PAG/Moda slash height of Upper Brook Street PBSA on people power
The planned 42-storey student tower, one part of a wider £450m Manchester masterplan, has been reduced by 12 storeys in response to feedback from Ardwick residents.
As well as a 25% reduction in height, feedback on Property Alliance Group and Moda Living’s scheme has prompted a decrease in beds from 1,100 to 983. Of these, 220 will be offered at a 20% discount.
The student beds are the first to come forward from Moda Living’s 4,000-bed student accommodation pipeline, announced in the summer.
Designed by SimpsonHaugh and to be operated by Moda, the student tower is located on the northernmost portion of the masterplan and has not been popular with some residents.
A planning statement prepared by AshtonHale states that comments received during the statutory consultation “made clear that the proposed scale and massing approach described above was not supported by the local community”.
“Whilst a robust justification was provided in the original planning application to support the proposed building heights and quantum of student beds, the applicants’ team are now seeking to revise the planning application in direct response to the public comments,” the statement adds.
The student tower, one of three PBSA buildings PAG and Moda are developing, sits alongside a 470,000 sq ft of life sciences building, which is largely unchanged under the revised plans.
The other half of the Upper Brook Street masterplan, which is being delivered by Kadans and McLaren Property Group, also remains unchanged. This element of the project proposes 737 student beds and 215,000 sq ft of labs.
The wider project team for the development includes Hawkins\Brown, WSP, Turley, Curtins, Ridge, Focus Transport, and Design Fire are also involved in the scheme.
To learn more about the plans, search for reference number 137401/FO/2023 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal.
Property Alliance Group chief executive Alex Russell, said: “Our intention for this brownfield site has always been community-focused, to ensure the investment and regeneration of the key city centre district was future-proofed.
“Ardwick has so much potential with its proximity to universities and talent, the city’s core and transport links. The opportunity to revive the neighbourhood was clear, and that is why we have worked closely with residents and key stakeholders to include their aspirations. We have been encouraged by the support so far.
He added: “Since the initial launch, the level of interest in life sciences at this new campus has been very encouraging, and if Manchester wants to continue to be a leader in innovation and science, and attract and retain the best people, then this development is key.”
James Blakey, planning and engagement director at Moda Living, added: “Enhanced student accommodation is crucial to support Manchester’s economic and investment growth plans as both a city and as a city region.
“The growth corridor along Upper Brook Street has been identified by the city council as an ideal highly sustainable and accessible location for new accommodation to support our top universities and our innovative life science industries.
“Providing highly managed accommodation will help alleviate the ongoing issue of students living in houses which could be occupied by local residents and families. We also made a commitment to providing subsidised affordable student accommodation whose occupants will have exactly the same access to on-site facilities and services as everyone else: a truly inclusive offer.”