrace and Trafford City Council and Peel should be very ashamed of that.

By Steve

I expected nothing better.

By Anonymous

This could have been a waterfront park. We need parks in central Manchester. But this is Manchester and we don’t build parks in the central area. This could be a nice waterfront neighbourhood. But it didn’t start out well with those horrid cardboard coloured buildings at the city end. Please at least….
* Keep the waterfront open to the public.
* link both the river and canal waterfronts for public access (maybe a park at the point where both meet in the middle) – this is a unique aspect of this area
* link the whole thing well to an expanded Cornbrook Station with a new footbridge bridge to Salford (expanded station to incl. heavy rail as this would be perfect for commuters to swith to MediaCity, Trafford, Chorlton/Didsbury & the airport)
* Both sides of the river should be considered, so the northern side needs that horrid path cleaned up and modernised

By EOD

Great…we can look forward to buildings with “fizzy” elevations then …cant wait

By anonymous

Wow! A fantastic, exciting looking development. Regenerating a large area and providing much needed homes for people, right beside the water and walkable to Manchester city centre. Looks great to me.

By Look Forward

EOD are you aware there’s Deansgate train/tram station only a tram stop away??
are you suggesting we need a 3rd train station in addition to Oxford Rd and Deansgate?

Agree on keeping the waterfront open to the public

By OnPoint

Did you know that Pomona (the Greek Godess of fruits) Island was first called Strawberry Fields? Not a lot of folk know that. Thank goodness some clever clogs gave it a posh name.

By James Yates

EOD is right. This would have made a stunning park linking the centre with the Quays and Media City. Manchester City Council’s Dendrophobia carries on unabated.

By Elephant

@By OnPoint, absolutely are suggesting that. Deansgate is not a significant station for a start as few trains stop there. This should also be improved once HS2 and NPR exist as express trains could be taken off the main lines and these lines could become proper commuter/suburban systems like the RER/Sbahn with trains stopping at all stations. But Cornbrook is a perfect interchange point to allow people from Urmston, Warrington, Liverpool and that side of the commuterbelt who travel to MediaCity change. It would take a significant amount of time off their journeys and it’s not just changing to MediaCity, but also for the Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Chorlton & Airport. Deansgate is the city centre & the change there takes a lot of time. I’m not the only one suggesting this, I’ve seen rail experts in magazines suggest this as well.

By EOD

As By says, they really need to open access back up at the Pomona Wharf / SGI side. Suspect once fully developed this will be the case. I saw in the previous masterplan there was a bridge proposed linking the island near Cornbrook met to Ordsall Lane. This would really boost connectivity if it went ahead

By Disgruntled Goat

Now I know what Pomona means, I don’t think either name is especially fitting!!

By Mike

Connectivity here needs to be improved across the water to link into the fantastic walking and cycling routes along the Quays and the Canal. Connecting Exchange Quay to Wharfside Metrolink and connecting Pomona/Cornbrook to Ordsall will help create a brilliant route for journeys on foot or by bike.

By Build A Bridge

Should have been a park 100%

By Anonymous

I went here a couple of years ago on a big bike ride and it’s a massive area.This area has been derelict since the early 1980s. The mighty PEEL LOT bought this land really cheap many years ago and this massive plot has not been used for about 40 years. It will be full of flats or has some citizens call em swanky expansive appartments,(little boxes).

By Darren born and bred in Salford

The Nicol Thomas designed blocks at Pomona Wharf are the worst buildings constructed in Manchester since the Arndale centre. Crying shame for such a great site.

By Monty