U+I sets out Mayfield vision for occupiers wanting more

The combination of historic buildings and a new city park will be the key selling points of the commercial space at Mayfield, U+I development director James Heather has told Place North West.

The Mayfield Partnership – for which U+I is development partner, working with LCR, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester – has now published its draft Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the city centre site and announced details of public consultation.

Heather said: “The selling point will all come down to the heritage and the expanse of open space here – people are recognising that there’s more to life than office buildings, even exceptional office buildings. Including the park, there’ll be something like 13 acres of space here. And what we’ll be able to do with the Depot, in independent food and drink, retail, an internal street, is incredibly compelling for an occupier.”

The partnership has set out within the framework the development principles that, if adopted, will guide the site’s development by setting a vision and key design parameters which will become a material consideration for decisions on future detailed planning applications.

As part of the consultation, a series of public exhibitions will be held at the site and at other city locations in the first two weeks of March.

As revealed by Place North West last week, the draft SRF identifies five distinct areas clustered around the 6.5-acre Mayfield Park, which will straddle the banks of the River Medlock and run for almost the length of the 24-acre site. It also details the retention of the main historic buildings on the site, including the Mayfield station and its platforms, the Mayfield depot and the associated railway arches which form the Partnership’s boundary along Temperance Street.

In the indicative plans, the tallest part of the development will come with commercial buildings at the northern boundary, close to Piccadilly station, with residential and mixed space towards the Mancunian Way, the tallest residential buildings being at the eastern boundary and live-work buildings closer to the London Road junction.

The temptation is to see echoes of the overhaul of London’s Kings Cross in the project. Heather said: “What’s happened in Kings Cross is a retention of heritage and mixing it with the new, and to implement that in Manchester would be fantastic. We also have the advantage here of the river, this is the only part of the city centre genuinely in touch with the riverside, and I think that’s under-estimated because the site’s been closed off for so long.”

Mayfield Plan SRF

He concluded: “The park will set the tone. In all successful cities, the most memorable places are public spaces, rather than buildings – it sets the benchmark.

These are exciting times. We’ve found a huge interest in the site from the public and this is their opportunity to respond and to tell us what they think of our plans.

“This is a key moment in the next chapter for Mayfield and we are sure the people of the city will be interested to see how far we’ve come.”

The draft framework, which is available online, was approved for consultation by Manchester City Council’s executive on 7 February. Following this consultation, an updated document, incorporating comments from the public, will be presented to the executive later in the year for consideration for final adoption.

The professional team includes Deloitte Real Estate, architect Studio Egret West, Faithful & Gould, Buro Happold Engineering, JLL, Ekosgen, Foreman Roberts and Real Worth.

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Public park or privately-maintained landscaping? Huge difference.

By Town Planner

@Town Planner – It’s green, for public use, attracts wildlife and a park, why does it matter? #ClutchingAtStraws


Private spaces can control and exclude activities – and more importantly, people – that the owners don’t like. It’s not clutching at straws. A privately managed greenspace is a poor substitute for a truly public park.

By Sten

Nonsense, private spaces are always better, for various reasons, not least the council aren’t wasting their money on them.

By Bugzy

Bugzy – Public parks are by no means, in any way shape or form, a waste of money for a council.

By !

Exciting development this. Mayfield is a huge hole in the city centre, similar to old granada studios, the site needs opening up asap and work needs to start.

I agree with the reservations about it being a private park, it would be better if it was public but still, it’s a park and green space the city centre desperately needs.

This is how SRFs should be done; look after what’s there, leave a percentage as open space, then the developers can build as much as they want on the rest.

By .

Why does it matter, because:

“Private spaces can control and exclude activities – and more importantly, people – that the owners don’t like.”

That’s why.

By Town Planner

Yes Sten it’d be such a shame to prevent the Picc gardens spice heads the use of this lovely green space.


And prevent photography
And protest

By Nordyne

Town Planner:
Why does it matter, because:

“Private spaces can control and exclude activities – and more importantly, people – that the owners don’t like.”

That’s why.

I view this as a positive thing.

By Rhino

“retention of heritage” – get that MCC?? You know like, erm every other major city in the world. Lease and the bunch of clowns surrounding him were originally prepared for the lot, including a listed pub, to be demolished. I don’t think they are competent enough to run a city like this, they might just about be capable of organising village fete – just about – not the ‘global city’ that they aspire to.

By Logenberry

Rhino, if you want to exclude certain types of people from your life, remain in your home or live in the remote countryside. Don’t live in a city and expect to be able to do the same.

By Sten

Logenberry, pubs and old buildings are being knocked down all over the country. It’s not just in Manchester, there’s a place down south, it’s called London, ever heard of it?

By !!!

Council funded parks are inferior to private ones, always.

By Dior

Actually Sten, Paris, London, NYC all have private spaces so’s that people don;t have to mix.

By !!!

Sten why so terrified of private public spaces? Is it because you fear these may become better run, more appealing places for joe public to use? The state of Piccadilly Gardens its over run with wrong uns is an absolute disgrace – I can’t think of any European city I have visited which is so badly over run. Lets see if the private sector can do a better job with their space. I am sure they will.


Hamburg was pretty over run when I was there, in more than one location

By Marg

By ! – the maintenance and upkeep costs the council a lot of money.


It’s private land so there is no way the Council is going to take on the maintenance. Spinningfields (although not that green) is a perfect example of how private management of public space works. The area should be closed off at night from the public, as there will be a lot of residents wanting some piece and quiet and not having to listen to groups of p**sed up kids/homeless hanging around. Plus the Police will insist that U+I have their own security on site.

By Steve