39 Deansgate
The Deansgate scheme is designed by architect Sheppard Robson

Speakers House offices and Whitworth Street hotel deferred

Dan Whelan

Kames Property Income Fund asked Manchester City Council to defer its plans for a 17-storey office block at 39 Deansgate, while developer Investream’s refurbishment of Cavendish House on Black Pool Fold was given the green light.

The council also deferred a decision on a 152-bedroom Travelodge on Whitworth Street amid design concerns, but approved proposals for the redevelopment of the former Art Deco Adelphi Cinema site in Moston into apartments were also given the green light. 


Speakers House 

39 Deansgate

The existing Speakers House

Developer: Kames Property Income Fund, part of Aegon Asset Management 

Architect: Sheppard Robson 

Planner: CBRE 

Prior to Manchester’s planning committee meeting on Thursday, the applicant had asked that its plans for a 135,000 sq ft office development on the site of Speakers House on Deansgate be differed for a month and no discussion on the scheme took place. 

Built in 1963, Speakers House is nine storeys tall and has seven commercial units on the ground floor.  

The building underwent a superficial refurbishment in 2013 but has been described by officers as “in a poor state…lacking new infrastructure such as superfast broadband”, with inefficient floorplates and low floor-to-ceiling heights. 

Objectors have raised concerns over the potential impact of Kames’ proposed £40m redevelopment on nearby heritage assets, including the St Ann’s Square Conservation Area, and Barton Arcade, next to the site.  

Although heritage body Historic England noted “concerns”, planning officers said that the building would have a “neutral impact” on the area. 

Tenants in the building include Greggs, Spar and The Flight Centre, as well as Investar Property Group and City Living.

A spokesperson for CBRE, which is Kames’ planning consultant, said it was “undertaking a relocation strategy” and was engaging in dialogue with all tenants, working with them as required.” 

The project team also includes Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Planit-IE, GIA, Renaissance, EDPI and Curtins. 

2-4 Whitworth Street West


Developer: Maizelands and Arringord, c/o Aberdeen Standard Investments 

Architect: Glenn Howells Architects 

Planner: JLL 

The plans were deferred due to criticisms from councillors over the quality of how the scheme’s design was presented in the application. 

The council’s planning officer David Roscoe said he would work with the applicant to “produce imagery that conveys the inherent quality of the design”. 

He added that the architect, Glenn Howells Architects, has “delivered some fantastic buildings in the city and understands what is expected from development in Manchester”. 

However, John Flanagan, Labour councillor for Miles Platting and Newton Heath, said the designs put forward by the applicant look like a “brick box” and did not appear as if they had been designed by “highly-regarded architects”. 

Under the proposals, the warehouses that occupy the site next to Deansgate railway station would be knocked down and replaced with an eight-storey hotel, necessitating the closure of Rowendale Street.  

The proposed 152-bedroom hotel would occupy the street and the blocks either side. 

Although the vacant warehouse buildings concerned are not listed, the station and its viaduct are, and there was also concerns expressed over the loss of further Victorian buildings in the Knott Mill area. 

The application will return to the planning committee next month. 

Kathryn Sather & Associates advised on heritage.


Cavendish House 

Cavendish House

Developer: Investream 

Architect and heritage advisor: Atelier MB Urban Architects 

Planner: Avison Young 

Investream won approval for its plans to refurbish and add a two-storey extension to Cavendish House, as well as creating further office space in a unit previously occupied by restaurant Chaophraya. 

The scheme will also improve Sam’s Chop House pub and restaurant on the ground floor. 

The four-storey Cavendish House, which has frontages to Chapel Walks, Pall Mall and Back Pool Fold, is grade two-listed and sits within the Upper King Street conservation area.  

Officers noted that the project would make the building more accessible, and that the plans to reinstate the building’s historic chimneys would replace the “temporary” 1940s roof structure. 

The scheme was supported by 13 councillors with one abstention. 

Adelphi site, Moston 


Developer: Adelphi (Kenyon Lane) Developments 

Architect: Falconer Chester Hall 

Planner: Zerum 

Under the approved plans, the 1937-built Adelphi Cinema site in Moston will be redeveloped to create 33-apartment within a four-storey block. 

In recent years, the building has been used as a DIY store but the occupier has since relocated, paving the way for the redevelopment of the site. 

The developer is in talks with a registered housing provider that could result in 100% of the homes being designated as affordable, according to planning consultant Zerum. 

Zerum also said in planning documents that the option of retaining the cinema’s façade was considered but found to be unviable. 

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I used to visit Moston regularly. ’04/’05″and there were streets covered by metal cages, complete, whole streets so on the balance I’d say this is a good thing. Shame about the façade but,,,, it gets built, clean slate. I do think that the council and developers need really good designs /ideas. Stop building small boxes with small windows and we get to balconies. Large balconies should be a minimum requirement. It serves as a small garden. Also accessible roof gardens, trees along the streets. Ain’t rocket science.

By Robert Fuller

Don’t defer the 2-4 Whitworth Street proposal put it in the bin, dreadful scheme.

By Anonymous