Thomas Street Real Estate Investment 2
Permission for the apartments was granted in 2017 but blocked a year later

REIP to appeal Warp & Weft refusal 

Dan Whelan

The developer said it has “no option” but to lodge an appeal against Manchester City Council’s decision to refuse the demolition of grade two-listed buildings on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter.  

Real Estate Investment Partnerships wants to demolish the two former weavers cottages at 42-46 Thomas Street to pave the way for a five-storey block containing 20 apartments designed by Jon Matthews Architects. 

The council approved the development in 2017, but, a year later, conservation body Historic England granted the  cottages listed status following a request from an anonymous party.

As a result, REIP submitted a listed building application in February to demolish the buildings, so that it could bring forward the scheme known as Warp & Weft.

This application has twice been refused by the council’s planning committee, most recently at a meeting last week. 

Warp And Weft Thomas Strret

The developer had hoped to start the redevelopment of the site before Christmas

Steve Slater, chief executive of Real Estate Investment Partnerships, said: “We are faced with no other course of action than to appeal the decision made by the planning and highways committee to refuse our application to demolish 42-46 Turner Street.”

The developer will now mount the case for an appeal to be submitted to housing secretary Robert Jenrick. 

Manchester City Council planning officers twice recommended that the demolition be approved, supporting the developer’s claims that retaining the listed buildings would make the scheme unviable. 

Planning officer Dave Roscoe had noted that the council was advised that if the buildings were restored rather than demolished, a 20-storey tower would be required for the project to achieve financial viability. Yet plans for a building of this size were unlikely to be supported, he added. 

Piccadilly ward councillor Sam Wheeler, who has been an outspoken critic of REIP’s plans to demolish the buildings, said: “The developers have the right to appeal, but a Conservative Secretary of State ordering the demolition of Manchester’s working class heritage would be quite an incendiary move and obviously have a reputational effect.

“REIP has a responsibility, both moral and legal, to look after the heritage assets they freely purchased.”

Wheeler speculated that, should the developer choose to sell the site, it would not make a loss. “The five-year land value increase in [the M4 postcode] is around 19%, so it’s hard to see how REIP could lose money should they simply choose to sell the site, unless it was greatly overvalued in the first place.

“This is a prime location in the centre of a growing city. If the current owners doesn’t want to develop it, someone will,” Wheeler said.

REIP has six months to lodge a formal appeal against the decision.

Your Comments

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Bring it on…..very interested to see the outcome of the appeal

By Steve

The plans look great compared to what is there now, they should get this approved. Is the council waiting for the derelict buildings crumble?

By Meeseeks

Wheeler’s lost the plot if he thinks the uplift in land values applies to a site with 2 listed cottage buildings on them that have no realistic opportunity for occupation, the value has more likely gone down now. Better to take some photo’s of the building and some of the bricks and create a small museum piece on the site which shows its former state and gives some history of the site and area.

By Fidel

Good on them, its a disgrace what is happening over this. Will be another nail in the NQs coffin if this doesn’t get built. The streets and pavements are appalling. No wonder everyone goes to Ancoates now.

By Bob

Hopefully this gets thrown out by the secretary of state. The Northern Quarter has lost too much to greedy developers who put profit before heritage

By Jon P

Not sure why a Conservative Secretary of State would care one way or another unless Real Estate Investment Partnerships are a Tory donor?

By Huey

I hope REIP lose, their scheme is really generic and the loss of heritage is unacceptable.

By Observer

Is Councillor Wheeler a real person or a character from Citizen Smith?

By Head in hands!

The same councilors will spit their dummy out at a 20 storey tower on the site. The buildings are partially derelict and another winter I suspect will tip them over into complete, irreversible decay. 6 months + in appeal and they will have collapsed anyway. Even now, they will be a money pit if they were retained. Not everything should and can be saved. It can be carefully and extensively documented before demolition and redevelopment.

By Bradford

Historic England? And an ‘anonymous party’? Do they have any money? And do they have a plan? ~ to completely restore the cottages to the late 17 C standards, then what?. Ridiculous, there doesn’t appear to be anything to restore, it looks like a hole. The proposed development looks good, very modern and it is 2020 so is in keeping with this period, it will reflect now, in the future. That’s what architecture should do. It’s a damn load better than those co~hab developments that have been approved. Also the Salboy job in Suedhill (?), Back Turner Street. The 16/17 floor office building is good, as in this case of W&W, it is filling a void at a location where the NQ meets rest of the city, great idea although less glass would be better. So many people objecting, ranting, foaming at the mouth. The building reflects now and is filling a space. I very much approve of the dark brick on W&W, it will make next door look even more ’80s shabby. Get it built and move on. Plenty more to argue about..

By Robert Fuller

Cllr. Wheeler shows his ignorance if he thinks a partially derelict site, with listed buildings which has been refused planning consent for a modest development scheme has increased in value currently most developers wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. W & W will win the appeal not because a tory minister wants to destroy working class Manchester heritage but because it is the right thing to do. The sad thing is that Manchester council tax payers will pick up the appeal bill because of the misjudgement of members of the Planning Committee.

By Anonymous

Councillors should try to understand how to build things and pay for things before being able to make key decisions. These buildings were falling down. It’s a disgrace to one of Manchester’s most visited streets. The new scheme is contemporary, looks high quality and is sympathetic to the historic area. Wheeler’s party political comments show contempt for the system.

By Idiocy