X1 Manchester Waters January 2019
The three new blocks are seen to the left

Three more blocks move forward at Pomona Island

Charlie Schouten

X1 and Vermont’s plans to build three more apartment blocks at Pomona Island have been recommended for approval as construction work at the site begins to ramp up.

The developer and contractor’s plans for the site, known as Manchester Waters, have already started on site, with two blocks of 10 and 12 storeys currently under construction. Built by Vermont, these feature a total of 216 one, two, and three-bed apartments.

Now, X1 and Vermont are looking to get three more blocks under way at an adjacent site; these feature a total of 526 apartments across buildings of 15, 17, and 19 storeys.

Overall, there will be 216 one-beds – including 55 studios – 274 two-beds, and 36 three-beds across the latest phase. There is no ground-floor retail or commercial proposed in any of the blocks, nor are any of the apartment designated as affordable.

Designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall, the three buildings follow a similar design to the two blocks currently under construction, featuring a cantilever supported by v-shaped columns, and rainscreen cladding. The blocks step up in height from the Salford Quays end of the islands in the direction of Manchester city centre.

The site secured planning permission for five blocks, which was granted in 2007, albeit on a smaller scale in terms of the number of flats; the previous permission, which has been implemented, had 135 fewer apartments.

Trafford Council planners have said its committee meeting next week should be minded to grant the proposals, with some issues hinging on the lack of affordable homes.

Planners suggest this could be mitigated by a Section 106 agreement featuring an off-site affordable homes contribution of £1.4m. The Section 106 agreement could also include contributions of £361,000 towards public open space.

Part of the recommendation also hinges on setting out a refreshed masterplan for the remaining part of Pomona Island, which is owned by Peel Holdings. Peel will be required to put forward an updated plan for the site, which is due to come forward before any further development on Pomona Island can be proposed. This is expected within a year.

The committee will make a decision on the proposals at a meeting on Thursday 10 January.

The professional team on the project also includes planner Turley, WSP, Hydrock, GIA, and ESL.

Your Comments

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Pretty dated design, better than other builds down that way though.

I wonder if any of Pomona will be reserved as green space, or are they eventually going to build on every inch? I’d prefer to see a couple more stories on each tower with a park in the middle myself; wishful thinking though I know.

By meh

Its a real shame Pomona Island isn’t being kept as a city park. Manchester lacks green space and this was a perfect opportunity.

By Anonymous

Can Falconer Chester Hall please reserve their particular brand of architecture to Liverpool. Manchester deserves a lot better.

By Worried

There will be a two-hectare public park in the middle of Pomona Island, says so on the planning committee report for this scheme.

By Anonymous

Is this Hulme or Salford? Or would they rather not say?


Re: PDM – it’s neither Hulme nor Salford. Pomona is part of Trafford.

By Raj

Pomona – where architectural ambition goes to die.

By Woof!

@ Worried.

You can’t blame The Architect. Have some faith, Pomona Faith.

By Verum

@Worried this is in Manchester and your quick expansion is giving you the architecture you deserve, because it’s being rushed through. There’s lots of bad examples all over the city, even close by. This is dated before it even gets off the drawing board though.

By Anonymous

Eventually Salford Quays and the City centre will meet. That will be one huge city.

By Elephant

….. doesn’t it just!!

By WorriedForWorried


Who else should we blame? The contrived ship form next to a canal didn’t spawn out of anyone else’s pencil.

Pomona was such an opportunity for something special for the Greater Manchester area and these apartment blocks are the final straw in a poorly executed masterplan.

By Worried


They’re just Picking Up the Pieces man

By Verum

Slightly better than the nearby Nichol Thomas designed block of flats but not much, this is such a missed opportunity.

By Lenny1968

Looks absolutely naff not gunna lie.

In 10-20 years were going to be looking back at our ugly English cities cursing current day planners and architects.

By Anonymous

Who in the right mind wants to live in Salford or Manchester ?? seriously !!!!!!

By Jack

@Jack, people who can’t afford to live in Cheshire or down south


@Jack – people who want a proper job and a career

By Anonymous

Close to 1m people at the last count Jack. But congratulations on the early contender for the most bizarre, slightly bitter, post of 2019 already PDM will be gutted.

By Loganberry

I would prefer ships loading and discharging especially the Guinness Boat Water is a precious resource its for drinking, irrigation, communication, fishing leisure and the last thing is building next to jut because of the view or enhanced ambience.Great that blocks are being built if genuinely needed for housing bi=ut not there and not just to be an asset on some Arab princes property portfolio

By Anonymous

They look like tins of soup.


As I read it “…at Pomona Island have been recommended for approval…” in the opening paragraph but recommended by whom? I see this frequently in planning applications and always wanted to know who it is that makes this initial recommendation? This recommendation always seems to be followed, so who is this unofficial committee and how do people contact them?
I’m just curious.

By KeyJayBee

KeeJayBee – the recommendation comes from Trafford Council’s planning officers. It is then up to the planning committee to reject or approve the planning application, based on (but not bound to) the planning officer’s recommendation

By Anonymous

Dated before a spade is in the ground

By 2004

Thank you anonymous for explaining, as that was always a mystery to me but how to influence those people?
I’m nor for or against this particular planning application but have had many difficulties with other applications that do affect me directly and have been powerless despite making objections in email to the relevent parties, which never are heard, and as a result may now have to move. It feels like a completely broken process, accessible only to those with the inside information.
Apologies if this distracts from the original story!

By KayJayBee

@kayjaybee your opportunity for influence is during the consultation phases. Large scale applications will have pre-application consultation run by the developer (or their agent). As the name suggests, this comes prior to them submitting their planning application. Once they have submitted, the planning authority will hold its own consultation where you can tell the case office what you think. Consultation also takes place at framework levels – so not on a specific building(s) but on the principles of the development. Objections, if that’s your interest, need to be made on matters of planning law to have any weight – material considerations – rather than subjective things like somebody not liking a building’s cladding. How much influence we all actually have is debatable but look up Turn Moss for an interesting case study.

By Bob Allatt

Well we know who’s going to line their pockets with these developments. It won’t be the people of Manchester who really need housing that will benefit. What a loss of one of the most delightful, environmentally useful and fascinating sites in Manchester.

By Charmian Savill

Is there a tin opener big enough for these steel can lookalikes- who is the building regs officer ? What a ghastly blot on Manchester ‘s skyline….

By Greenman