The central core of Manchester has seen 19 surface car parks, totalling almost 10 acres, built on over the past decade, according to research by planner Euan Kellie Property Solutions.
Despite the widespread redevelopment of surface parking, mainly for residential schemes, the EKPS Surface Car Park Snapshot shows that 59 car parks covering more than 30 acres still remain and could provide opportunities for potential development.
The analysis by EKPS was published to mark a decade since 23 January 2009, the day that the Bank of England declared Britain had officially entered recession following two quarters of economic decline. EKPS put together the first Surface Car Park Snapshot a few months later, to identify sites which might be readily available to boost construction in the city.
Of 73 car parks identified in March 2009, 49 continue to operate, representing a loss of 24 sites. While 19 of these have been used for development, five are no longer used for parking but are vacant. There are also 10 new plots which have become surface car parks since 2009, mainly in cases where buildings have been demolished. In total, this results in a net loss of nine car parks for the city.
While the research identifies the potential of car parks in prime locations, it is not a record of whether those sites have planning permission. Whilst some may continue to operate as car parks long-term, for many it is a short-term use and they could eventually be released for development.
With the average size of city centre car parks estimated to be around 0.5 acres, the existing 59 surface car parks could provide another 30 acres of land.
Euan Kellie, co-founder and director at EKPS, author of the report, said: “Ten years on from the official start of the recession and following our initial piece of research at the time, we decided to revisit the issue of surface car parking provision in central Manchester.
“Whilst few people will be surprised to learn that the dramatic transformation of the city centre skyline over the past decade has involved the redevelopment of many surface car parks, we were taken aback by land covering what we estimate to be potentially more than 30 acres currently being used for surface car parking that remains available for potential redevelopment.
“The majority of the schemes on surface car parking sites are and will continue to be residential-led – driven by the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework target to increase the city centre population to 50,000 by 2037 – but a number of major commercial schemes have also taken land previously used for car parking, reflecting the ongoing need to accommodate this rising number of city dwellers and workers with an increasing number of employment opportunities.”
Prominent areas of car park redevelopment in the city core include Great Jackson Street, First Street and NOMA, alongside increasing activity in New Cross.
There are three major concentrations of car park provision; at Salford Central and Greengate, New Cross and Piccadilly North. There is also a smaller cluster of parking locations in Ancoats and New Islington. Some developments which have emerged over the past 10 years, such as English Cities Fund’s New Bailey, Ask’s Embankment and First Street, include multi-storey car parks.
Central sites that remain in use as surface car parks include Sackville Street, Bloom Street and the Bridgewater Hall car park at Little Peter Street and Medlock Street.
- To read the report in full, including a site-specific breakdown of all the car parks, visit: http://www.euankellie.co.uk/2019/01/ekps-publish-surface-levels-car-parks-review/