Gallery Gardens
The scheme comprises two blocks on a 41,000 sq ft site on Chester Road

Turnaround expected on Gallery Gardens

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Manchester City Council has recommended DeTrafford’s latest residential scheme be approved, saying that councillors’ criticism of the 366-bedroom block at March’s committee meeting was “unsubstantiated”.

At the meeting in March, councillors voted that they were minded to refuse the Chester Road project, as in their view the proposal would result in over-development of the site.

They also slammed the project as “inward-facing” and resembling a “gated community”, although the scheme was nearly approved with seven votes against six.

As part of Manchester City Council’s planning process, a scheme does not immediately get refused, but is returned to the next committee with further guidance from planners on the legal grounds for refusal.

The scheme, designed by JM Architects and DEP, is made up of two buildings ranging in height from eight to 12 storeys and 14 to 18 storeys, respectively, on a 41,000 sq ft site on the corner of Hulme Hall Road, Chester Road and Ellesmere Street. Paul Butler Associates is advising on planning.

Gallery Gardens forms the latest phase of developer DeTrafford’s long-running Manchester Gardens development, which sits alongside Chester Road on the edge of Hulme and Castlefield.

The committee report from the council’s head of planning, Julie Roscoe, argues that the scheme should still be approved as it “complies with approved planning policies” that have driven residential development in the area for the past 25 years, and that going against the policies would contravene planning law.

“The proposal would provide much-needed homes on brownfield land in line with Government policy,” the report stated.

However, the council has acknowledged that the increase in residents in the area would add pressure to existing amenities, so has asked for £80,000 from DeTrafford towards the cost of upgrading a local park.

The head of planning’s recommendation is to approve the scheme, as “it is not considered that members’ concerns about over-development could be substantiated”.

The proposal will now go to the council’s chief executive Joanne Roney for final sign-off. Manchester City Council’s planning committees are currently not meeting due to coronavirus restrictions and many applications are being determined under local authority-held statutory powers.

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Please, just build it. We should also consider more premium office space,such as an 84 storey /level statement. The top 3/4 levels for a unique broadcast and event space. Top out at 77 level, 3 ziggurat-style levels and the hive events space on top. With an 11 metres antenna, 311 metres high. Hive spires. I recommend an architect, the chap who designed 432 park avenue New York. Rafael Vinoly, think he’s got an office in M’cr. Genius, look at his work. 84+/- levels of elegance. That’s what I think. Just build it and don’t forget to keep looking up. It would sit well south side of the mancunian (misfortune) needs dropping in a tunnel.. Elevated bike tracks, above junctions and streets. E~bikes are the future, green it up. I’ve thought a lot about the cycling routes. Across 2/3 maybe 4,storey buildings? Again, the future. Thanks.

By Robert Fuller

Not required at all!

By Anonymous

@Robert Fuller, your post makes no sense!
Rafael Vinoly already has a building in Manchester, one of the worst apartment blocks built in recent history – Vesta in New Islington.

By Aaron

Good!

More and more city centre councillors are now constantly objecting to new proposals and developments, wanting their part of the city centre to remain as it is.

They have to a accept Manchester is a growing city, and as such, has a growing city centre. As city centre land becomes more scarce, land becomes more expensive, and developing and building costs increase, the only way property developers are going to make a profit is by building upwards.

By Anonymous

@Anonymous, re: “Not required at all!”. Please ellaborate on this as it means absolutely nothing. Are you saying apartments are not required in a city with a housing shortage? Are you suggesting that apartments in an inner city neighbourhood, walking distance from the city centre in an area perfect and ripe for dense living is not required at all? I don’t understand your motives.

I guess that you personally are not looking for an apartment in this area so for you, all construction should stop until you personally require it?

By EOD

If there is to be pressure on amenities then not sure the local park should be top of the list to get upgraded!!!

By Disgruntled Goat

The councillors have every right to voice the concerns of local residents about a new scheme. It is a really soulless design and I think a rethink is needed in the city.

By Acelius

What on earth is a “soulless design”? That’s purely subjective opinion and in fact you could argue that it’s in context with many other recent buildings in the city in that it uses a stylish, refined modernist style that will age well.

As long as the apartments are spacious and well designed we should just get this approved and built. It’s only an apartment block, it’s not going to ruin anyone’s life. Too many people are bored, sat at home and looking for things to moan about I think….

By NIMBY watch

Nice one. Make a good 15-20% profit on that if the economy is still functioning.
Horrible building mind.

By Suman

Totally agree…get it built! It’s a far better design than the junk they have built a yard or so down the road.
@Anonymous. Get your geography right. This development is in Hulme, not the City Centre. It will never be the city centre, as much as people like to think it is.

By Steve