The owner of the 11-acre Great Northern Warehouse site in Manchester said the amended strategic framework will be submitted in the coming weeks, after the previous regeneration plan was pulled from public consultation in April when a furore erupted over a proposed office on Peter Street.
Plans for an 85,000 sq ft office on Peter Street were outlined within the draft regeneration framework for Great Northern, produced last year by owner Tobermory Sarl, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Peterson Group.
When an indicative design from architect Will Alsop for the office was revealed online, showing a glass tower on stilts with a canopy stretching over Great Northern square, there was outcry from local residents and councillors. The framework was withdrawn from consultation in April.
In a statement to Place North West, Tobermory Sarl said: “Deloitte are in the process of revising the strategic framework to better reflect the fact that there have never been any firm proposals for the Peter Street frontage.
“We remain very open minded about this section of the overall Great Northern site and there are a variety of opinions on what should or shouldn’t be developed there. We are very willing to look at any of these options, taking account of the differing aspirations of the city, the general public and the nearby owners and occupiers.
“Our broad ambition for the overall site is to dramatically increase the amount of public realm, making it a better, more pleasant place to be, and to find a use for the listed warehouse that will be less damaging and more sustainable than its current use as a car park.
“We would expect the revised framework to be resubmitted in the coming weeks.”
When the design from Alsop emerged in April, an online petition created by former English Cities Fund chief executive and resident of Great Northern Tower, Lesley Chalmers, garnered 250 signatures in a couple of days, while Cllr Joan Davies, Labour councillor for Manchester city centre, described development at the Peter Street side of Great Northern as “a no-no”.
Tobermory at the time said that the strategic framework had only been a “broad masterplan”, and the proposals for Peter Street had responded to a request from the local authority “to provide indicative proposals for that site as the demolition of the historic buildings along the Peter Street frontage in the 1990s is now seen not to have been wholly successful”.
Alsop’s practice ALL Design is advising on the masterplan and is bringing forward detailed designs for specific elements within the plan.
The redevelopment of Great Northern could include 265,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant and leisure, 400,000 sq ft of apartments, and a 200,000 sq ft high-rise tower.